The battle for Tswapong South constituency within the ruling Botswana Democratic party (BDP) has taken an interesting twist as a new entrant has emerged.

The new comer for the contest in the name of Deric Ramaano, is said to have shaken some of the candidates out of their comfort zones as the party prepares for its primary elections.

Of interest is that Ramaano is enjoying the full support of former area and cabinet member, Oreeditse Molebatsi. Ramaano is likely to go head-to-head with academic Leonard Sesa, Tswapong South Branch Chairman Kitso

Seloma, Squander Baitshepi and Ambassador Dorcas Makgato.

The four were cagey with details when asked about their candidacy. Sesa has however revealed in a recent interview with Botswana Guardian that some elders within the constituency have approached him to contest. He stated that he has not made up his mind on the matter.

Baitshepi has since withdrawn from the race. It is alleged that Seloma and Sesa are also said to be contemplating withdrawing from the race to support Ramaano. Ramaano is said to have been able to lure support also from most of the wards. The first to express support for him are BDP members from his home village of Ramokgonami which has the biggest population in the constituency.

With the new development where Molebatsi is throwing his weight behind Ramaano, sources have revealed that though Makgato was all along the favourite, some in the various structures within the constituency have changed allegiance to Ramaano.

Makgato has all along been seen as the best candidate to wrestle the constituency from Dr. Kesitegile Gobotswang of the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) as she has been seen as a hard worker.

However, a recent report made against her by Dr. Gobotswang to the Permanent Secretary to the President on allegations of campaigning for political office while still a public servant, has allegedly caused fear that this could be

used against her during the 2024 general election campaign.

It is alleged that some within the party might use that against her to be vetted out during the BDP’s Bulela Ditswe.

In the shadows of Ramaano, Molebatsi and team hope to knock out the high contender Makgato in the coming Party primaries.

News of a compromise are also doing rounds in the area. It is yet to be seen if team Makgato would agree to compromise and let Molebatsi shine in the shadows of Ramaano. Sources have however hinted that the compromise is likely to be a farfetched dream as it is evident that Makgato’s team is already hitting the ground running.

Her team is already reaching out to members of the BDP asking for support. Makgato held a football tournament in Gaborone recently where teams from Tswapong side made fixtures.

Ramaano comes as a new kid on the block, his political affiliation in terms of Tswapong South factions was unknown until recently, when this publication learned of the weight the former Minister is putting on Ramaano side.

The rivalry between Makgato and Molebatsi dates back to 2013 in the build-up to the BDP primary elections where Molebatsi accused of abuse of office in luring for votes. This was after parastatals from Makgato’s Ministry of Trade showcased their products and services at Machaneng Village. Molebatsi went on to lose the BDP primaries.

Ramaano told this publication that he has been approached by some within the constituency. He said he would however not discuss internal party issues, especially elections which is a sensitive matter. He stated in the BDP there are processes and procedures that are to be respected and followed.