Former BCPYL Pres runs for DSG office
“We believe in opposition unity”
After diligently serving Botswana Congress Party as President of the Youth League for some time, Tebogo Molefe is now ready to run for a more challenging role of Deputy Secretary-General under, Taolo Lucas’s lobby list.
The Voice Staffer, DANIEL CHIDA speaks to the woman who believes the political talent and massive experience, which her team possesses, is the sine qua non to a stronger BCP amid the looming challenge of Opposition Unity/disunity.
“These are comrades with the requisite political acumen and experience to lead this great Party. They have been tried and tested and their dedication to the party and country is beyond measure,” she says about her lobby list.
What did you achieve during your tenure as BCPYL President?
First and foremost, it must be remembered that I was not an elected YL president.
My elected portfolio was the position of Chairperson, which I can confidently and proudly state that I performed beyond expectations to that effect.
However, on account of various factors including resignations and defections I answered the call to bring stability to the organization as an interim President, a mandate I successfully fulfilled.
I steadied the ship in the midst of the storm and we calmly reached the harbor.
That being said, mine was a short stint as I completed Tumiso Rakgare’s term who at the time had resigned.
We saw the BCPYL becoming a member of the International Union of Socialist Youth.
Subsequent to that the number of youth contesting in the primary elections rose significantly with a satisfactory number emerging victorious.
Another prominent achievement under my leadership is that the movement became financially stable.
During my first term in the YL which was led by Manyapedza and subsequently Keorapetse we found the YL, which was operating in a vacuum with no constitution.
We hit the ground running and crafted a constitution and ensured its adoption.
This is the document, which is being used to direct the YL even to this day.
What were the challenges that you faced?
Patriarchy is always a challenge that we as women face when in leadership positions.
Being a woman is a challenge itself because we are always on the back foot and compared differently to men.
Whatever a man can get away with a woman will be sacrificed for.
A man scoring 50% is an achievement but a woman scoring 50% is a failure.
People normally don’t take women seriously until they see the results being delivered.
I always had to strike a balance between being a professional in the corporate world, being a woman, and a youth leader.
Lack of resources was also a big challenge (We ran the youth league from our own pockets).
Every organization needs resources to be competently run.
You were hardly vocal on several pressing issues, why?
If you are observant enough, the YL embraced the principle of Esprit de corps, that is to say we worked as a team, one unit.
This ordinarily meant we adopted the spirit of collective responsibility.
It follows then that we had a way of commenting or voicing out our position as a unit without necessarily requiring an individual statement from all the YL office bearers.
This worked well for us and reinforced the unity of the structure.
It is like football you know, no matter how talented or skillful a striker is, without the support of his teammates he will never score goals.
Individuals do not win football games but a team does. As an individual, I come from a place where people do not speak unless they have something to say or it is necessary to do so.
We believe more in action than just being vocal.
As the saying goes actions speak louder than words.
Leadership sometimes would compel you to be prepared to listen more than you are ready to speak.
Kindly share your road map as a DSG aspirant?
As per our lobby list, in our team manifesto, we commit to the following critical areas on assumption of the BCP leadership; reviving Party Structures, Membership recruitment and Retention, Policy development, Political Education, Cadre and leadership training.
We are also focusing on collaboration, Partnership and coalition building, Resource Mobilisation and Preparing the Party for 2024 Elections.
As DSG I commit to ensure there is an Effective Administrative office via, effective service, to coordinating all auxiliary structures and to ensure we establish good relations with domestic and international organizations.
The BCP office shall be a home away from home for all BCP members.
So what exactly motivated you to contest?
My decision was premised on several factors including the fact that the responsibilities attached to the DSG position are commensurate with my qualifications as well as my experience.
This puts me in a better position to confidently effect change within the organization by applying my experience and expertise.
The other reason is my lobby list which presents capable candidates and in particular reference the Secretary-General whom I will be working closely with is equipped with massive knowledge and it will be an honour to learn a thing or two from him should we be given the mandate.
I believe my decision to stand will not only inspire the girl child, but will go a long way in motivating hundreds of young people from villages like Mogobane where I come from, that anything is possible only if you put your heart and mind to it.
The position of DSG also requires a highly disciplined and multi-talented individual who is abreast with a lot of issues and therefore will contribute immensely to my growth.
There have been issues of BCP threatening to pull out of the UDC, what is your position?
As stated in the team manifesto we believe in opposition unity and that’s why we want to build strong structures in the party because a strong BCP is imperative to the success of the collective opposition and most importantly an essential vehicle for regime change.
One thing that political analysts and observers choose to ignore and realize is that where there is more than one person, there are bound to be differences.
It could be two people whether in a church, school, or political parties or merging of groups.
As much as the differences cannot be ignored or avoided in such interactions, the key thing is how the differences are managed.
Therefore, the UDC needs to be accorded a fair chance of dealing with its internal affairs and the resolutions therein would be communicated at the right time, as has always been the case.