Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) for Mokgopetsane Ward in Molepolole, Michael Bagopi has resigned from the ruling party and joined the Botswana National Front (BNF).
On Friday Bagopi submitted a resignation letter before Kweneng District full council meeting and announced that he was joining the Umbrella for Democratic Change under Botswana National Front (BNF) banner.
Bagopi, from Molepolole South Constituency joined the BDP in 1998 at the age of 20 but only became a councilor in 2009.
He lost BDP primary elections recently with a margin of 53 votes, after garnering 253 votes while his competitor Keamogetse Keikanne who was his campaign manager for 2014 general elections beat him with 310 votes.
Responding to allegations that some BDP leaders had tried to stop his defection to the opposition by bribing him, he said that he had talked to some party leaders through the phone but he has avoided meetings they had requested for.
“There is no other offer I can accept other than a chance to represent the people. Although I had no intention to run for office in 2019 general elections, different party leaders have approached me to join them and I have decided to go to BNF,” he said and went to reveal that he took that decision despite a pending appointment with Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi.
In an interview with The Voice, Bagopi said BDP leaders who wouldn’t address his complaints about the unfairness of the primary elections pushed him out of the ruling party.
“There is no resolution to my issue, in Mmadinare constituency voters were allowed to vote without their membership cards, they only had to produce their Omang card, so I couldn’t understand why voters in my constituency was never afforded the same courtesy,” he said.
Bagopi further revealed that there were over 1000 voters on the roll during the elections at his constituency, but only half of them managed to vote as the other half of electorates were turned back for not having their BDP party membership cards.
“I can see I’m not needed here, so let me go where I am wanted,” he said dejectedly.
Although he could not reveal the names of those he was accusing of sabotage, he pointed a finger at the BDP leadership in general, saying that they intentionally left their membership cards at home on the election day so they would abstain from voting, subsequently costing him the elections.
The Voice has learned that it took time for the Vice Council Chairperson Tshepo Wareus to present the letter before the councilors and only presented it after some opposition councilors kept on questioning about the issue.
It is alleged that she still had to inform the Vice President Masisi through a phone call and it was unfortunate that Masisi allegedly responded after she had already presented the letter, requesting an appointment with the disgruntled Bagopi.
As things stand, Kweneng District Council will have 59 BDP councilors while the UDC stands at 23 councilors including the newly defected Bagopi.