Mmegi Online :: BPP purges ignite factional battles
Last Updated
Monday 11 December 2017, 21:38 pm.
BPP purges ignite factional battles

As the oldest opposition party in the country, the Botswana Peoples Party (BPP) has suspended its chairperson, Richard Gudu and a central committee member, Peter Kuchwe for their alleged errant behaviour, Mmegi Staff Writers, RYDER GABATHUSE & CHAKALISA DUBE argue that the suspensions are simply a ploy by the Motlatsi Molapise-led BPP central committee to annihilate dissenters from the leadership so that their wish of joining the Alliance for Progressives (AP) is accelerated
By Ryder Gabathuse Chakalisa Dube Fri 01 Dec 2017, 16:27 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: BPP purges ignite factional battles

FRANCISTOWN: The BPP has cracked the whip on its ‘errant’ party chairperson, Richard Gudu and a member of the central committee, Peter Kuchwe.

There is fear that the party decision to suspend the duo could backfire as the suspensions were apparently rushed without thorough considerations.

Insiders are fearful that the party’s leadership might have sparked a bitter factional war as the suspended duo feels the Motlatsi Molapise-led faction is trying hard to get rid of anyone who raises his voice against them.

The party official side of things is that Gudu and Kuchwe usurped the power to represent the party at what they call the newly composed Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), which has the Botswana Congress Party (BCP), Botswana National Front (BNF) and the new leadership of the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) after the Ndaba Gaolathe-led BMD faction morphed into a political party called the Alliance for Progressives (AP). The oldest party in the country, the BPP makes the list.

Gudu and Kuchwe’s actions earned them a recent 45-day suspension from the party activities after only them were invited to attend a UDC leadership meeting in Gaborone by the UDC president, Duma Boko without the knowledge of the BPP leadership.

Now, the BPP leadership is accusing the duo to have attended the UDC meeting behind the party leadership’s back, which they claim was unlawful and presented the duo as people who were influenced by malice.

Gudu and Kuchwe are seen as conservatives who are clinging onto the old order by insisting that the BPP should hold onto its UDC membership as opposed to the emerging call from the Molapise base, dubbed the progressives that the BPP should explore an opportunity of leaning to the newly launched AP and renege on its promise to remain in the Boko-led UDC.

For starters, Molapise has conceded in a previous interview that he and AP president Gaolathe are old political friends who will never be simply divided by political differences. True to his love for the AP, Molapise recently abandoned a UDC political meeting and went to Gaborone where he attended the historic launch of the AP.

Worse, Kuchwe’s ‘treasonable’ offence was that he was allegedly contemplating to set a condition to coup Molapise from his position. Proof or no proof, it seems Kuchwe has rubbed the BPP leadership the wrong way to the extent that he has become an undesirable element in the party. If indeed a trap was set for him, he blindly fell into it.

The BPP apparently rushed the suspensions of the duo elderly politicians with Gudu having previously been assigned to represent the party at the UDC as the BPP chairperson. It raises eyebrows that the BPP, one of the peaceful and democratic parties in this country, settled to suspend its leaders at a time when the UDC talks had resumed.

War of inclusion has been raging on in the BPP, with Gudu one of the front men fighting for the BPP to be allocated seven constituencies instead of the four currently allocated. Gudu fought alongside his principal, Molapise.

With Kuchwe, in particular after he was recently accused of planning to stage a palace coup targeting the leadership of Molapise, he has obviously been placed on the radar of the party leadership for a long time. A slight mistake he was still going to be caught up because in an endeavour to protect his presidency, Molapise would not condone people he deem wayward and bad influencers.

Kuchwe, fully knowing that he was ‘blacklisted’, should have not rubbed Molapise and his cohorts the wrong way, as all eyes have been all over him.

For a party of the BPP stature, very small in nature and a regional party based in the North East, with its fortunes ever


dwindling, factionalism is an evil that could further debilitate the party as that would leave a permanent scar on their fortunes.

For many decades, the BPP has failed to win a single constituency whilst its numbers of councillors has been reduced to one.

The Gudu/Kuchwe faction and the Molapise-led axis have a potential of blowing the remaining goodwill of the ailing BPP whose strength has been covered by the bigger picture of the UDC. Although the BPP is still an entity on its own, its strength has over the years been blown away leaving the current party as a pale shadow of the BPP of the years of yore.

Insiders have confided to Mmegi that the suspension of the duo is nothing but a process meant to ensure that the BPP joins the AP without strong opposition from other members particularly opposition from Gudu and Kuchwe.

“In the 45 days of the duo’s suspension the party will certainly join the AP because there will be no one from the party central committee strongly opposing those who are not pro-UDC,” said a party central committee member preferring anonymity. Coming on the heels of the BMD’s factional bloodbath recently in Bobonong, the BPP factional battles go a long way into further tarnishing the image of the UDC, which is equally battling for attention ahead of the 2019 general elections.

The UDC is set to face the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) that has also been raiding all the opposition parties in the country as it continues to strengthen itself. The campaign led by Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi can only be ignored at the peril of the opposition bloc under the ambit of the UDC because the ruling party has caused so much damage on some of the UDC members.

BPP secretary general, Venter Galetshabiwe is a man set to defend his party at all costs no matter what. He denies reports that the suspension of the duo is a smart way of silencing dissenters in the party leadership.

He dismisses allegations of purging opposition in the leadership as simply a perception and not reality.

“If people regularly see me in the company of a known BDP activist, the conclusion would be that I am on my way to joining the BDP. That’s wrong,” Galetshabiwe insists, philosophically defending Molapise who is a close political friend of Gaolathe.

He insists that the BPP is still a staunch member of the UDC and they were not going anywhere. He hails his party’s disciplinary code and constitution that he says "corrects wayward behaviour.

He describes Molapise’s closeness with the AP leadership as, “his personal relationship with the AP and not for the party. He is not majority, it’s the central committee which makes decisions”.

To his best knowledge, Gudu and Kuchwe never raised any grievance with the party leadership and reminded the duo that a resolution was taken by the party on November 9 producing a new list of the BPP representatives to the UDC and the duo was not included.

“Instead, behind the leadership’s back Gudu and Kuchwe attended a UDC meeting without the leadership knowledge.”

Galetshabiwe denies the existence of bitter factions in the BPP. Surprisingly, Galetshabiwe concedes that the party leadership never communicated to Gudu that he has been excluded in the list of those who represented the party in the newly composed UDC.

Even the UDC leadership did not have a newly produced list of the BPP representatives in the UDC party negotiations.

His explanation was that all the time, the BPP was aggrieved by amongst others, the unfair distribution of constituencies and that the party  has not been attending UDC strategic meetings. The chief issue with the BPP was the member of the BCP that they have been protesting.


Fri 01 Dec 2017, 18:46 pm
Fri 01 Dec 2017, 16:27 pm
Fri 01 Dec 2017, 16:22 pm
Fri 01 Dec 2017, 16:07 pm
Fri 01 Dec 2017, 16:07 pm
Fri 01 Dec 2017, 15:46 pm
Fri 01 Dec 2017, 15:46 pm
Fri 01 Dec 2017, 15:45 pm
Fri 01 Dec 2017, 14:53 pm
Tue 28 Nov 2017, 16:17 pm
Fri 24 Nov 2017, 18:06 pm
Fri 24 Nov 2017, 18:01 pm
Fri 24 Nov 2017, 17:37 pm
Fri 24 Nov 2017, 17:27 pm
Fri 17 Nov 2017, 12:23 pm
Fri 17 Nov 2017, 12:09 pm
Fri 17 Nov 2017, 11:45 am
Fri 10 Nov 2017, 15:55 pm
Fri 10 Nov 2017, 15:54 pm
Fri 10 Nov 2017, 15:48 pm
Fri 10 Nov 2017, 14:26 pm
Mon 06 Nov 2017, 17:39 pm
Fri 03 Nov 2017, 12:19 pm
Fri 03 Nov 2017, 11:45 am
Fri 03 Nov 2017, 11:45 am
Exchange Rates
FOREIGN EXCHANGE: Monday, 11 Dec 2017
1 USD = Pula   10.3413
1 GBP = Pula   13.8696
1 EUR = Pula   12.1951
1 YEN = Pula   0.0911
1 ZAR = Pula   0.7582
1 Pula = USD   0.0967
1 Pula = GBP   0.0721
1 Pula = EUR   0.082
1 Pula = YEN   10.98
1 Pula = ZAR   1.319
have a story? Send us a Tip
  • Previous
    Masa Centre
    ::: Tuesday 12 Dec - Tuesday 12 Dec :::
  • Previous
    ::: Tuesday 12 Dec - Tuesday 12 Dec :::
  • Previous
    ::: Tuesday 12 Dec - Tuesday 12 Dec :::
Ministry of Environment Natural Resources and Tourism
istanbul escort