Out of calculation that whoever it would be; our new president, our new secretary general and our new publicity secretary may misrepresent the decisions of the 7th Congress of Botswana Congress party.
BCP delegates unofficially convened several times in different groups days and sleepless nights on and between the 19th and 22nd to agree on what to do if the 7th congress is misrepresented by our leadership. This must not be viewed as indiscipline, but rather, as an alternative observation/opinion of majority of BCP delegates. It will be spread through any means of communication to give members and the nation a second opinion. We know it may be viewed as causing instability and deserving punishment, but that is not the intention of the concerned BCP 7th congress delegates.
We also calculate that this position may be de-campaigned and an action to crack the whip on those who share this view lobbied for by our newly elected leadership hiding behind the method by which this communication is spread. Therefore we decided to appoint one and only one person who will share this view through facebook and email, after which any person supporting our arguments must share this position as if he/she is that one and only appointed person. This we do as a way of insuring protection of anyone sharing our position as BCP members from victimisation by our leadership, which we have elected and mandated to represent us and never to misrepresent us.
We hope to state to our leadership and BCP comrades to discuss not how this second opinion is spread and presented but to agree and/or disagree with issues raised herein. If you agree with some, or all of our observations, please fear not, copy this to a word document, edit and own authorisation, print and present this at official party structures for the purpose of officialising the report back of what transpired at the congress. We respect very much our new leadership and will support their commitment in leading us going forward, what we will not support however, is misrepresentation of ordinary party members on the pretext that we have mandated our leadership to lead us. To fully understand this paper you are obliged to read it from the first to the last word. Our congress observations report back and recommendations are as follows;
It would be very erroneous to limit the powers of over 1,000 delegates and reduce it to mere accepting or rejecting of the president’s speech. The president’s speech is the lowest minority viewpoint since it is a 1/1,000 position. Every delegate has a personal opinion and therefore one delegate’s proposal must not be more equal than the other 1,000+ delegates’ positions. Until a proposal has been debated inside the congress floor and agreed to by majority of delegates or constituencies, or regions or commissions, it must never be expressed as a congress resolution.
To our understanding there were three commissions given different issues to discuss; 1) The president’s speech, 2) the secretary’s report and the last commission was to discuss 3) the treasurer’s report. Along with these topics, each of these commissions were to also debate and resolute on whether or not the party is to negotiate cooperation with ‘like minded political parties’.
On cooperation negotiations the three commissions came up with three different positions as follows;
The party should initiate negotiations (not to join UDC) with like minded political parties on methods of cooperation but BCP must be protected at all costs.
No negotiation. The party must focus on building itself; the people must be guided to accept that there are three different political parties contesting elections and electorates be given the right and freedom to vote the best from the three parties, BCP must be one of the three or more options.
We support the third commission resolution three) above because; it is the most democratic and the only possible way in which our leadership can fairly assume the position of every BCP member without conflict of interest. We therefore lobby BCP members to call for a special congress within the first quarter of 2016 specifically to settle this matter once and for all.
Even though we will not state it as a congress resolution; BCP members unilaterally agreed that the party or party leadership must stop the habit of not contesting elections in some parts of the country and by elections as this is negatively affecting us. It was said that going forward BCP must contest each and every election provided that it is within the boundaries of the Republic of Botswana as it was formed to do exactly that. BCP does not owe anyone or any party to the extent that our leadership keeps pleasing our opponents by not participating in multiparty democratic elections.
Members agreed that where our party leadership surrenders to our opponents by not contesting and pledging support to any such BCP opponent parties; ordinary BCP members shall freely and openly support an independent candidate (also a BCP member) and will in return also allow our leadership to express their democratic right to support our opponents against our party. We also shall not support any disciplinary action against any BCP member who openly declares support or contests as an independent candidate against opponent party candidates where our party, the BCP, is not contesting the same election, whether it is a by election or a general election.
The president’s position that he prefers our party to only contest where he (and/or our entire leadership) thinks BCP will obviously win is nothing more than his mere personal and unpopular idea. His opinion is known and respected as personal. This matter was never discussed officially by any commissions or full congress. No one at the congress agreed to the president’s personal opinion therefore it is unfair and undemocratic for him to state his unsupported statement as if it is the position of Botswana Congress Party.
That as members of Botswana Congress Party we will defend our leadership and our organisation and any rights and freedoms of every one member or not of the BCP provided he/she agrees or not with ‘The Observers Opinions’ on the principles of natural justice. Furthermore, our leadership has the right to either ignore ‘The Observers Opinions’ or respond to it openly or officially without intimidation from members and non members.
‘The Observers opinions’ must not be used to create, justify or satisfy factional interests within the BCP. It shall not be used to disrespect or attack personas nor be used as an excuse to judge each other. Kgang ke kgang
You have the right to edit the author (and contacts) of the ‘Observer’s Opinions’ to yourself if you share our observation and intend to stand by it regardless of the consequences that you may suffer as a result of defending internal and universal democracy as a member of the BCP. You also have the right to share it as you received it. Freedom of opinion and expression is when you say it as it is fearlessly and we believe our party embraces this unconditionally.
Yours in struggle
Poloko Parks Monang
Observant Comrades representative