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Elections divide BCP

BCP during party congress held in Francistown PIC: KEOAGILE BONANG
Members of the Botswana Congress Party (BCP)  are said to be calling for  a compromise amongst different camps vying for positions as a way of trying to bring about stability ahead of an elective conference. 

Some followers are said to have approached the BCP president, Dumelang Saleshando over the matter. Amongst others is that the elections should not be held and that the party agrees on a list of office bearers for the central committee, it has emerged.

Another thorny issue relates to reports of uncertainty on the model to be used for the virtual conference. Some are complaining that one camp is privy to the approach to be adopted at the event while others  are not aware of such, reports further say. 

The concerned members believe that the party is not ready to handle consequences that might be brought about by the elective conference though such negative circumstance might be avoided. The event is supposed to be held on July 31-August 1, 2021.

According to a source, the members’ other contention is that the party already has some pending issues to deal with at the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), where it is an affiliate and the conference will compound its problems. 

Already, two camps, one led by Daisy Bathusi and another by legislator, Taolo Lucas have intensified their campaigns on the ground thus somewhat leading to polarisation within the BCP ranks.   “There is no peace within affiliates of the UDC and both parties need to sit down and iron out their differences. Therefore, the BCP cannot afford to have so many issues at hand.  The party needs both Lucas and Bathusi in the executive positions and they can help to give it direction in times such as these,” the source said.

“We can see that other UDC affiliates; the Botswana National Front (BNF) and Botswana Peoples Party (BPP) are not cooperating well with the BCP and they want to push it out.

The party cannot handle complaints after elections. It is not clear already on how virtual elections are going to be handled and if the company that has been engaged to deal with the issue is a reputable one or not. Things need to be clear to candidates two weeks before elections.”

Another source added the reason the camps would not agree to compromise is 

because they have invested resources on the campaigns. They have equally motivated their supporters to be in elections  mood too, it is claimed.

“Compromise cannot work now because it is already late and  no candidate would like  to be dropped from the race or pave way for another at this hour.

The members are already in the mood of elections. Some camps have been touring the country campaigning for different positions. Again, neither Lucas nor Bathusi would want to buy the compromise story,” the source said.

Both Bathusi and Lucas claimed they have not been contacted on the compromise matter .

“No one has approached me on the issue and ,therefore, I cannot comment on it. Furthermore, Lucas said the matter is new to him and the party chairperson has not approached him about the issue,” Bathusi said.

However, the BCP chairperson, Motsei Rapelana confirmed that there was an issue of compromise that was raised by some concerned members and she was tasked to deal with it.

“This is a difficult issue. I had approached one camp and they refused to listen. This makes things difficult and therefore I haven’t approached another lobbylist on the matter. It will not be fair for me to talk much on the  issue because I have not approached another one. This is the issue I am not ready to discuss yet,” she stressed on Tuesday in an interview.

In another development, the BCP executive secretary, Akanyang Magama told the members that the exact details of the conduct of both conference and the central committee elections will be communicated shortly to all party members.

The members are requested to complete the nomination form as specified and return it to the party office not later than June 30, 2021.

The BCP will also be reviewing its constitution and a number of amendments may be introduced.  In terms of the constitution, the delegates to the elective conference shall be composed of central committee members, five delegates from each ward, all councillors and Members of Parliament.

Others are five delegates each from the central committee of the Women’s and Youth leagues.




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