Mbulawa, Markus in limbo

Francinah Baaitse

“They may be included, or they may not” Kentse

The ruling Botswana Democratic Party’s (BDP) Parliamentary hopefuls in Maun East constituency have been left in limbo by the party.

The trio of business man Reaboka Mbulawa, former Cabinet Minsiter Konstatino Markus and Chris Bethis were conspicuously missing when the party announced approved Bulela-Ditswe for all the 61 constituencies.

In the press release yesterday, the party only stated that consultation process for Parliamentary candidates is underway, and assured Democrats that they’ll be informed as soon as it’s complete.

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This anomaly has led many people to believe that the trio has been barred from standing particularly as all ward candidates have been announced.

The BDP Communications office has however refuted the claims, insisting that no one has been vetted out, as the Central Committee is still to decide on suitable candidates.

“For Maun East there is consultation going on that may include those who have already applied or they may not be included,” said the party’s Communications and International Relations Committee chairperson, Kagelelo Banks Kentse.

The BDP Spokesperson told The Voice Online that the Central Committee is applying itself around the issue.

“The bottom line is there’s no way we’re not fielding a candidate. We just want to complete the consultation process and then the decision will be made,” Kentse said.

Asked why they could not conclude Maun East issues before releasing the primary elections candidates, Kentse explained that they could not be held back by one constituency out of 61, when they still have a lot to do in preparations for the general elections coming in six months time.

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“Remember we have to work on our books for the entire two weeks, create a data base, followed by verification of voter’s roll before going for primary elections. So if we wait for one constituency out of 61 I am not sure that will make business sense,” he said.


Kentse further noted his party is proud of its internal processes, “This process reflects our democratic dispensation. We are committed to ensuring a transparent and democratic process as we prepare for elections. The unveiling of these candidates underscore the party’s dedication to promoting competent and capable leadership within its ranks,” Kentse said.

Maun East has been conflicted since year 2021 after Mbulawa decamped from Maun West Branch.

His decision to contest in 2024 created friction as some sitting councilors openly supported his candidature.

This led to former MP Markus announcing his retirement from active politics due frustration.

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He however made a dramatic u-turn last year and announced his desire to try his luck again.

Tales of sabotage and mudsling politics have been a common feature in this Constituency.

Divisions are rife throughout the entire North West District so much that last month Vice President Slumber Tsogwane had to call an emergency meeting to arbitrate and preach peace among democrats.

This was after the regional congress was postponed at the last minute due to yet another conflict in the district.

BDP is to face the current sitting member of Parliament, Goretetse Kekgonegile of Botswana Congress Party (BCP).

Kekgonegile won against Markus is 2019 while Mbulawa lost to Dumelang Saleshando of the same opposition party in Maun West.

BCP then was contesting under the Umbrella For Democratic Change (UDC).

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