The latest entrant in the Botswana Congress Party Youth League (BCPYL) presidency race, Tshegofatso Nteta Raditlhokwa, has formally declared her candidature and announced her lobby list.
The BCPYL is expected to hold an elective congress on April 25, 2015 in Francistown.
Raditlhokwa said her decision was borne out of her beliefs as espoused in the BCP founding document, Democratic and Development Programme (DDP), the constitution and ‘my sheer passion for the party of choice’. “The BCP project no doubt has sufficient goodwill, capital especially human and the requisite resilience to weather the current ‘storm’. I have therefore chosen to step up to be counted at a time when BCP requires more than ever before, resolute members ingratiated with its core values and beliefs. I humbly offer myself to serve my party of choice and through it, the nation diligently,” she said.
Raditlhokwa further said the country is besieged with challenges like poor education system, corruption, inequality, poverty, unequal distribution of power and wealth distribution, inadequate health care system and many other social ills facing our nation.
“As a member and activist of the BCP, I know for sure that social democracy as conceptualised and practiced by the BCP has answers for the problems faced by our country. It therefore follows that my priority as a devout BCP member and as an aspiring youth leader is to nurture, consolidate and revitalise BCP and resell what we stand for to Batswana - because I have full confidence in our proposal,” she said.
Raditlhokwa further said a cursory assessment reveals BCP youth’s unrelenting trust in the party as a custodian of their aspirations.
“At the moment we are ‘The third way’ but are not only relevant but a critical player in political plurality that manifest itself as multiparty democracy. It is our belief that three parties are not a crowd in Botswana’s political space contrary to what proponents of two party system/democracy would want to proclaim,” she said.
With regard to opposition unity, Raditlhokwa made it clear that she represents a team of young people who believe joining or not joining the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) would have minuses and pluses. But her team believes first and foremost the BCPYL needs to preserve, protect and defend the BCP and its ideology. “Contrary to what our detractors have been preaching, the BCP has asserted itself as a force to be reckoned with in Botswana’s political landscape as demonstrated by growth in popular vote in the 2014 general elections,” she said.
Raditlhokwa also said they were prepared to make the necessary changes. “My team and I embrace initiatives that will bring about regime change without necessarily assimilating BCP into any form or shape of some entity under the pretext of regime change. Our reasons are simple; regime change is a means but not an end in itself.
“If you recall during the Presidential debate Rre [Duma] Boko indicated that the BDP policies are fine, requiring only better implementation (as I paraphrase). This clearly shows that the BCP is different from others as it offers a manifesto and policy solutions to the many challenges that are currently facing our country. This means that the BCP should be at liberty to stay true to its beliefs, course, values, culture, and vision for our beloved country,” she said.
Raditlhokwa also named her running mate Nthusi Chimbise as the vice president, Tebogo Hildah Molefe as the chairperson and Oganne Mazwigwila as the secretary general. Bogang Moduwa would be the deputy secretary general while councillor Farhaz Mohammed Sobhan is the publicity secretary.
Others are Tlhabologo Furniture (national Organising secretary); Lily Tsele (secretary for Women’s Affairs); Dickson Dingalo Ditsheko (treasurer) and Keaobaka Ronald Bantatetse (Sports, Arts & Culture).
“I plead with comrades to engage in and allow constructive debates to define how this great movement democratically deals with issues confronting it without resorting to trivialities, innuendos, abuse or demeaning remarks,” she added.