Duma Boko’s future as leader of the Botswana National Front (BNF) is hanging in the balance, with party veterans and some party members calling on him to resign as President.
In a scathing interview with The Voice, the Deputy Chairperson of BNF Veterans committee, Baalani Phumaphi Basiame, accused Boko of isolating the party from its members.
Basiame even went as far as blaming Boko for the opposition’s defeat.
He revealed a number of BNF members were concerned with some of the events leading up to the elections.
“Boko ran the party alone; it was a one man show. He differed with what we believed in.”
Basiame gave an example of the arrest of former DISS boss, Isaac Kgosi, who they thought was rightfully arrested only for the party to release a statement saying the arrest was politically motivated.
He added that the BNF is the founder of labour movements and thus it was ‘shocking’ to see workers turning their backs on the party.
He maintained that alone shows the workers were not happy with how things were being run by Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), of which BNF is a member and Boko the President.
“Boko saw an important person in the former President Ian Khama who was hostile to workers and indirectly worked with him,” he said, adding there was no way people were going to vote for a UDC which was friendly with Khama because the later has instilled fear in workers.
“We saw corruption grow under his leadership and by working with him it meant isolating UDC working class. Boko cost us elections and we want him to voluntarily step down because if he does not then we will force him to,” warned Basiame.
The BNF veteran gave Boko up to the beginning of next year to consider the ultimatum.
Others are of the view that after two failed general elections, Boko has had his chance and it is now time for a fresh perspective at the top.
“We know he sacrificed a lot but we cannot keep him for the third time as a reward for his sacrifices,” reflected a BNF insider, who didn’t want to be named for fear of victimisation.
“We need to chart a new path for our movement. We can’t forever be stuck on what could have been; we came close yet so far. In all major competitions, how many people ever remember the runner up?” added the highly placed BNF member.
Unfortunately, efforts to get a comment from Boko failed as he did not respond to our request by the time of going to press.
For his part, BNF Publicity Secretary, Justin Hunyepa maintained that Boko was elected by the party’s statutory body, which is in fact BNF’s highest decision structure.
“All BNF members will have an opportunity to choose the next party leadership, including Presidency, in July next year as it will be the statutory congress. A special congress can also be called earlier if there is need for such – party membership knows this provision and can trigger it anytime.”
He added it was unfortunate that some people were buying into BDP propaganda and innuendos designed to tarnish Boko’s image.
“Boko remains the best leader for BNF and UDC as he has the leadership credentials to lead these organisations. He is brave, intelligent, decisive and charismatic,” concluded Hunyepa.
Botlogile Tshireletso – Political Journey
Just days before the last General Elections former Mahalapye East legislator, Botlogile Tshireletso, spoke to us about her political journey, her retirement from active politics, her women’s rights activism as well as her fashion sense. We share excerpts from the interview in this episode.
The rise and fall of a giant
What’s next for Makgato
Is it too early to write Dorcas Makgato’s political obituary?
Will President, Mokgweetsi Masisi save her political career? These are some of the questions on everybody’s lips at the moment in the advent of the political heavyweight’s mighty fall in the October 23rd elections.
Makgato lost her parliamentary constituency in Sefhare-Ramokgonami to Umbrella for Democratic Change’s, Dr Kesetile Gobotswang with a margin of 3 779 votes.
She was also overlooked for Specially Elected Member of Parliament (SEMP) and Speaker of National Assembly.
Prior to elections, Makgato fought a lone political battle with her former benefactor and former President Ian Khama and his brother Tshekedi, in what many believed was on behalf of her party and President Masisi.
The Khama brothers through their breakaway party, Botswana Patriotic Front, were making inroads into the once Botswana Democratic Party’s stronghold constituencies. When all were quite, Makgato stood up and took the Khamas head-on, risking her political career in the process.
The Khamas invaded her territory and de-campaigned her while propping up the UDC candidate.
And now that the dust has settled and political appointments have been made, she has been left out.
Makgato is not just an ordinary member of the BDP; she is the party’s Chairperson of the Women’s Wing, and a former cabinet member.
Some political pundits have posited that if over looked Makgato could canvas for support and emerge as the leader of a faction towards the elective congress billed for next year.
However, a Political Analyst, Leonard Sesa, is still hopeful that a special position might still be reserved for the Iron lady.
“Maybe the President has something special for her and for the elections campaign chair, Tebelelo Seretse because I don’t see them being overlooked just like that,” he said, adding that if time goes by without any mention of any appointment for the two women, then the Women’s League should stand up and fight for their chairperson.
“She could have done better as a speaker because she is brave,” Sesa said.
Meanwhile the BDP Women’s League, Secretary General, Neo Maruapula could not be drawn into discussing Makgato’s future saying they are yet to meet as the league.
“I don’t want to say my own opinion and put it as that of the women’s wing. We are yet to meet and have a plan,” Maruapula said.
Efforts to get a comment from Makgato hit a snag as her mobile was off.
Makgato’s journey to parliament started in 2009 as a SEMP brought in by former president Ian Khama, something which has led to some within the BDP to label her a “ Khamarite’, at least until the time of her public fall out with the former president leading up to elections.
She however went on to win the 2014 general elections beating Gobotswang with a margin of 1552 votes. During her time she served in different Ministries such as Trade and Industry, Health and Wellness and Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs.
Hands off Boko- Khan
KHAN FIRES SHOTS AT PARTY VETERANS
Botswana National Front’s Kweneng Regional Secretary, Arafat Khan has defended his party President, Duma Boko from the attacks that Boko has been subjected to by party veterans since elections.
In an interview with The Voice, Khan said that for almost two years he has been ignoring the so-called BNF veterans unwarranted attacks on the BNF president hoping they will they will come back to their senses.
He also said that the other reason he did not confront the veterans right away is that he did not want to give them the recognition they did not deserve.
“I am really disappointed with their barbaric and reckless behavior especially as some of them were once entrusted with leadership positions in the BNF. I never expected them to be communicating with the party through the media when they know that the party has proper laid down channels of communication,” said Khan.
Khan further pointed out that the veterans association was created to be an advisory committee and not an active party structure.
“It’s unfortunate that some opportunists, divisive characters and well known clowns are now abusing this organ to fight political and personal battles on behalf of some extremely over ambitious BNF leader(s). Most of these political ancestors masquerading as veterans have dubious credibility and some of them have dismally failed in the tasks they were assigned by the movement.”
Khan said that instead of ‘barking’ at Boko every now and then, it would be prudent for the disgruntled veterans to accept that they have long reached political menopause and that they are irrelevant and have nothing to offer.
“It’s worth noting that the BNF is not a one man show, it is run by the central committee and the UDC is run by its NEC not Boko alone. He is a democratically elected leader of the BNF and we will support him as long as he is the President. He doesn’t need any unsolicited advice from perpetual losers and political rejects,” the former BNF Youth league Secretary General lashed out.
Khan was responding to accusations that have been leveled against Boko by the veterans following UDC defeat at the October 23rd elections.
The veterans had come out guns blazing to blame Boko for the loss, accusing him of having run the party as a one man show at the exclusion of party structures and even going further to call for his resignation from the party presidency.
Mrs. Botswana retains crown
BIMC, COSBOTS copyright master class to be held
Celeb edition with Perion
Something cooking at AVANI
News3 days ago
Dismissed cop says Motswaledi murder utterances were not directed at Khama
Entertainment1 week ago
Tabz’s October return
Entertainment1 week ago
The giver of hope
Entertainment5 days ago
Danielle swagger’s video is out
Business1 week ago
Woman finds strong support for hats business
Business1 week ago
A dramatic change
Entertainment1 week ago
A Night with Poetic Sensei
Business1 week ago
Lucara to go underground at Karowe Mine