An aspirant for the Botswana Congress Party Youth League (BCPYL) presidency has earned the wrath of members for promoting cooperation with the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).
Tate Moalosi has been labelled a mole for postings on Facebook expressing support for cooperation with the UDC. Detractors have declared him a UDC sympathiser and vowed to vote for his opponent Macdonald Rakgare, the frontrunner in the race.
“Owai ga e kake wa go bona boss ke lona ba lorumilweng gore leye go thakathanya party ya rona tsamaya ka kgotso ko UDC ntata,” commented one party member, adding in English that “Moalosi has been sent to cause misunderstanding within the party and therefore he should just join UDC”.
Another commenter accused Moalosi of campaigning for the party’s youth presidency, while harbouring plans to defect to the UDC. “Ware o batla presidency jwa BCP, ntswa o batla go ya UDC? Why o sa tsamae, o tla fitlha o ko jwa kwa UDC youth league!”
In his posting, Moalosi said that:
“As an aspiring leader, I feel it is important to let you know my position on the burning issue of the UDC. I believe that at the Phikwe Congress the BCP agreed that they should engage with other opposition parties after the elections.
I am therefore inclined to urge my party to initiate opposition talks the way we had initiated the first talks so as to fulfil the Congress resolution.”
He said using the results of the 2014 general elections, the BCP – under opposition cooperation – could claim 37 percent of constituencies including Chobe, Maun East, Tati East, Francistown East, Nata-Gweta and others.
“This can only be in our favour as we competed strongly in most of them,” he said.
Meanwhile, the BCP’s presidential spokesperson, Letsweletse Martin Dingake has urged party members to allow Moalosi to express his views. “The level of intolerance displayed herein to engage Cde Moalosi on the issues he raises cannot be good for internal party democracy,” said Dingake.
“We may not like his views but to shoot him and his ideas is to stifle dissent and debate. I cannot imagine, in the history of any organisation, a political one for that matter, anything abhorrent as such.”
He said in the history of the BCP he knows, this is unprecedented.
Dingake, whose defence of Moalosi also earned sharp criticism from other members, said former party leader, Gilson Saleshando had been allowed the space to oppose cooperation in 2005. “No one bashed him. At the time, he was running for the presidency of the party.
He won the elections and was defeated on the question of cooperation. He led the party into a by-election for Cde Otsweletse Moupo. “In fact he launched him. In the history of the party I have never seen such high level display of discipline and organisational coherence like then, one, which I hope to prevail again,” Dingake said.
BCP members will have the opportunity to thrash out the issue of cooperation at their elective congress to be held in July.
BCP spokesperson Taolo Lucas has said an agenda is yet to be agreed on for the congress but the issue of cooperation is likely be on the table. “Our elective congress will be held in July. I hope the matter will be discussed there,” he said.