The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) congress in Mmadinare is expected to usher in a new leadership. Party President Lt gen Ian Kham called for a united BDP and encouraged selflessness if the party is to continue building on its solid foundation. As a prelude to the congress the BDP held its National Council to look into other issues such as the Peter Siele Commission which probed the Primary Elections. Captured pictured is of the outgoing central committee.
The ongoing Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Mmadinare Congress is being dominated by party and constitutional reforms, as the party seeks to reclaim its glory following the challenges realized in the 2014 general elections.
The Mmadinare Congress has turned out to be a watershed moment for the party to discuss reforms that will ensure that the party remains in power avoids another humiliation at the next polls.
Former BDP Executive Secretary Botsalo Ntuane and Member of Parliament for Tati West Biggie Butale have been instrumental in selling the reform agenda for discussion at the ongoing party congress.
Democrats also agree on the need to relook into the party primary elections popularly known as “Bulela Ditswe” which created a rift between contestants in 2013 leading to significant number of candidates contesting elections as independent candidates.
The BDP primary elections conundrum led to the party appointing a task team led by former cabinet minister Peter Siele, after the general elections to look into the troublesome inner party elections. The findings have already been shared with the BDP central committee and the recommendations are being discussed at the ongoing congress.
BDP primary elections were introduced ahead of the 2004 general elections in the aftermath of the increase in the number of constituencies. This saw the party doing away with the committee of 18, which was initial the organ responsible for choosing a candidate who would contest a particular constituency.
A number of significant leading BDP members including Assistant Minister of Agriculture Fidelis Molao believe reforms will be necessary to resurrect the party and ensure that it win the next elections.
Molao cited the post 1994 general elections in which BDP managed to re-invent itself through reforms after it was given a hiding by opposition Botswana National Front (BNF) at the polls. The general expectation was that BDP will lose the 1999 elections, but incisive reforms such as electoral reforms and introduction of presidential term limits offered the party a lifeline.
Ntuane wants BDP to introduce a hybrid electoral system which will see the BDP adopting a mixture of First-Past-the-Post and proportional representation in its electoral system.
Speaking to this publication ahead of the congress Ntuane said some of the ideas are a work in progress and could not say with certainty that congress would adopt them. “For that to happen one must have the support of their branch, region and of course lobby others across the country,” said Ntuane.
In terms of lobbying Ntuane has received support and as the chairman of the Gaborone Region, the most influential in the affairs of BDP, Ntuane could hope for the better. But he was still doubtful if all his proposed reforms will be adopted by the congress. “It is the congress that must adopt whatever ideas or proposals tabled,” said the former Gaborone Bonnington South MP. “So I cannot with any certainty say the reform agenda will be discussed.”
In the past recent years, a debate of reforms has been ‘banned’ inside the BDP and was part of the 2009 Kanye Congress in which the party returned divided. However the Mmadinare Congress does not have the hall mark of the Kanye Congress since the party is not divided by factionalism like it was the case in 2009.
This week’s Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee (CC) meeting held at State House chaired by Party President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi, turned into a ‘boardroom brawl’ with Masisi expressing concerns and accusing central committee members of not adequately shielding him from opposition missiles.
The meeting which was held on Monday this week was to deliberate on a number of agenda items but the President took the moment to tongue lash his inner circle to stop silly PR blunders that are causing more harm than good. The reprimand was mostly directed to party Secretary General Mpho Balopi as well as Chairman of Communications and International Relations sub-committee, Kagelelo Banks Kentse.
It took the intervention of the Permanent Secretary to the President, Elias Magosi to arrest a dispute between the warring Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), by instructing the former to hand over the unfinished P100 billion docket to the latter.
But the PSP’s efforts are not enough, the two institutions are back in the boxing ring again following a letter from the DPP inviting the DCEC back into a case they long declared as “hogwash”. A savingram dated 18th January 2021 from the DPP to the DCEC is calling on the DCEC to assist with further evidence in the P100 billion case, but the DCEC which has never hidden its indifference posits that the move by the DPP can be summed up by the expressions: ‘opening healing wounds’.
A fed-up Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) Director General, Tymon Katlholo has come out guns blazing over an order from the Director of the Directorate of Public
Prosecutions (DPP), Stephen Tiroyakgosi instructing the DCEC, to solicit a statement from the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, and ruling party Member of Parliament for Mochudi East, Mabuse Pule, regarding the role he played in the issuance of Whelheminah Maswabi’s intelligence operations passport.