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30 BDP Councillors face suspension

Publishing Date : 11 March, 2019

Author : ALFRED MASOKOLA

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has swiftly moved to take action against dissenting members of the party who attended the infamous Serowe meeting, with 28 members comprising mostly of councillors facing suspension and possible expulsion from the party.


Serowe West Brach Chairman, Steady Sethaba has written to the Secretary General and the party Disciplinary Committee indicating that the infamous meeting was held in contravention of the party constitution and plead with the party to take disciplinary action against those who attended the meeting. However, in an evident politically orchestrated move, President Lt Gen Ian Khama, who attended and addressed the meeting has been left out of the names of those who were reported for misconducted.


The same applies to former cabinet minister and party Presidential candidate Pelonomi Venson Moitoi, who also attended and addressed the meeting. Leading the list of those facing suspension is the maverick Tati East Member of Parliament Guma Moyo, who has declared his support for Pelonom Venson-Moitoi in the party’s presidential race. Guma has another complaint against him lodged this week before the Disciplinary Committee (DC) Vice President and party Chairman Slumber Tsogwane.  


Guma has declared his candidature for secretary general position, where he was expected to slug it out with Mpho Balopi for the position at July Congress. Another Central Committee aspirant, Roseline Panzirah-Matshome also faces suspension from the party after attending the Serowe meeting. Other notable names include former Member of Parliament for Serowe North, Ramadeluka Seretse as well as long-time Central District Council chairman, Lesego Raditanka.


In the letter dated 01 March 2019, Sethaba wants action to be taken against the 28 members who were among those who attended the Serowe meeting, arguing that the meeting was not called by an established organ of the party therefore in illegitimate as per Article 43.5 of the party constitution.Sethaba also contended that the meeting was mala fide [In bad faith] in that it purported to review the legitimacy and process of the Central Region congress when in fact the correct procedure for redress is to appeal to the Central Committee, National Council or Disciplinary Committee as the case may be.


He argued that in so doing the members involved have contravened article 13:4-6 of the party constitution. “The party members who participated in this meeting also contrived article 4.1 and 2 of the party constitution read with the general conde of conduct, clauses 5,6,7 , 11 and are therefore liable to disciplinary action,” wrote Sethaba. “Of late there has been an emergence of unruly behaviour by some members of the Serowe constituencies which necessitates for appropriate remedial action before it gets out of control. We therefore appeal to you for prompt action against these members.”


Disciplinary action against the 28 members would result in change of complexion in the party presidential race billed for 5th of April in Kang. The disciplinary committee usually consist of the preliminary 60 days suspension from the party, pending investigation. If the 60 days suspension is imposed, a large section of Venson-Moitoi’s supporters will be disenfranchised.


Venson-Moitoi is yet to get an endorsement from the BDP regions, while her rival President Mokgweetsi Masisi has been successfully nominated the regions that have held their congresses so far. The constitution however provides that an aspirant may be endorsed by 50 delegates not less than twenty-four hours before commencement of the congress. The 50 delegates shall indicate in writing their support for the presidential candidate.

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