Rantuana, Makhura lock horns


Botswana Congress Party (BCP) elective conference will witness a showdown between two heavyweights for the chairmanship. Former councillor, Stephen Makhura will hinge his hopes on a message of party discipline to foster a shared identity and values.

His counterpart, former Member of Parliament (MP) for Ramotswa Samuel Rantuana will be vying for the position on a message of reviving party membership and activism. Makhura and Rantuana are contesting for the position of chairperson for the party as the BCP holds its virtual elective conference on Saturday. So far, 48 constituencies out of 57 have registered for the event and only 1,564 delegates are eligible to vote. There will be a total of 31 centres while the announcing or main centre will be in Gaborone.

The position of chairperson is a crucial one as its holder is supposed to be in control of the party. The Makhura team is led by Daisy Bathusi while Rantuana team is led by MP Taolo Lucas. “The reason why our slogan for the campaign is “party ko bathong” is that some party members have stopped to be active which is worrisome and we need to find out what the problem could be. Again, what concerns us most is that the party membership drive has not been ongoing. The reason why the BCP has been known in different parts of the country was due to its membership drive. For us to grow as a party, we need more members. Therefore, if I am elected on Saturday, that is what I want the new central committee to do. The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) also need a strong alliance for it to grow.

Therefore, the issue of collapsed structures will become a thing of the past,” Rantuana said in an interview on Tuesday. He further said the other issue that needs to be attended to is the party's financial status for it to be able to compete well adding that members who are committed to the party should be able to help it so that by 2024 general election, it could be able to do most of the things without having to ask for funds from some sponsors. Rantuana said his team believes that the members are capable of raising funds for the party in different ways.

On other issues, the aspiring candidate said structures such as the Women's League and Youth League need to be assisted so that they could become stronger as they have been in the past. He said the two structures are able to assist the central committee to be able to implement some of the decisions when they function effecively. He added: "What is key is to revive party's school so that new members could understand the party constitution very well and its culture.

If the new members are not taught about rules and regulations then it is easy for them to defect or fail to defend the party.” On the other hand, Makhura said his team wants to strengthen issues of discipline in the party so that the members could understand that party decisions should be respected by all. “Our members should know that the congress decision is binding to all. If the party allows indiscipline, at the end it will affect it in a negative way. There is noway any structure could allow that, but it must be done fairly and the first thing is education about the issue. Our party constitution like any other party, has a code of conduct. Again, we must as party leadership if voted in, be able to implement some decisions that we make.

The other issue is to strengthen our relationship between us and other parties, especially for the 2024 general election. Cooperation must be preached even from the lower structures so that members could be able to work hand in hand,” he said. Makhura, who was once the election manager for the party, said elections need all opposition parties to be very strong so that they could speak with one voice.

Editor's Comment
What about employees in private sector?

How can this be achieved when there already is little care about the working conditions of those within the private sector employ?For a long time, private sector employees have been neglected by their employers, not because they cannot do better to care for them, but because they take advantage of government's laxity when it comes to protecting and advocating for public sector employees, giving the cue to employers within the private sector...

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