- Minutes are not a true reflection of what is discussed in meetings - Outstanding matters not addressed - Central committee not competent to deliver credible elections - Those are unfounded claims - Hunyepa
Botswana National Front (BNF) leadership has been accused of doctoring Minutes of the various party central committee meetings.
BNF has for long been riddled with internal fights within the central committee, with members torn between party leader Advocate Duma Boko and others rallying behind his deputy Dr. Prince Dibeela. The party has however always downplayed these tensions through a public relations exercise designed to present a united central committee.
It has now been revealed that things are not done accordingly in the party leadership as Dr. Dibeela and two other central committee members; Secretary for Political Education, Shaun Nthaile and Peter Powell - the secretary for Economic Affairs, have accused the party of doctoring the Minutes and not reflecting what is discussed. According to the trio it has become clear that the Minutes are not a true reflection of their meetings.
“The Minutes of the various meetings of the central committee are written in a way that is doctored to wean out certain issues. Just to cite one example, at the Mahalapye central committee meeting, members challenged Duma Boko for unilaterally appointing two members to the central committee without consultation with the Vice President and other members of the executive.
“This is anathema in a progressive organisation and the timing of such an appointment is suspect two months before the elective congress,” reads the letter.
They further explained that members have argued strongly that because the president after the last congress appointed three people, as required by the constitution, any appointments now amounted to co-option, which has to be done by the central committee and not one individual.
They argue that effectively Boko has single-handedly appointed five people during the lifespan of the current central committee.
“In the last few months, the party has had elections for the Women’s League and the Youth League both of which were fraught with irregularities. The women’s congress was held at the end of March, and immediately thereafter there was a protest lodged against the elections.
“The general-secretary has until recently conveniently kept the letter of protest and the so-called winner of the elections has been allowed to attend central committee, thus legitimising her incumbency. The norm is that when there is protest it gets attended to before anyone is recognised as the winner,” the letter says.
The trio stated that however, because this was the preferred candidate, who in any case campaigned as Boko’s person, she is allowed to attend central committee meetings. They also raised complaint against the involvement of BNF staff for being conflicted in the preparations of the elective congress.
Their involvement is feared will have the potential of the party not having free and fair elections. The staff members are accused of openly participating in party forums, bullying members to support Boko, and disparaging anyone who supports different candidates. “These are the people that are entrusted with managing our data base,” the trio said.
It is their contention that the BNF central committee is not fit and competent to deliver a free and fair elective congress because the current central committee has mutated into a pro-Boko faction. The central committee is accused of believing that only Boko and his lackeys, are able to speak at regional congresses. BNF Information and Publicity Secretary Justin Hunyepa dismissed the claims in the letter arguing that the Minutes always capture what is discussed. He stated that this is why in every meeting the Minutes are sent to members before the meeting and at commencement of the next meeting they are adopted.
He said there has not been any query in that regard. He said their fellow members are only trying to portray a negative picture of the party and its leadership.