Only reformists Ntuane, Butale have manifestos


With a day left for the contentious elective congress, only two candidates have managed to compile a blueprint for the reformation of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).

Tati West MP Biggie Butale like former Gaborone Bonnington South legislator, Botsalo Ntuane, have manifestos that are the rallying point to their campaigns.

Earlier this year, Ntuane released to his campaign team a document titled: ‘BDP Reform Agenda Conversation; 22 Discussion Points’. Ntuane is campaigning to be the next secretary general of the BDP while Butale wants to be crowned the chairperson.

If elected the chairperson, Butale plans to recommend and implement 100 reforms in the first 100 days. Both candidates are of the view that the popularity of the party has waned and in order to attract votes in the 2019 general elections, serious reforms should be introduced as a matter of urgency.

In his manifesto Ntuane appeared as a pro-electoral reform politician and adviced that they must live with the sober reality that BDP would not rule forever. He cautioned: “However my view is we can still retain office for two more terms (10 years) either on our own or in coalition. Should our tenure in power come to an end without having introduced key electoral reforms such as PR [Proportional Representation] and party funding we will go the way of the dodo because the new rules will have no incentive to oblige us on what we refused to extend to them over the years.”

Both candidates are of the view that the party central committee should be increased.

Butale wrote: “We need to revamp the party constitution and enunciate the power of the various members of the Central Committee and define such. We need to increase the number of Central Committee members”.

Ntuane advocates for a strong activist central committee and this means recalibrating their relations with government and reclaiming the party authority over government. “The party must lead government and not be subordinate as is the case presently. The voice of the party must be heard loud and clear on every single issue. There is need for expansion of the central committee from 18 members to 30 members through inclusion of all 12 regional chairpersons to ensure better oversight and supervision of structures.”

The two young politicians agree that the BDP needs to re-set their relationship with other critical stakeholders.

“We must re-set our relations with labour, private media, students, the middle class and other disaffected constituencies through rapprochement and other genuine outreach initiatives,” said Ntuane.

Butale’s take was, “The party needs to take steps of rapprochement with the media. The leadership needs to travel with some members of the private press in overseas travels.” The Tati West MP also discussed the rapprochement with the unions.

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