Toe the line, or else!

Baitshepi Sekgweng

BNF threaten ‘stern action’ against unruly election hopefuls

Botswana National Front (BNF) Central Committee has taken a decision to bar lobby groups from using party logos and symbols when campaigning for positions within the party.

A blanket ban on talking to the media will also be imposed.

The crackdown comes hot on the heels of last month’s fallout, when BNF members turned on each other, amid accusations some had been caught secretly printing membership cards at the office on the night of 21st April – a day after the deadline for such activities had elapsed.

The alleged late night mischief occurred in the build-up to the Youth League Congress, initially scheduled for Letlhakeng on 30th April.

The congress was subsequently postponed, with a new date set for 28th May.

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Briefing the press on Tuesday, BNF Secretary General (SG), Moeti Mohwasa, admitted such allegations were a blot on the party’s image.

Calling for discipline among the ranks, he revealed a number of provisions have been put in place to restore order within the party.

“Going forward, no lobby group will be allowed to use party logos and symbols. All the campaigns are supposed to be internal and no member should be denied the right to campaign and canvass for support within the structures. No lobby group will be allowed to carry out media interviews,” he revealed.

Although he maintained rumours of a clandestine, night-time operation were false, the SG conceded some cards had been printed after the closure of registration.

“The matter has been brought to the office of the Secretary General for action,” continued Mohwasa, adding the 100 individuals registered after the 20th April cut-off point were removed from the membership register.

“These 100 names were captured during working hours on the 21st of April, not at night as alluded. There is nothing that came to our attention that suggests there was any printing of membership cards at the party office on that night. Only t-shirts were printed,” he insisted.

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According to Mohwasa, their aim is to ensure that order, tolerance and mutual respect prevail ahead of the national congress.

“It is appreciated that this is a season where people work hard to ensure that their lobbies prevail at the congress but there has to be order in so doing. The tendency of attacking each other in the media is wrong and should not be condoned. As such, we will ensure that stern action is taken against those who attack other contestants,” he warned.

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