Aftermath Of BDP’s Northwest Congress Exposes Divisions

Date:

  • Former Chairman and losing candidate engage in public spat
  • Tebogo Boalotswe maintains congress was marred with irregularities
  • Blames Mbulawa, SG Kario for fronting Sango
  • Mbulawa says Boalotswe is immature, indisciplined and lacks knowledge of party constitution
  • Justifies Kario’s guest speaker role while a delegate
  • ‘I have the right to support whoever I want to support’ – Mbulawa

The Botswana Democratic Party’s (BDP) North West region’s congress convened finally this past weekend and duly elected a new committee, but in its trail remains a clear indication of deep animosity and divisions at the centre of which is the losing candidate for the Chairmanship Tebogo Boalotswe and former regional Chairperson Reaboka Mbulawa.

Moatlhodi Judge Sango was elected Chairman and his lobby team also voted in as the duly elected regional executive committee. However, their victory remains clouded with controversy – the bone of contention being the alleged irregularities and failure to follow the party constitution in the conduct of the congress and underhand tactics.

Moatlhodi Judge Sango secured 98 votes, while his rival, Tebogo Boalotswe, received 72 votes.

The first sign that there were simmering tensions was the postponement of the congress from its initial date, while other regions across the country went ahead with their congresses. The other team was quoted anonymous in some sections saying their counterparts had sensed loss and requested for postponement.

The congress has however exposed a seemingly long standing tension between some members of the party in the region. Also fingered in these whole fracas is BDP party secretary general Kavis Kario.

Following his bruising loss, Boalotswe took to the media and catalogued a litany of irregularities in the manner in which the congress was conducted, to illegitimate delegates that cost him a win.

“I did not stand against Sango alone, but against Mbulawa and SG Kario,” Boalotswe told the media, suggesting the duo of Mbulawa and Kario had fronted Sango for the region chairmanship position for their personal interests.

Mbulawa is also a parliamentary aspirant for the Maun East constituency in the party’s primaries.

Boalotswe further alleges underhand tactics – questioning the legality of having party SG as a guest speaker while he is conflicted as a delegate from Ngami where he is also allegedly eyeing the constituency.

Further, Boalotswe also said a leaked letter from Sango of March 21, indicated that he had resigned as branch chairman of Maun East – but had conducted himself as the incumbent at the congress.

Boalotswe further took swipe at the conveners of the congress for allowing the Maun East branch to be part of the congress while it had not met the requirements for a branch to attend.

Mbulawa hit back – blaming immaturity, indiscipline and ignorance of the party constitution for Boalotswe utterances. He said as a member of the BDP in the region he was free to support any candidate of his choice, as was the case with his support for Sango.

Mbulawa’s scathing attack on Boalotswe also suggested that the latter was ill disciplined for having taken internal congress matters to the media in the manner that he did, further saying the act called for disciplinary action. Mbulawa  defended the decision to have SG Kario delivering the key note address while he was a delegate who also had a vote.

“The SG form part of the delegates from Ngami and that makes him legitimate in the congress proceedings. He was the only elder of the party at the congress therefore he was fit to take the guest speaker role,” expressed Mbulawa.

On Sango’s resignation letter, Mbulawa alleges that it was not approved by the Central Committee, making it invalid.

Meanwhile some BDP members have also asserted anonymously that Mbulawa’s decision to support Sango was to ensure that his influence on party matters in the region is sustained.

Meanwhile Sango’s committee members are Dineo Naga as deputy chairman with 105 votes against Chimney Mukulwani’s 62 votes.

Gontse Lubinda secured the secretary position with 100 votes against 69 votes for Galefele Maoke, while for the deputy secretary saw Bashi Makeva secure 106 votes against 57 votes of Ikopanyeng Gabela.

Meanwhile, Omphile Medupi clinched the treasurer role with 103 votes against Irene Elias who got 65 votes. Lastly, Nna Maeze scooped the deputy treasure with 103 votes against Letshwanetse Balemoge who got 59 votes.

The BDP North West regional congress also unanimously endorsed President Mokgweetsi Masisi as the BDP presidential candidate to lead the party to the 2024 general elections. Efforts to solicit comments from both Sango and Kario have been futile. Kario has not responded to this publication’s queries since the congress, while Sango indicated that the party leadership is best suited to respond.

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