The Kang special congress is proving to be divisive for the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) with factions aligned to President Mokgweetsi Masisi and challenger Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi fighting over accommodation of over 1, 500 delegates.
Speaking to Mmegi, one of Venson-Moitoi’s team leaders Foster Seretse said they believe the decision to block them from booking accommodation was taken hastily after party central committee meeting.
“We will have to find a place where we can camp because the party has not said anything about accommodation arrangements for delegates. I don’t think Kang was a suitable place for this kind of congress which will attract more members,” Seretse complained.
He said he did not understand why the central committee had to come up with Kang when they knew that two people are contesting for presidential election and do not reserve other lodges for other democrats to book accommodation.
“It does not look good. We are all democrats and now it’s like another team wanted to sabotage the other. We still need each even after the congress.”
For his part, the BDP communication chairperson Kagelelo Kentse said the reason some lodges are fully booked was to ensure that the central committee members, council of elders, diplomats, two members of each sub committees and Cabinet ministers get accommodation.
“There is no individual who had booked accommodation like what people are saying. The lodges or guesthouses are booked by the BDP. It has to be clear that there are no delegates regarded as President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s delegates. The party is looking for government schools to give accommodation for all BDP delegates. We know that Kang would not accommodate all but some will sleep outside the village. The party will provide each region with a bus that will transport members,” Kentse said.
He added that the reason the central committee chose Kang was because the Western region has not had an opportunity to hold the BDP political activity. “South east region has requested to hold national congress. Tonota had an opportunity to hold one and the manifesto launch will be in Gaborone by April 27,” he explained.
The BDP elective congress will be held in Kang on April 5.The village in the Kgalagadi District is located around 400 kilometres west of the capital Gaborone. According to the 2011 census, Kang population stood at 5,985. There are fewer accommodation facilities in the village and this has infuriated Venson-Moitoi’s group.