President Ian Khama has never faced battles to fight in professional life until now.
It could be said he has won and lost battles in his current career as a politician. However, it is evident that he will not find any victory in fighting the youth members of his party, and their love for social media, particularly Facebook.
“I have noted with great concern, over the past months a tendency by some BDP members, including youth members, who write tarnishing messages about the party.
“I strongly believe that social media can be used more positively to promote the party and its candidates,” Khama warned the youth congress held in Masunga over the weekend.
The President continued his warning to the youth wing:
“I implore all those who have made it a habit to use social media negatively to desist from doing so. Ga se maitseo, ga se botho. Tota gatwe le bana ba ga mang? Tlogelang go kwala dilo tse di funny mo Facebook,” he said.
But the warning fell on deaf ears. A group of seemingly disgruntled members have formed a closed Facebook page through which they share their grievances, experiences, and secrets about goings on in the party.
A concerned member of the group, who felt that it has gone out of the way, leaked a Facebook conversation to Mmegi in which all sorts of allegations and counter-allegations were made.
They discussed what transpired at the elective congress, and worse they even wished some party senior members painful and slow deaths.
Arrest of party member
The group laments that their party has gone too far to use the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) on its members.
This follows the arrest of a certain Jerry just before the commencement of the congress. Apparently Jerry was linked to some criminal activities including money laundering. He was a candidate for one of the positions.
The conversations also suggest that the former Minister of Defence, Justice and Security Ndelu Seretse, who is standing for the party chairmanship at a later date this year, was barred from entering the hall. Seretse denies that he was barred from entering the congress hall.
Apparently some members of the group are not happy with Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture Thapelo
The group alleges that Olopeng and the secretary general Mpho Balopi are evil and have made the party a living hell for the membership. In fact, they wish the duo dead.
Candidates for chairperson
The congress went well except that there were few complaints that were dealt with immediately. Balopi warned the members to stop attacking each other on social media.
“The members were warned that the party becomes an easy target if they attack each other openly. They were advised to follow proper party structures if they have complaints.
“There is no one who was barred from contesting because he campaigned through social media,” he said.
Boatile said there was a complaint that some party elders were campaigning for other youth candidates but the issue was dealt with amicably.
He said party elders are not allowed to be involved in youth campaigns or to influence them in anyway on their voting. However, Boatile said his committee was trying to trace the youth who was arrested while at the congress.
He said the challenge they were having was that most of the people did not know the youth member.
“Most things went well except few challenges that are bound to happen in every movement or congress. Rumours that Seretse was barred from campaigning or any member blocked from campaigning by party leaders have no basis.”
“I know Seretse was accused by some members claiming that he was campaigning for me. All what was said by those people was not true.
“He came and greeted me like any other democrat, but it was wrong for some members to claim that he was supporting my camp,” he said.
He said members were warned that they should not attack each other on Facebook but there is no party member who was denied the right to contest because he was campaigning on Facebook.
Seretse denied the allegations that he was barred from attending the congress.
He was shocked that some people were saying he was blocked from campaigning. “Talk to Balopi first then come back to me. Where did people get all these things from,” he said.