Of dissenting views and discipline at BCP
To the bewildered BotswanaCongress Party(BCP) followers, LottyManyepedza’s recent innuendowill be received with utter disgust.He seemed to have been lessthan impressed by BCP YouthLeague’s lackluster support forhis endeavors to reign supremeover Vain Mamela for the recentlycontested position of NationalOrganizing Secretary. Those whochastise him are obviously obliviousto the fact that Manyepedzawas somehow goaded into utteringthose remarks; not least byDithapelo Keorapetse – he foughthard to see to it that Sticks, ashe’s popularly known, did notsucceed him as the BCPYL president.
I’m somewhat not entirelyconvinced that Manyepedza’smajor disgruntlement was intendedfor Keorapetse and theBCPYL.I am bound to say somethingmajor is afoot at BCP. Despite itsassociated history with BotswanaNational Front (BNF), the BCP,I’ve always maintained is akinto Botswana Democratic Party(BDP) in the running of its affairs;policy and administration.The party has always done an outstandingjob in keeping dissidentswithin its structures quiet, somethingthat has come to be synonymouswith the ruling party. Themaverick Manyepedza has addeda footnote to history: publiclydenouncing the way things aredone, even though he was wiseenough to hide his dissatisfactionbehind the BCPYL, for obviousreasons.
The BCP affi rmativeaction policy is meant to ensurethat the previously disadvantagedyouth, women and people livingwith disabilities, are given an opportunityto participate actively inthe party. Manyepedza obviouslyviews the implementation of thepolicy as taking long. He disdainsthe whole idea of having geriatricsstill running ‘his’ party. If hehad it his way, most, if not all ofthem would immediately giveway to the young.However, I want to believethat he will be cautioned to treadcarefully. Dumelang Saleshandowas adamant in the just endedcongress in Selebi – Phikwe thatthe party will be cracking whipon dissidents. To Manyepedza,that may result in him slitheringdown the ladder of politics totake up permanent residence onits bottom rug.
If he’s not careful,he may be relegated to refi llingpeanuts and sweets for the likesof Keorapetse who will be sittingatop the BCP as members of thepolitburo.The instilling of discipline thatis about to happen at BCP, andthe party’s fondness for geriatricswill not take the party anywhere.I understand that the party doesnot want to follow in the footstepsof BNF, but that should notdeter outspoken politicians suchas Manyepedza to express theirdissatisfaction with the way theold are clutching to power. To hiscredit, Keorapetse, who’s knownto use locker-room languagewhen ‘attacked’ (Sonny Seritewill bear testimony to that fact)has responded in a civil mannerto the remarks by Manyepedza.Maybe the current BCPYL presidentholds the same sentiments asManyepedza, only that he doesn’twant to compromise his positionas a member of the BCP politburo.Keorapetse is a clever politicianwho has his sight set for theultimate price – the party presidencyitself.