The Botswana National Front (BNF) yesterday unveiled 51 defectors from the Botswana Congress Party (BCP), among them the party’s Village ward candidate in the 2014 general elections, Boitumelo Ntsima.
Ntsima and team, whom the BNF suggest could be over 100, are from the University of Botswana ranks of the BCP. They were welcomed by party leaders including spokesperson Moeti Mohwasa and Gaborone Mayor Kagiso Thutlwe. Ntsima was given a BNF membership card at the press briefing.
“My defection should be seen as a continuation of my efforts to see a united opposition unseating the moribund Botswana Democratic Party,” Ntsima said.
“I hoped to join the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) under the BCP banner but my dreams were shattered by the systematic anti-opposition unity hard-line that is being instilled in the rank and file of the movement by the powers that be.
“Of late, it has become clear to even a fool that the upcoming congress will just be another occasion to cement these anti-cooperation semantics,” he said.
The former council hopeful said it was “hard” to ignore the “unending echoing cry” of need for opposition unity.
He said his wish had been to oppose and remove the current “suppressive regime” and not to oppose another opposition party while maintaining the status quo.
“Mine is just a simple act of responding to a national dream. I bring along a committed battalion of young political minds, who also have selflessly chosen to denounce what appears to be promising political careers at the former to join the people’s revolution,” he said. In accepting the man he beat to assume the reigns as Village ward councillor, Thutlwe said he expects residents to work well with Ntsima and the other newcomers.
“Ntsima is a hard-working man and I saw him during party campaigns at last year’s elections,” he said.
“It was not an easy campaign because he was working tirelessly and I hope he will channel his energy again to this organisation. Now we are going to walk together.”
For his part, Mohwasa said the party’s recruitment drive is continuing and more members would be coming on March 7.
“These members are not only from BCP but from different parties especially the ruling party.”