- Communications committee member Khwarae-Mhuriro currently leading the race - New NYEC could seal Molefhi’s fate for party chairmanship bid

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) youth will on the 5th of August 2022 head to Bobonong for their elective Congress. The BDP youth will be voting into office a new National Executive Committee (BDP-NYEC) which will take them to the 2024 general election.

This comes after the BDP decided to renew its structures ahead of the National elective Congress slated for the end of August in Tsabong. The BDP Constitution states that every two years elections are held to renew structures.

The previous Youth Wing elective congress was held in Rakops in 2020, which saw Karabo Gomotsegang's lobby list only managing to get two positions -Chairman and Treasurer.

The other camp that was led by Councillor Collen Mochothi won the remaining positions. Close sources indicate that since then, a lot has happened at the party and specifically to the youth. The Mochothi lobby has since split into two with others going with incumbent NYEC Vice Chairperson Tony Sebabi and others with incumbent NYEC General Secretary also former specially-nominated Councillor Otsile Machona.

The split comes at a time when Mochotlhi who was also secretary for South East Region declared that he would not be contesting for any position in the party. He has indicated that he might also not seek re-election as a Councillor.

President Mokgweetsi Masisi last year suspended Mochotlhi and other councillors who were all later discharged and acquitted of all the charges.

The split is said to be influenced by disagreements in relation to Central Committee elections. Both Sebabi and Machona have already issued their lobby lists. The Gomotsegang team has also experienced a split. Maun-based entrepreneur Tinah Tametu who is little known among BDP members besides that he was contesting for the NYEC Vice Chairperson position at the Rakops elective congress has established his own camp.

His campaign is said to be primarily made up of youth who have since fallen out with incumbent NYEC Chairperson Karabo Gomotsegang.

While all the teams have been playing their cards close to their chests, it is alleged that some are sympathetic to former Minister Nonofo Molefhi.

Those sympathetic to Molefhi are said to be reluctant to come out openly for fear of vicitimisation that they would not be rallying behind incumbent party chairman Slumber Tsogwane.

A late entrant in the race for NYEC Chairmanship, also strong with a likelihood of a win in Bobonong is Kabelo Masvingo Kgwarae-Mhuriro. Kgwarae-Mhuriro who is also a member of the Communications and International Relations Committee is viewed as the preferred candidate for the

Chairmanship to match opposition youth leagues in defending the party and pushing the youth agenda.

He is also a close associate of the current NYEC leader Gomotsegang and was part of Gomotsegang’s campaign team ahead of the Rakops Youth Wing Elective Congress.

The outspoken Kwarae-Mhuriro who is yet to reveal his lobby was once suspended from the BDP by former President Ian Khama only to be saved by Masisi who reinstated him into the party early last year. Masisi would, later on, appoint him as a member of the influential Communications committee, which is believed to have also played a hand in giving him a lead among his colleagues.

Sources have also revealed that having the youth congress held in his backyard in Bobonong where he participated in a robust campaign for BDP 2019 Parliamentary candidate Francisco Kgoboko, will also give other contestants a run for their money.

His entrance into the race was a shocker to many as currently, he serves in the Communications and International Relations Subcommittee directly appointed by the party President.

Little is known about his lobby list; however, word has been that there is a likelihood that Tametu and Kwarae-Mhuriro merge teams as they were recently seen together in what seems to have been a discussion on cooperation in Kang during a regional Congress.

Word doing rounds is that some members of Tametu’s team have been pushing him to settle for the General Secretary position under Kgwarae-Mhuriro.

This in itself is likely to see some members appearing in both lobby lists. Gomotsegang is said to have indicated that he would not be seeking re-election as youth chairperson. Gomotsegang could not be drawn into discussing the matter as a result of back-to-back meetings.