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Retreat likely to revitalise BDP – Analyst

The recent Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) retreat is likely to revive the party which was slowly losing popularity amongst its members with swelling levels of disgruntlement.

The event came hardly after some party stalwarts volunteered to help in order to have momentum and revive the elusive spirit of unity amongst the BDP members especially the backbench and the Executive.

Recently, some disgruntled Ministers threatened to quit the President Mokgweetsi Masisi-led Cabinet, something that presented the party in bad light.

The relationship between the backbench and Cabinet was also not impressive in the public eye and the backbench also hit hard against the former in their business interactions.

The retreat held last Saturday addressed the significance of the Executives and their interactions, Executive implementation of the BDP manifesto with the support of the backbench, collective responsibility; the roles of party caucus and maintaining information confidentiality by the Executive and backbench.

Key speakers at the retreat were some of the former Cabinet ministers who understand the roots of the party as some of them had once led BDP factions. The speakers included David Magang, Neo Moroka, Daniel Kwelagobe, Jacob Nkate, Shaw Kgathi and Kavis Kario.

Meanwhile, independent political analyst and former University of Botswana lecturer, professor Zibani Maundeni said when the party is in power, it has two things. These are the office and the ground and that means the office consists of Members of Parliament and Cabinet Ministers while the ground comprises the central committee and lower structures.

“All these two things need to be taken care of because if they are not well monitored, if one of them could collapse, it automatically affects the other. That is why it is important for the ruling party to keep on checking if these two structures are working efficiently,” Maundeni said in an interview this week. 

“The retreat was about the BDP in office

and how they should treat one another and also iron out issues amongst the party leadership. It will even help those on the ground because their leaders will now relay messages to them. I believe the retreat will make the party functional and they should continue work-shopping the leadership of the party even up to regional level as that would help them revive any structure that had collapsed. It will help to minimise the differences.”

In addition, Maundeni said it is important that the party works with old members because they know how to handle and solve internal party matters with the party culture.

He said the BDP must have a strategy on how it was going to handle both the new and the old members, so that the loyal ones do not feel sidelined by the party leadership.

“This is the critical time that the party needs to recruit and retain loyal members.

The political landscape keeps on changing every two years of national elections and the BDP should not become comfortable. It is clear that some Batswana are not happy with the way COVID-19 issues were handled by the government.

These are some of the issues that are dividing some of the party members,” he said.  “It would seem that what was discussed has not fallen on barren ground as results are visible.

The BDP has called on party structures to be active in holding meetings and workshops in their respective regions and branches.

Still on the matter, in a memo written to party structures by party chairperson and Vice President, Slumber Tsogwane he advised party structures to be active in holding meetings and workshops in their respective regions and branches.”


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