Kanana ward councillor in Francistown West constituency, Cornelius Gopolang has resigned from the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) to return to his childhood political home, the Botswana People’s Party (BPP).
Gopolang had contested for Bulela Ditswe and lost to the incumbent Member of Parliament for Francistown West, Ignatius Moswaane. Even though he did not launch a formal protest with the party secretariat, Gopolang argued that the elections were marred by irregularities that led to his loss. Moswaane was accused by his opponents of trafficking voters from other constituencies into Francistown west. In the build up to the polls some contestants bitterly complained that Moswaane was conniving with the branch committee to deny them access to the voters roll.
In an interview with The Patriot on Sunday, Gopolang confirmed that he has re-joined the BPP. “After a deep thought, I have made a conscious decision to re-join Botswana People’s Party. I have searched my soul and my conscience gave me thumbs up,” the former BPP Secretary General reiterated. Gopolang grew up as BPP activist but decided to jump ship in 2006 after a political pact of opposition parties failed. He then joined the ruling BDP and was elected as councillor for Kanana ward.
The civic leader further said he decided to re-join the BPP after realizing that the party is advocating for some ideals that are very dear to his heart. “BPP strongly beliefs in the total merger of opposition parties in order to easily oust the BDP which has cling to power for more than five decades. The party is also advocating for the review of the constitution which is out dated,” he pointed out. BPP also is very vocal about the introduction of political party funding to make that the political field is level, currently the BDP has a strong financial muscle which makes them to have an advantage over other political parties which are financially crippled, Gopolang posits.
Gopolang spoke with confidence that the BPP has rich history in Botswana politics as it is one of the first political formations in the country pre-independence. The soft spoken Gopolang noted that the party only needs to do a massive rebranding in order to attract more members. He admitted that in recent years, BPP’s fortunes have been dwindling. In the past the party used to be a force to reckon with especially in the northern part of the country. The party used to boost of political firebrands such as the late Phillip Matante.
Sources within the BPP have implied that Gopolang was recruited to replace the party’s long-time leader, Motlatsi Molapisi. It is said that Molapisi might step down from the presidency and make way for Gopolang at the party congress that might be held this month during the president’s holidays.