If elected the chairperson of the Botswana Democratic Party at next weekĺs Mmadinare congress, Tati West MP Biggie Butale plans to recommend and implement 100 reforms in the first 100 days.
In his manifesto passed to Mmegi, Butale assured BDP members that he had a full proof plan to turnaround fortunes of the ruling party.
“The BDP has arrived at a crossroads. A decision has to be made by the membership whether to reform the party, to re-invent the party or to leave the party as it is and hope for the best in 2019,” he writes.
While looking at long-term sustainability, the pastor-cum politician places before the BDP short term plans to turn the party around.
“Some of the reforms will take time to implement, while others can be implemented immediately. Some of the reforms are fundamental while others will help to push the party forward without necessarily being fundamental. I will start with reforms within the party and reforms that can be implemented by the party. Even though ultimately all these reforms can only be implemented with the tacit approval of the party.”
The legislator reasons that the BDP needs to introspect and to conduct an in-depth analysis of the 2014 general elections. The analysis needs to be conducted by an independent expert outside of the party. He asserts that they need to find out why the electorate rejected them in so many constituencies and also to come up with a road map on how to reverse these startling and worrying issues.
“The party needs to take steps of rapprochement with the media. The leadership needs to travel with some members of the private press on overseas travels.”
He also talks about the rapprochement with the unions and also the introduction of political party funding immediately.
Some of the reforms he intends to introduce are the introduction of indigenous languages in schools and indigenous radio and television stations. He also says the BDP government needs to set up a leadership and good governance centre of excellence that will service the country and the rest of the continent.
He is of the view that the BDP government needs to undertake comprehensive reform of the education system. He argues that everyone who has
On government reforms, he argues the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) needs re-branding. He says: “It needs a serious re-visioning; it needs a serious re-look so that it does not continue as a negative factor going into the 2019 general elections.”
Another reform he is passionate about is the need to introduce a presidential question and answer time, as well as the need to devolve power to councils and introduce executive mayors and chairpersons.
“We need to legislate laws that will force the government and parastatals companies to source materials locally, we need to ensure that 60% of all procurement should be sourced locally and this requirement should be part of the tendering process and policy in Government and Parastatals.”
On legislature, he says there is need to amend the Media Practitioners Act so that media practitioners can accept it and work towards self-regulation of the media. He also says they need to repeal the Sedition Act and also need to promulgate an Access to Information Act.
“We need to legislate a whistle blowers Act and to legislate a Declaration of Assets Act. We need to turn our state broadcaster into a public broadcaster with an independent board so that it becomes more impartial and objective,” he says.
The BDP chair aspirant says the party is at a crucial stage where bold steps and actions are needed most.
Butale’s manifesto concludes by quoting William Shakespeare: “There is a tide in the affairs of men. Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune; Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries. On such a full sea are we now afloat. And we must take the current when it serves, or lose our ventures”.