F/town-West youth protest weekend elections

FRANCISTOWN: The Francistown West youth wing of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has written to their principals complaining about the constituency leadership elections held over the weekend.

The BDP youth chairperson, Andy Boatile, confirmed receiving a letter of complaint from Francistown but would not be drawn into discussing its contents. Over 30 youth from Francistown West signed the petition letter.

In the letter, the concerned youths accuse the returning officer at the weekend constituency congress, Lemogang Molalapata, of having flouted procedures. They also alleged that the Francistown West Member of Parliament (MP) Ignatius Moswaane was interfering.

The controversial elections preceded the Friday elective congress of the National Youth Executive Committee (NYEC) to be held in Masunga. Now the worry, as expressed in the letter, is that the results of the weekend elections were seemingly pre-determined by some meddling party leaders.

They say that the returning officer did not follow the constitution at the elections.

“He did not request membership cards for delegates to confirm their membership status as the constitution states. He even refused to give some of the delegates the opportunity to seek for clarity pertaining to the procedure he was using in the elections, as he stated that he was behind time and threatened to send concerned parties away from the congress,” reads part of the letter.

The letter states that the outgoing committee was also not given the opportunity to give a report to the congress. As for Moswaane, the legislator is alleged to have raised some remarks in a bid to earn mileage for the team he supported.

“He (Moswaane) was arrogant to anyone who questioned him and used words such as ‘bull s**t’ to some of the delegates who wanted to pose questions,” reads part of the letter. 

Moswaane is also said to have controlled and chipped in to direct the congress and delegates, something that the concerned youths said is against the constitution.

“His general conduct disrupted our congress,” reads the letter in part.

The youths also complained that there was no verification of ballots at the weekend elections. Attached to the letter is a lobby list, which allegedly enjoyed the backing of Moswaane.

While confirming receipt of the letter, Boatile was in no mood to engage Mmegi on the matter.

“Who leaked the letter? I do not discuss sensitive party matters with the media,” said Boatile.

Moswaane could not be reached for comment. All his mobile phones known to Mmegi were out of reach from Monday morning until press time yesterday.

For his part, Molalapata said that he is not aware of the letter. He insisted that the elections went well, referring further inquiries to Boatile.

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