Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Region Chairperson, Teko Thokweng has warned members of the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) and the general membership to refrain from washing their dirty linen in public.
Rather, he said, they should resolve burning issues using internal structures and avoid running to newspapers.
Speaking to The Patriot on Sunday over the phone, Thokweng said newspaper headlines like “Khama brothers out” are the works of unpatriotic members who seek to bring tension within the movement. “It is unfortunate, especially since the source who is peddling this misinformation appears to be a member of the executive committee. We know our NEC to be working well together including with the Khama brothers, but if there is any member or members who have problems with these arrangements, and they chose to take the issue to the newspapers, then they are not being fair to the leadership of the party and its members,” he stressed.
Thokweng said BPF Patron Ian Khama is not going anywhere as the members of the NEC are not the ones that appointed him in the first place. “NEC did not elect Ian Khama as the party Patron. That position was elected by congress and it is only that structure and members of the BPF who can make a ruling on the matter, not NEC,” he cautioned.
“I remember very well that Khama did not want the position. He just wanted to be an ordinary advisor to the party. However, as BPF delegates who were at the congress we wanted and insisted on him to take the position of Patron of the party, therefore becoming a member of NEC. Being able attend NEC meetings, we agreed on it,” explained Thokweng.
He mentioned that, as for the position of the Secretary General which is occupied by Member of Parliament for Serowe West, who is also brother to the party Patron, Thokweng said the NEC should not be the one that suddenly turn around and cry foul. “We Know that TK was part of the NEC because of his position as Member of Parliament, that what we believed. But NEC coopted him to be the Secretary General, because they believed that he had more influence when he was in the position of Secretary General’” he said.
“When they appointed him in the first place, they should have consulted us as the leadership in the regions, but because we trusted them and respected their decisions as party leaders we embraced their appointment as we believed their decision was in the best interest of the party. They are not the ones that should by now crying to the newspapers questioning his appointment,” he added.
Furthermore, Thokweng advised members of the party to ignore the negative stuff they read in the newspapers and treat it as a propaganda meant to bring division into the party. “To the members of the party and those who wish to join, as your leaders in the regions, we have no communication of any members of the NEC who are unhappy about the current situation in the party, and if there was any problem we will have that information and it will be in writing, and we will have passed it to members at regional level,” he said.
He further advised members not to rely on information from any one member of the NEC indicating that if there are any information that needs to be disseminated, it should pass through all the relevant structures.
Moreover, Thokweng encouraged members of the BPF to ignore any report in the future that seek to bring friction in the party. “Don’t be swayed by them, remain steadfast and unshaken and treat those article as they are, get your information of any development in the party through your structure, not newspapers, newspapers are on and off,” he said.
In the meantime, Thokweng said Botswana Patriotic Front is unlike any other party, noting that those who wish it to crumble are going to be disappointed. “BPF is not going anywhere, the hand of God was involved when this party was formed, and to those who are quick to denounce it, we are here to stay,” he said.
Political analyst at University of Botswana (UB) Mokaloba Mokaloba said the parallel talks by the party structures shows that there is a disharmony and if left unattended could destroy BPF. Mokaloba said BPF needs stability more than anything else especially in its formative years.
“But the BPF seems to have failed on that regard. The current fight within its National Executive Committee seem to be just beginning. The BPF needs to establish its leadership and that should be done urgently. Others these fights have the potential to break the party,” said Mokaloba on Friday.
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