Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) aspiring Secretary General Boyce Sebetela has called on his party to consider reserving the position of Deputy Secretary General (DSG) for a woman.
Denying allegations that he had dropped out of the race, Sebetela said that he was still very much in the contest although he had decided not to be in any lobby list.
“What I want is to have a woman as my deputy or someone under the age of 45 as part of leadership pipeline development for the future. We must start nurturing future leaders and reserve some positions for women. We must lead by example and have some positions reserved strictly for women,” said Sebetela.
Making a strong point for affirmative action to make sure that women and youth have equal access to positions of leadership in the central committee, Sebetela said, “Even additional membership should be reserved for women and young people. Why can’t we give such positions to deserving women and youth?” he asked.
Regarding his campaign, the former Member of Parliament for Palapye said the strategy was for it to take off in earnest after the Women’s Wing Congress and the National Council have been held.
“I think it’s important that these two events are not polarised and paralysed by central committee campaigns. I’m currently engaging party structures and leaders across the country to let them know that I would be running for office. That’s all I can do at this stage,” he said.
Sebetela noted that lobby lists deny organisations an opportunity to elect their best people into leadership. “I’m very passionate about gender and age equity in the upcoming central committee elections. As a party, we need to have a deliberate leadership pipeline at all times to ensure sustainability in the long term,” he said.
Explaining why he has not yet revealed his manifesto, Sebetela said he was a bit wary to do so because a draft of it was once leaked before he could finalise it.
“I have a draft that I’m still working on. I will share it widely with party members after the two events I talked about earlier have taken place but it will focus on growing the BDP dominance, leadership pipeline, resources mobilisation, neelano, (tolerance) seriti, (respect) kgogedi (attraction le tumo (popularity) to the next level.”
He said that as a party the BDP needed to find new and innovative ways to raise funds.
At next year’s party congress, Sebetela is likely to come up against the incumbent SG, Mpho Balopi and business mogul, Lesang Magang.