'THE EVILS OF BOKO'
- BNF President described as dishonest and hypocritical
- Said to be dictatorial, make decisions on his own
According to the Chairman of the Botswana National Front (BNF) Veteran’s League, Patrick Kgoadi, the president of the Botswana National Front (BNF), Advocate Duma Boko has done a lot of harm for opposition politics and has thus called upon him to resign from leadership positions he holds in the BNF and the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).
‘’He should resign with immediate effect for the good of the two organisations. There is turmoil in the UDC at the moment and he is to blame. He frustrated the convenors of the previous opposition cooperation talks until they left the project,” Kgoadi charged.
He added that when the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) rejoined the UDC ahead of the 2019 general elections, Boko ignored advice from the Botswana Peoples Party (BPP) and the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) both of which protested the BCP membership, as they felt the process used to readmit the party was irregular.
According to Kgoadi, when the BMD was still trying to sort itself out after the suspension of its leaders, Ndaba Gaolathe and Wynter Mmolotsi who had problems with Sidney Pilane, Advocate Boko accepted Advocate Pilane into the UDC as BMD president.
He opines: “The reason for Adv. Boko’s embrace of the BMD was to create protection for himself in the Umbrella as the new parties were not likely to challenge him for his position." The BNF veteran went further to note that the constitution which was drafted and filed by Boko and Saleshando without the participation of other stakeholders, would later bring the BPP and BMD together before the two wrote a letter to the Registrar of Societies dissociating themselves from it on the basis that the constitution was unconstitutional with respect to the terms of the existing constitution.
"Because the BCP was never registered in the UDC, it is a de facto member of the UDC but de jure, the party is not a member of the coalition. We all know that all this happened because of our president, Adv. Duma Boko’s disdain for consultation." Kgoadi is not happy about Boko’s penchant for making decisions alone. “Adv. Boko’s decision to allow the Alliance for Progressives and the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for by-elections could not have been a mandate from the BNF Central Committee because it has not met for a year.
“It could neither have been a resolution from the UDC National Executive Committee because it did not meet either. The act of pulling the AP and BPF into working with the UDC was Boko’s effort to protect himself with the new members whom he expected to be beholden to him,” observed Kgoadi.
According to Kgoadi, as far as they are concerned Boko has disqualified himself as president of both the BNF and UDC. The other reason why Boko must go, Kgoadi contends, is that nobody understands Boko’s dealings with Isaac Kgosi and former President Dr Ian Khama. Kgaodi advises the UDC and BNF not to work with former President Dr Khama because Boko himself has in the past, said that Khama must be tried and imprisoned because of his perceived criminal activities when he was president of Botswana.
His view is that the BNF president is a dishonest and hypocritical leader, saying that having publicly labeled Dr Khama a criminal and corrupt leader, it is curious that after Dr Khama’s retirement, the same Boko announced his readiness to represent Khama in court should there be a need. Kgoadi finds it further dishonest of his party president that in essence, he was passing judgement and accusing a sitting president at the time, of being a thief albeit without evidence.
"Meanwhile, the BCP publicly announced that no BCP lawyer should give Dr Khama any legal support,” remembers Kgoadi, who thus questions the integrity of Boko as compared to that of the other leaders in opposition . The veteran politician is of the view that while opposition party members accuse the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) of cheating in the last general election, it is important for them, particularly the UDC, to work on putting their house in order.
His view is that Boko is responsible for the fallout between the Botswana Federation of Public Service Unions (BOFEPUSU) and the UDC ahead of the 2019 general elections. “After the controversial and painful loss in 2019, Boko never saw the need for a post-mortem exercise to determine where the problem may have come from,” lamented the politician-cum lawyer. He is also not surprised that Boko, who professes to be a constitutional lawyer, has stated that Clause 25 of the UDC constitution, which calls for an elective congress after three years of the coalition’s registration, could be ignored willy-nilly.
"He is doing everything possible to ensure there is no elective congress for the UDC. This means that, Adv. Boko will never be challenged for the position of president. All constitutional lawyers know that a constitution is a foundational document and must be followed to the letter."
Kgaodi further claimed that Boko amassed millions of pula from donors in the name of the BNF and the UDC in the run-up to the 2019 general elections but used up the money without any of it being chanelled through the treasurers of the purported beneficiaries. Kgaodi believes that as a progressive organisation, the BNF cannot allow its president to operate outside its constitution which demands total accountability and submission.
"We do not know what deals were entered into between the party leader and those funding him," said Kgaodi, who claimed that the BNF treasurer at the time, Noah Salakae resigned from the position due to the lack of transparency around the donations. “Due to failure to by Adv. Boko to disclose, we can only speculate that the deals are not above board. This is a scenario that he is likely to repeat if he remains president of the two organisations,” stated Kgoadi. He says that calls for Boko to resign from the presidency of both the BNF and UDC have been the stand of all the progressives in the country. He agrees with those who blame Boko for the apparent disunity in the UDC which has led the AP and BCP threatening to leave the coalition. Boko, who could not be reached for comment on the matter, is said to be outside the country at the moment, but is expected to be back in time to headline this Friday's UDC star rally meant to drum up votes for Mankie Sekete in the Bophirima Ward elections billed for Saturday.