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More divisions as BDP congress draws nearer

CHAKALISA DUBE
FRANCISTOWN: Some Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) members in Francistown South who are affiliated to Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi over the weekend refused to heed calls to postpone the branch regional congress.

The call to postpone the elections was made by the Francistown regional committee leadership early last week.

The branch congress was held last weekend to elect delegates who will head to the party’s elective congress in Tonota in July. Francistown South branch chairperson, Ford Moiteela backed the postponement although he declined to comment when contacted by Mmegi.

The elective congress will see Masisi and Cabinet Minister, Nonofo Molefhi slugging it out for the coveted position of chairperson. 

The regional leadership had recommended that the branch congress should be halted because some of the delegates who were to attend the congress were said to not have been constitutionally endorsed by their wards and cells.   “We have received complaints from Phillip Matante East, Tshwaragano and Ipopeng that the constitition was not adhered to (with regards to selecting delegates for the congress),” reads the letter calling for the indefinite suspension of the ward congress.

“Due to the above, in its sittings of the 16th June 2017 the regional committee resolved that the branch congress be postponed until further notice,” reads the letter. 

The region also said that it will conduct the elections to ensure fairness and transparency.

It is said that some members of the Francistown South branch committee, led by secretary Modiri Lucas, decided to go on with the elections because they ‘read

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malice’ from the regional committee.

Masisi’s team reportedly felt that most members of the regional committee are associated to Molefhi. It has been widely speculated that the vice president’s team was of the view that Molefhi’s team wanted to postpone the elections in order to manipulate the elections in their favour. “To the best of my knowledge everything was done according to the constitution in relation to our congress,” Lucas said.

Yesterday the chairperson of the BDP Francistown region Baemedi Medupi said that stern action will be taken against Lucas and his team.

“It is a clear act of insubordination. They will be held accountable for their actions.

“We wrote to the Francistown East branch committee demanding that the elections be halted due to complaints from some members (at the branch. The committee adhered to our request because they respect protocol and the culture of the party). I wonder why the Francistown South branch did not do the same,” he said.

Medupi also denied that the regional leadership wanted to organise new elections in order to manipulate processes so that Molefhi could gain advantage ahead of the Tonota congress.

“We do everything in line with the party constitution. If someone questions our actions he or she can go to the central committee to seek remedial action,” he said.



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