Kentse defends BDP’s controversial vetting process

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) spokesperson, Kagelelo Kentse, has acknowledged the despondency surrounding the party primary election vetting process. However, he says the central committee is not aware that some members who were vetted in have dubious records. PIC.KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) spokesperson, Kagelelo Kentse, has acknowledged the despondency surrounding the party primary election vetting process. However, he says the central committee is not aware that some members who were vetted in have dubious records. PIC.KENNEDY RAMOKONE

FRANCISTOWN: Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) spokesperson, Kagelelo Kentse, has acknowledged the despondency surrounding the party primary election vetting process. However, he says the central committee is not aware that some members who were vetted in have dubious records.

The ruling BDP recently released a vetted list of its candidates who it says are fit to contest the party primaries and book candidacy for the 2024 General Election. The list features surprise omissions and inclusions. There are still queries surrounding the vetting process with some questioning the consistency of the process and its intended purpose. They argue that teams were mandated to vet or scrutinise aspiring primary election candidates to uncover any instance of inappropriate behaviour, that could embarrass or negatively affect the BDP, overlooked several key elements essential for one to contest the elections, when choosing candidates. Some have even labelled the BDP vetting process a free ammunition to boot out those who are perceived not to be backing the party leadership. Their position is backed by the fact that some of those who are widely thought to have committed the most flagrant transgressions have been vetted in.

For example, others who have had brushes with the law have also been allowed to contest the primaries. Several others who have previously defied the party caucus have been allowed to stand. Defying a BDP caucus is one of the worst forms of wrong doings in the BDP. In the past, those who defied the party caucus have even been expelled by the party. In an interview recently, Kentse said their central committee has received several complaints about vetted candidates with questionable records and is now acting on the information. “The party is not favouring any of the candidates as perceived. Such information (on questionable records) was not previously presented or available to the central committee when the vetting process was under way. The central committee is currently reassessing its stance on the matter and it will take appropriate decisions,” he said adding that it is inevitable that those found with questionable records will inevitably be barred from contesting the primaries. It remains to be seen as to whether the BDP will bar those with dubious records from contesting the primaries.

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