Following a leadership forum of the BMD Youth League in Selebi-Phikwe over the weekend, its president Phenyo Segokgo said they had taken a decision to support other youthful candidates running for parliamentary and council seats in the general elections next year. At a press briefing yesterday, Segokgo said the YL has resolved to throw its weight behind Nkaigwa and Mashaba who will run under the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).
Currently the two constituencies are under the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP). Mashaba will be up against the Minister of Transport and Communications Nonofo Molefhi in Selebi-Phikwe East while Nkaigwa will have to go past Assistant Minister of Finance Keletso Rakhudu for Gaborone North."The following young people who have expressed interest should be given the support: Nkaigwa in Gaborone North and Mashaba in Selebi-Phikwe East," Segoko said. "We are of the opinion that even though party primaries are yet to be conducted, YL should throw its weight behind other young people." He stressed that capacity building workshops and leadership training courses would be given to those interested in running for council and parliamentary seats, especially young people. He called for a special fee dispensation to be given to young people who will run for elections, assaying the youth should be allowed to pay at least half of the registration fee required by respective parties. Segokgo added that the youth league had resolved to conduct a mobilisation exercise throughout the country to encourage the youth to vote in the general elections.
On other issues, Segokgo said they had resolved not to participate in this year's Annual General Assembly of the Botswana National Youth Council (BNYC) that will be in Palapye on August 30. Segokgo said as far as they were concerned, BNYC was a toothless dog that was failing to deliver the youth from their plight. Segokgo said in recent weeks, tertiary schools, including the University of Botswana (UB), had experienced strikes but BNYC never said a word on the issue. "BNYC has done nothing but be the breeding ground for the ruling BDP's future leaders," he said. "The silence by the organisation when young people are wading in absolute squalor, the book allowance saga and skyrocketing unemployment is very disheartening, to say the least." He said after being invited to attend the BNYC AGA, they were surprised to learn that they would have to pay for their transport, accommodation and meals while all other stakeholders were being taken care of by the organisation. This development was a clear indication that the organisation did not care about Botswana's young politicians, he added.