Will BNF leadership decide on Kgosipula’s fate?

Mokgweetsi Kgosipula PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Mokgweetsi Kgosipula PIC: KENNEDY RAMOKONE

Supporters of Botswana National Front’s (BNF) presidential hopeful, Baatlhodi Molatlhegi, are hoping that the party’s Central Committee (CC) will today (Friday) overrule a decision by the lower structure to suspend one of their supporters, Mokgweetsi Kgosipula.

Both Molatlhegi and incumbent party president, Duma Boko, will be contesting for the party presidency. The suspended Kgosipula is one of campaign managers of the Molatlhegi team.

Kgosipula was this week suspended by his constituency for allegedly speaking to the media without authorisation. However, Mmegi has learnt that the issue is not on the agenda for the CC meeting. It could therefore only be discussed if a CC member raises the matter.

Kgosipula’s issue is currently hanging as his team has rubbished the suspension and claims that he will continue to take part in party activities. Kgosipula is under the Lentsweletau-Mmopane constituency. It is alleged that the committee has the power to suspend a member unless CC overrules the decision.

Asked for comment, BNF spokesperson, Justin Hunyepa said the matter was a constituency one.

“I am not sure if the CC will discuss it, unless someone raises the issue. Constitutionally, yes the constituency has the power to suspend a member. Remember Tonota constituency once suspended Pono Moatlhodi,” he said.

A letter penned by the Lentsweletau-Mmopane constituency chairperson, Ontefetse Rankhibidu stated that Kgosipula tarnished the image of the party in an interview with one local online newspaper.

Kgosipula said the BNF has been accusing Botswana Democratic Party of rigging elections, while it is worse than the ruling party when it comes to rigging elections.

The Molatlhegi campaign team spokesperson, Kaboyaone Sedimo said they were surprised by Kgosipula’s suspension.

“As Molatlhegi campaign team we were shocked and dismayed to learn of the so-called suspension of comrade Kgosipula, campaign coordinator and veteran BNF activist, from the movement. The purported suspension of Comrade Kgosipula from the BNF smacks of extreme panic by the Boko’s campaign arising from a spirited campaign carried out by the Molatlhegi team and is a desperate attempt to halt Molatlhegi or ‘Bucs’ campaign,” Sedimo said.

“The so-called suspension is a desperate and feeble effort aimed at distracting the attention of both BNF members and the general public from last week’s illegal activities carried out by some individuals under the cover of darkness at the party office. These people and their handlers have crystalised into an underground faction to frustrate the will of BNF members, and steal the forthcoming Central Committee elections. This will not be tolerated, and it will not stand. We wish to state it categorically that the Bucs campaign does not recognise the so-called suspension of Kgosipula.”

Bucs’ team added it is an act of indiscipline and extreme insubordination for the chairperson of Lentsweletsau-Mmopane constituency to purport to take action against Kgosipula on a matter that is currently before the BNF Central Committee. Furthermore, they said it is a continuation of the Boko camp’s shameless misuse of BNF facilities and party structures to serve the interests of their lobby group.

“We call upon BNF members to reject the misuse of the BNF structures to advance personal interests. It is irrational actions such as this so-called suspension that undermine the integrity and image of our once-great organisation in the eyes of the public.

This kind of intolerance of a different viewpoint is not characteristic of the BNF’s political culture and traditions. We advise and demand that the BNF Central Committee should act expeditiously to rein in the perpetrators of this and other illegal acts to protect the image of the organisation.”

Meanwhile, Molatlhegi’s campaign is keen to call for an independent body to supervise the forthcoming BNF Youth League and BNF congresses, as well as a membership audit and the publication of the voters roll well in advance.

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