The battle for Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) youth chairpersonship, expected to be held early next year, has heightened tensions within the BDP National Youth Executive Committee (NYEC).
Mmegi has learnt that campaigns for the position is dividing committee members, since three of its members are contesting for the same position.
This, according to a source, has prevented the committee from convening meetings. Some members within the committee have complained that the current chairperson, Simon Mavange Moabi wants to impose his favourite candidate on some members.
Moabi will not be contesting because of his age. Instead he intends to challenge the assistant Minister of Health, Biggie Butale in Bulela Ditswe in the Tati West constituency.
Already, four people who have openly shown interest to contest for the position are Collen Mochotlhi (NYEC additional member), candidate for Mogoditshane constituency Tshepang Mabaila, Vuyo Notha deputy chairperson for NYEC and Kaisara Sejoe, who is the political officer for NYEC. BDP NYEC elections are likely to be held in February.
“The committee has not yet met to finalise the month and date for the congress because of the campaigns that have already started. Everyone wants his supporters to be there when NYEC meetings are held. The meeting has failed three times and we hope we will be able to meet soon to come up with a date and a month for the congress. “The other issue is that some central committee members are already sponsoring other candidates and influencing youth divisions,” one of
Some members accused Moabi of campaigning for Mochotlhi, and the BDP secretary general, Mpho Balopi is said to be supporting Sejoe. Sejoe has served in different BDP positions for youth committees at Gaborone Central constituency, and now he is at youth executive committee.
Mabaila is backed by former president, Ian Khama’s supporters. Recently Mabaila has been recruiting youth at University of Botswana to join the BDP, especially the ones who are holding Student Representative Committee (SRC) positions.
The source said the competition is going to be stiff this time around.
However Moabi told Mmegi that, “We are going to meet before the end of the month to finalise everything about the congress. The committee has to agree about the date, month and venue. It is not true that I am imposing a certain candidate on some committee members. “I don’t understand why people would say that our committee has not been meeting. This is one of the best committees I had and we are working well. Of course, I will not be contesting but I won’t do anything that will ruin the peace that BDP is having”.
He insisted that the BDP youth would have a peaceful congress. Moabi said he is aware that in any organisation or committee, there would always be issues.