Political newcomers, Alliance for Progressives (AP) have lost a council seat contender for the Lobatse Woodhall Ward in one, Tefo Seetso.
The aspiring politician revealed to this publication on Wednesday that he will contend the upcoming elections as an independent candidate after falling out with the party leadership.
An aggrieved Seetso says his problems arose from a decision made by the party’s National Organising Secretary (NOS), Fredrick Kololo at a Leadership Workshop held back in January.
The Palapye-based workshop facilitated a consultative discussion on the party constitution, the ongoing member registration drive as well as identifying and encouraging potential candidates.
“There had been a recommendation that if one is to have a chance at contesting for a council seat, they should recruit and register over 350 members. Now, this recommendation has been set aside,” grieved Seetso.
According to Seetso, he has recruited over 800 members for the AP in a bid to represent the party as a council candidate.
He claims to have handed 200 over to the party but is holding on to the other registrants because he is unhappy with the way things are done at the AP, especially in Lobatse.
“There’s a lot of disorganization in the party,” he added glumly.
Seetso believes he has a better chance of winning the elections as an independent candidate, hence his decision to ‘stand alone’.
For his part, Kololo has refuted allegations that the party has denied anyone from contesting in the upcoming elections but rather reiterated Seetso’s narrative of the recommendations made at the Palapye Leadership workshop.
“The writ has not come out yet, so any allegations that we have denied anyone to contend in primary elections are false. Contending elections is everyone’s democratic right!” he said.
Kololo also highlighted that once the writ comes out, anyone who has an interest in contesting will be able to do so once they are proved to be meeting the criteria set at the Palapye workshop.
The AP NOS has also advised Seetso to contact the Woodhall ward committee Lobatse Branch to air his grievances and follow the complaints guidelines if no satisfactory resolution has been made.
Kololo further stated that Seetso is free to file a resignation letter with the relevant office if he still intends to leave the party.
However, AP’s stance on the matter through the NOS’s statement could prove a body blow to the infant party.
It has been revealed that a recent decree for expression of interest unearthed just 15 parliamentary hopefuls out of the 57 available seats in parliament, while 40 aspirants out of the 490 seats available for councillors have expressed interest thus far.