The chairman of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) communications committee Shaw Kgati has launched a scathing attack on the media and opposition parties, accusing them of colluding to tarnish the image of the ruling party.
Speaking during the BDP press conference meant to update the media about the party’s weekend national council meeting on Thursday, Kgati said, “Some papers have plans that to carry a bad story about the BDP every week. Not all newspapers do that but there are some which are out there to tarnish the name of the BDP.”
He cited Mmegi and Botswana Guardian newspapers after the two publications carried a story in which the BDP secretary general Mpho Balopi had reported the fellow members for allegedly threatening to kill him.
The case was reported at Broadhurst Police after Mmegi wrote about their Facebook thread.
In that story the police and Balopi confirmed that the case had been opened.
Although investigations are still continuing on the matter, the suspect is likely to be charged with threat to kill.
Interestingly, Kgati’s attack comes on the back of his committee’s proposal that President Ian Khama needed to urgently engage the private media so as to smoothen relations.
In their report dated December 8, 2014, the committee stated that only The Patriot, WeekendPost, Yarona FM and Duma FM were viewed as sympathetic to the BDP, and the rest hostile.
“While we may have reasons not to engage the media, staying away grows the stereotypes we are trying to get rid of, and presents us to the voter as aloof,” the report said.
The reports say disengagement by the President from the media was making it difficult for the party to make in roads with some media houses. This is one of the things the committees believe that has contributed negatively to the party’s performance.