BDP to ponder re-admission of mekoko

BDP delegates at the 36th National Congress. PIC: KEOAGILE BONANG
BDP delegates at the 36th National Congress. PIC: KEOAGILE BONANG

As the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) meets at Limkokwing University tomorrow, party leaders will ponder over the issue of admission of former members who contested as independent candidates last October.

According to some delegates, topping the agenda is the issue of resolution of accepting independent candidates (mekoko) back into the party.  Also on the agenda are team-building, campaigns on positions of central committee, party performance, how electoral campaigns are done in the party at general elections and by-elections, and the running of the BDP at Tsholetsa House. 

The regions have proposed that those who contested as independent candidates be re-admitted back into the party.  Last year former party secretary general, Mpho Balopi told legislators and the BDP council that the central committee had taken a decision never to re-admit independent candidates, especially those who were defeated during primary elections.

“Most of the regions feel that they lost some council wards because of the influence of independent candidates. They feel that the party should make peace with disgruntled members than to shut the door in their faces. We need each and every member to win. The party cannot be arrogant to its members,” said one delegate.

Another delegate said the regions also complained about negative campaigns for party positions during the elective congress. They said the regions are of the view that money should not be used to influence delegates at party congresses since it kills inner-party democracy.

“Regions believe that some candidates win party positions though not fit to lead because they have cash power. The regions made a proposal that BDP should go back to its roots,” said the delegate. He added that they also complained that the party is not run well, since the central committee does not communicate certain decisions to its members or relevant structures.

“They believe that some of the decisions taken by the central committee end up affecting the party badly and make members fail to defend the party.”

He said party structures are concerned about poor performance of the party in the elections. This is compounded by campaign methods that are not communicated well to members, said the delegate.

BDP chairperson of communication, Thapelo Pabalinga said that the media must wait for Sunday to be briefed on what was discussed at the meeting.

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