- Party leadership defends NEC's decision to join UDC - Promise to dump UDC is majority says so - Leadership threatens action against delinquents

Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) has threatened to take action against members who resort to social media platforms to castigate each other, as well as party leadership.

Among other things, the point of departure in the four-year old BPF is the decision by its leadership to join the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) outside a party congress, which is scheduled for 28th to 29 October in Tati Siding.

While one group embraces the National Executive Committee (NEC) decision, the other is against what it sees to be the height of unilateralism.

BPF spokesperson, Lawrence Ookeditse assured party members at its consultative forum at Aerodrome Primary School in Francistown this past weekend that the congress has powers to reverse or ratify what NEC has decided.

He assured the meeting that should congress decide otherwise, it can pull the party out of the UDC and even contest the 2024 general election alone.

The explanation, however did not sit well with some of the members who maintained that the party should have waited for the congress. Ookeditse assured party members that the majority will prevail at the congress.

“We may not agree with the NEC decision but please note that if the majority at the congress endorses what the leadership decided, it will happen. By the same token, if the congress wants out of the UDC, we will leave," Ookeditse said.

The issue of the congress venue has also divided the BPF with Moiseraele Goya, a Palapye native and also presidential candidate pitted against Moyo Guma. Guma comes from the North East District which hosts the village of Tati Siding.

Goya’s supporters insist the choice of the venue was done deliberately to favour Guma. This is despite the party's explanation that the venue was chosen way before anybody knew about Goya’s and Guma’s candidacy.

“Nobody knew who was going to contest for which position in the party. The decision was not made on the basis of anybody’s interests other than those of the party,” Ookeditse said when addressing the Northern region consultative gathering.

He warned those in the habit of using social media to attack others including the party leadership against the practice.

“There is relentless indiscipline by party members on social media. Our appeals to address it have not borne fruit, leaving us with no choice but to take action against the culprits because, despite our interventions, the concerned people seem to see nothing wrong with their behaviour,” said Ookeditse, who appealed to party members to report such insults to the party leadership.

Ookeditse explained that working with the UDC for the 2024 general elections will be nothing new. “Although there was no formal agreement in 2019, we worked with the UDC in the 2019 general elections.

We also have a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for by-elections which agreement has served us well thus far,” Ookeditse said, adding that some BPF members have expressed disquietude over some controversial issues within the UDC.

He added that BPF cannot agree with the sidelining of the Botswana Congress Party (BCP). He appealed to members to focus all their attention on the project of regime change.

“Let us subordinate to the regime change project. This nation is in trouble and needs us to focus on the bigger picture. Let us not be the generation of leaders who failed,” he appealed.

Ookeditse appealed to the BPF to be trustworthy partners. “Do not transfer BPF members to the wards and constituencies given to your party because that way, you will not be worthy partners.”

During the question and comments session, one Olatotse appealed to BPF members not to take sides where Dumelang Saleshando and Duma Boko are concerned in order to bring peace between the two UDC leaders who have not seen eye to eye for some time now.