The Botswana Democratic Party’s (BDP) Political Education and Elections Committee (PEEC) is running behind set timelines to have elected party structural committees.
This is so because the BDP cannot hold any bigger structural congress until the smaller party structures have been renewed. The ruling party is supposed to hold an electoral congress for the central committee (CC), the Women’s Wing and the National Youth Executive Committee (NYEC).
Mmegi has learnt that the CC wants the PEEC to report on progress regarding the renewal of party structural mandate to issue out dates for the NYEC and the Women’s Wing congresses as well as the mother body.
For his part, the PEEC chairperson, Alec Seametso said he believes that they are on the right track since most of the cell meetings and wards congresses will be held over the weekend.
“Our challenge was the Easter holidays, but we have managed to hold the majority of wards congresses and we will be preparing for branch congresses in all constituencies. You have to understand that wards are more than 400. Again, as a party, we rely mostly on volunteers. We have only challenges in 10 wards.
But, the elections will be held since we have managed to sort things out because other areas are quite a distance and sandy. Out of 57 branches, only 12 have managed to renew their mandates. Also of the 14 regions, only two are ready to hold regional congresses. That is Ngami West and Kweneng. We hope that when the CC meets, 90% of the structures would have been renewed,” Seametso said.
He said according to reports from different party structures, indications are that they will be done electing new committee members by early May.
The PEEC chairperson also said the reason why they had to ensure that structures are elected on time is for the CC to be able to finalise dates for bigger elective congresses.
Already, President Mokgweetsi Masisi has written a letter instructing his party regions, branches, wards and cells to hold their congresses to renew the party structures’ mandates. The BDP has 57 branch committees and is resident in 14 regions. The instruction also extends to the BDP Women’s Wing and the NYEC.
The party is expected to hold its mother body elective congress in July to elect its central committee. “Reference is made to a letter dated February 23, 2021, in which the central committee decided to suspend all-party congresses to contain the spread of the coronavirus following the increasing number of COVID-19 infections in the country, party structures (region, branch, ward and cell committees) are directed by this communication to renew all structures,” read a letter written by Masisi dated March 11.
The letter further stated that regulations of all structures should be supervised by the PEEC and members are also requested to adhere to COVID-19 health protocols.
Mmegi has learnt that both the Women’s Wing and NYEC have written to the CC stipulating that their mandate has expired and requested for dates to hold congresses.