Broke, BDP goes for special congress

Despite being in the red, the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has disclosed they will hold a two-day special congress from October 9 to 10 in Gaborone.

The BDP secretary general Botsalo Ntuane admitted that the party is broke, but that the treasury has been asked to find funds to host the special congress.  The BDP had spent nearly P36 million for the October 2014 general elections campaigns and recorded a P21 million deficit.

Despite that, the party’s popular support dropped from 53.26 % in 2009 to 46.45% in the 2014 general election. The party also agreed that 2014 had been one of the most difficult financial periods for them, coupled with the most expensive campaign ever.

Ntuane disclosed that for the first time the party had 22 resolutions passed by the congress recently in Mmadinare. He said one of the resolutions was to call a special congress outside elections and discuss issues.

“This is especially to deal with other businesses that had arisen in Mmadinare and after,” said Ntuane at the press conference.

The secretary general said they would be holding the press conference every month after the Central Committee meeting. He also disclosed that the Central Committee has concluded the appeal matter filed by former ambassador to the United States of America, Tebelelo and others.  “The decision was reached yesterday [Monday]. We cannot divulge the decision now.”

Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi won the chairmanship against Seretse, former minister Dikgakgamatso Seretse, Moemedi Dijeng and Tati West MP Biggie Butale.  Masisi had garnered 582 votes against Seretse’s 219. Dijeng got 69 votes while Dikgakgamatso Seretse obtained 57 votes. MP Butale came last with 23 votes.

After the congress, Tebelelo Seretse registered a protest against Masisi’s triumph, alleging that the elections were not free and fair. Other losers except Butale signed the protest.

Ntuane also told the media that his party is to meet with Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) over the ongoing Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) employees’ strike. The strike is in its second week after members downed tools over a salary increment dispute.

“The Central Committee has instructed the Labour and Wellness sub-committee led by Minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi to initiate a meeting with BOPEU. It is part of our outreach programme,” he said.

About the looming Goodhope/Mabule constituency by-election, Ntuane said it was all systems go. He said Masisi would launch the parliamentary candidate Eric Molale on August 8 at Phitshane Molopo.

He said President Ian Khama would address a star rally on August 13 later in the afternoon after a motorcade in the constituency.

“There will also be a door-to-door campaign by the President before the star rally.”

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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