Botswana Congress Party (BCP) wishes to distance itself from the words and interview attributed to Youth League Leader Tumiso Chilliboy Rakgare in a weekly newspaper. Below is the official position of the BCP. Members of the BCP, the UDC and Batswana are all urged to disregard the interview altogether.
Rakgare’s Personal Capacity:
as he correctly states, there is a very thin line between personal capacity and official capacity when you hold a public position such as President of the Youth League. We all hold personal positions on different matters. The difference between a smart and responsible leader and an irresponsible leader is that the former will never give a newspaper his personal views on a sensitive matter such as cooperation talks whilst still occupying a public position. The personal views more often than not, undermine the integrity of party leaders, and brings the party into disrepute. Rakgare’s personal views may have drastic implications on the mandate given to the BCP leaders by the majority of its members in Kanye and at regional consultations on opposition cooperation. Rakgare should have reasonably foreseen this possibility. We regret his error.
The BCP is engaged with UDC in finalising a memorandum of agreement that will soon be publicly announced by both parties. In principle the BCP and UDC are not opposed in by elections. Rakgare’s view on cooperation is not the position of the party and has not been mandated by the BCP to speak on cooperation. These viewpoints are discussed internally by both parties. This includes primarily the sentiment in which Rakgare is said to have said UDC leader must be popularly elected. The BCP and UDC will have their respective teams to sit in negotiation talks. We have not yet gotten to that level with the UDC. Rakgare should regret his error.
Accolades on VP Masisi:
Rakgare further showers Vice President Masisi with unprecedented accolades! We are not surprised. What surprised us is a recent invitation in which Rakgare was seen at Masisi’s residential place, State House Number 2, together with Dikgosi. In a BTV news clip, Rakgare was shown on BTV serving Dikgosi with food! Rakgare has not explained his invitation to Masisi’s house to the BCP. The BCP has also not bothered to ask him to explain why he was an usher at the Vice President’s function held for Dikgosi. Accordingly, Rakgare should regret his error in attending.
How we see Masisi:
We see Masisi as a childish leader. He is proud, conceited and has an inflated self-image and views himself as incredibly powerful, influential and smart. Masisi incessantly overstates the achievements of his government in a manner that suggests the lack of need to democratise the polity and reform its economy. Furthermore, his condescension,
The BMD and UDC have on several occasions given the latest on the progress of Gomolemo Motswaledi’s death report. The BCP position is very simple, to wait and accept what the UDC reports. This issue is not relevant to opposition cooperation talks. Motswaledi is a national hero, a father and a friend. We urge our people to desist from using Motswaledi name nonchalantly and easily while purporting to be speaking on behalf of the party. The Motswaledi family and friends need space and peace to mourn their loved one. Again, Rakgare should regret his error.
BCP is Broke:
The BCP is not interested in whether Rakgare is broke or not. That is his personal life. What disturbs the BCP is his utterances that “the BCP is broke, and that it has always been broke.’’ Rakgare is new in the BCP, having joined the party in 2013. The BCP has a reputable Treasurer who has never reported that the party is broke. We recently emerged from a Congress in Kanye where the financial report was tabled. We were satisfied with that report. Assuming that the BCP was broke, we find it irresponsible for a youth leader sitting in the party executive to make such a statement. That can only be motivated by exciting the enemy, the BDP and causing panic within our membership and the UDC. We urge again our people to disregard this statement as hogwash. Again, Rakgare should regret his error.
Rakgare has an array of options to air his views within the party. These views can be internally tested against their realism, their workability and their fairness on the BCP and its prospective partners. Our intra-party democracy is anchored on internal debate, criticism and self-criticism, mandate, collective decisions and responsibility, elected leadership; re-elected and recallable. This is our political culture, in line with our constitution; how we have taken decisions in the last 18 years.
Information and Publicity Secretary, BCP