TONOTA: President Ian Khama has warned the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) diehards at the just ended 37th elective congress to be wary of their choice ahead of the party’s impending Bulela Ditswe primaries often dogged by controversy.
As aptly captured by Peter Siele’s report, which evaluated the 2013 primary elections season, “many of the problems identified cost the party dearly when disgruntled aspirants ran as independents or even destabilised the party from within by backing the opposition”.
Khama was elated that a significant number of changes have been undertaken to rectify the various deficiencies so as to run a smooth operation this time around.
Learning from previous experience, the BDP has introduced re-registration of all party members, which has helped clean up a “contaminated membership database, which was the source of our difficulties”. In 2013, some of the party candidates were disqualified from contesting whilst some party employees faced the wrath of the party when a syndicate meddling with the party database was uncovered.
“I am confident that going forward, efficient systems will be in place to deliver an outcome that will produce candidates of the calibre that will return a harvest of more wards and constituencies,” Khama said. He challenged all those involved in any aspect of Bulela Ditswe to demonstrate the highest
It was Khama’s wish for the democrats to stick to the party’s code of conduct, which emphasise that both losing and winning candidates in the primaries including their supporters must come together and demonstrate commitment, loyalty and support to the party.
Buoyed by his party’s record of winning the past 11 consecutive elections in an open multi party democracy, Khama encouraged members to continue doing the right things to maintain the momentum.
He however, warned the BDP that the confidence that they enjoy from the voters must never be taken for granted.
“We should never be found wanting in articulating our policies as a party and in our government delivering services and programmes to the nation. We must never falter because this will simply create an opening for a clueless opposition.”
His strong message to the party was never to take anything for granted and become complacent because anything can happen in the political space that could change the fortunes for better or worse.