Botswana National Front (BNF) says it is ready and all set for its national elective congress which takes place during the President’s Holidays at Ba Isago University in Gaborone.
The congress will see party leader Advocate Duma Boko defending his seat against Dr. Moatlhodi Molatlhegi. Boko so far enjoys the lead in terms of support from regions as the preferred President of the BNF.
Team Bucs as Dr. Molatlhegi’s lobby is known, has raised concerns of possible vote rigging at the congress indicating that the playing ground is not level. The team has requested for an independent body to oversee the elections at the congress.
There have also been concerns with how the party office affairs are conducted with contention raised that the office is biased towards Boko’s lobby group.
The party, through its Information and Publicity Secretary Justin Hunyepa, said it would not bow to calls for establishing a parallel structure to run the elective congress.
He said the suggestion that the BNF should create a parallel structure to run BNF elections is laughable and would make a mockery of the party constitution. Hunyepa stated that the BNF Constitution provides for a National Elections Board, which is the body that oversees the elections and the party cannot have another parallel structure.
“While the BNF respects all comrades vying for the different elective positions, the party will not allow itself to be held at ransom by some of its cadres.
“It is not in the respectable tradition of the BNF to allow its members, including comrades vying for political office to be running to the media and, worse, spreading untruths and making unsubstantiated allegations about the party.
“The lie that has been peddled and rehashed many times over that there was printing of membership cards and capturing of new membership forms at the BNF offices on the night of 21st April 2022 has proven to be untrue by the Investigation Team.
“The issue of workers being at the office on that fateful night was also discussed in the presence of presidential candidate Dr. Moatlhodi Molatlhegi and this too was proven to be yet another red herring,” Hunyepa snapped.
The publicity secretary stated that the complainants had the opportunity to ask the employees all questions and answers were proffered.
The investigation revealed that workers were only printing their T-shirts which were found displayed in the same office. According to the investigation team there was no iota of evidence to suggest that the party database system had been breached on that fateful night, he added.
“It is curious why comrades are hell-bent on pursuing their wanton agenda of maligning and smearing the party with their unjustified diatribe at a time when the party is confronted with other vicious elements of the people’s project.
“We need to make this clear; the BNF has no wards nor constituency committees in Bobonong, suffice to add that it would be wrong for members to be recruited today and be expected to vote tomorrow as the party is seemingly coerced to do by comrades. If we were to take this perilous path, we will merely precipitate organisational anarchy,” he explained.
He indicated that new membership forms are submitted by Constituency secretaries and signed accordingly and that this is the party procedure.
According to Hunyepa, the inclusion of new members into the database was stopped by the Central Committee after Team Molatlhegi complained.
He said in terms of that responsive cut-off point set by the Central Committee, new members will only be re-captured into the database immediately after the congress.