With Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Youth elections getting closer, there has been a concern by some youth that external forces are out to determine the outcome.
The youth are concerned that some ministers and legislators are out to influence young people on who to vote for at the congress. The constituencies are starting to hold youth congresses this week in order to vote for youth delegates.
BDP youth congress will be held on March 6, 2019 in Rakops in the Boteti constituency “Some MPs and Ministers have lobbies that they sponsor candidates. They are secretly influencing the youth on how they should vote their delegates. This is very worrisome because this election is meant for youth only,” a source said.
“The reason why some of them are doing that is because they want to control the youth committee. We want youth committee that is independent and is able to deal with youth issues without fear or favour from anyone. Again we know that the mother body congress is nearer, some of them want the new committee to come and help them to campaign for Central Committee positions.”
Another source said the reason why some legislators and ministers are influencing youth decisions is because they are the ones who are funding them to go to the congress.
“The problem is that the party has never taken action against MPs or Ministers who do
However BDP National Youth Executive Committee (NYEC) chairperson, Simon Moabi said it would be wrong if some legislators or ministers who are not youth try to influence the youth on how to choose delegates or vote. He said even if the matter has not been reported to them as the current committee, they would talk to legislators or ministers to stop the interference.
“I will have a meeting with all those who have interest in contesting for chairperson position on how they should conduct their campaigns and even to know the problems they are in encountering. Constituencies are supposed to hold their congresses to choose delegates who vote at congresses,” Moabi said. What worries Moabi is that some are campaigning using President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s name, something he said was wrong.
“It should be clear that Masisi is not taking sides on youth elections. All of them are his children and if one continues doing that, action will be taken against the member,” he said. Some of the youth who are contesting for BDP NYEC chairperson seat include Collen Mochotlhi, Thato Best Dineo and Karabo Gomotsegang.