The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) central committee has taken a decision to take stern action against members who do not act in accordance with the party constitution and code of conduct.
The party secretary general, Mpho Balopi confirmed this in an interview yesterday.
On several occasions, the BDP president, Mokgweetsi Masisi has warned members to desist from attacking party leaders publicly and to abide by the code of conduct enshrined in the party constitution.
The BDP central committee on Wednesday held a meeting that finished in the wee hours of Thursday morning.
One of the issues discussed at the meeting was indiscipline of members, which now involves a section of party elders including some Members of Parliament (MPs).
The central committee also deliberated on members who are taking the party to court and how their issues could be addressed.
“It is true the party will be taking action against members who are going against general code of conduct of the party. The party president has made it clear at the central committee meeting that he cannot lead a party that has undisciplined members.
“The members have been warned through regional meetings that the president held, but they do not want to listen.
The issue of taking action is long overdue. Of course, each party needs members for it to win elections, but an organisation that takes itself seriously cannot let people deliberately drag its name into the mud and disrespect its leaders,” Balopi said.
He said new members cannot be attracted to a party that has lot of undisciplined members as they are attracted to where there is respect of law.
Balopi said those members who are attacking the party publicly and undermining its leadership will go through laid down disciplinary processes, while for some the president will use his powers accorded him by the party constitution to take action against them.
According to the BDP constitution, all members are expected to abide by the party constitution, rules and regulations. They are not supposed to leak confidential party information nor fail to keep documents under proper control, show any disrespect towards party leadership and other members, engage in organised factional activity that goes outside the recognised norms of free debate inside the party and threatens its unity.
Again, members are not supposed to behave in a manner calculated to bring the party name into disrepute.
Those who might get axed:
Former president, Ian Khama
Masisi is having sleepless nights because of the conflict between him and his predecessor, Ian Khama. Recently, Masisi used his first State of the Nation Address to openly criticise Khama in an unprecedented move that left the nation shocked. Masisi took over from Khama on April 1, 2018 and ever since, the two leaders have not seen eye-to-eye. Their ‘war’ has been dominating headlines ever since Masisi’s inauguration nine
Axed Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi took the country by surprise when she announced on Tuesday her intentions to challenge Masisi for the presidency of the party. Masisi retaliated by sacking her from Cabinet on Wednesday afternoon. Those close to Venson-Moitoi claim that she felt betrayed when Masisi did not appoint her vice president as she was promised.
A relatively unknown Kamal Jacobs has challenged the legitimacy of Masisi as the BDP president at the High Court. Jacobs, a Bulela Ditswe loser for Lobatse constituency, says Masisi does not have the power to appoint any party committee. To give credence to his claim, Jacobs’ argument is based on Masisi not being the substantive president of the party.
Tati West MP, Biggie Butale has accused the BDP secretary general, Mpho Balopi of favouritism against him and other candidates leading to the unsavoury Bulela Ditswe election outcome. Butale who has taken the party to court has revealed in his founding affidavit that Simon Moabi, who is cited as the third respondent in the matter was a fan favourite of Balopi and was given support to topple him. The assistant Minister of Health and Wellness’ decision to take the matter to court has landed him in trouble for bringing the party’s name into disrepute.
The Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Nonofo Molefhi is also likely to challenge Masisi for the presidency of the party. It is said Molefhi might be in Cabinet, but he also feels betrayed. His sympathisers allege that his feelings are deep-rooted having lost Bulela Ditswe at Selebi-Phikwe East constituency against Amogelang Majuta who is considered Masisi’s blue-eyed boy, at the instance of the party office. Just like Venson-Moitoi, Molefhi has nothing to lose by challenging Masisi for the presidency.
Samson Guma Moyo
The Tati East MP is challenging Balopi for the secretary general position. His ambition has put him in Balopi’s wrong books and he is likely to be charged with fanning factionalism in the party.
Roseline Panzirah- Matshome
Panzirah- Matshome is a nominated councillor at South East District Council and wants to be the deputy party secretary general. A former Balopi and Masisi’s trusted ally, she now does not see eye-to-eye with the former. She is targeted because it is believed she is a central figure in the Khama faction.
Raditlhapi is a BDP foot soldier very close to Panzirah- Matshome. His ‘sin’ is his alleged support of the rival Khama faction.