BDP women split over declaration to support Masisi’s Presidential candidacy

  • Distance themselves from the resolution to support Masisi
  • Say the resolution was taken in a wrong platform


FRANCISTOWN: As the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) factional wars intensify two warring factions have emerged within the women’s wing over the declaration of support for President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s party presidential candidacy in the upcoming elective congress touted for July.
For the first time in the history of the BDP, the incumbent party President is being challenged for the position, a position which has brought discontent and division amongst the democrats.
Masisi will battle it out against Serowe South Legislature and the Former Minister of Local government and Rural Development Pelonomi Venson- Moitoi.
However, while the BDP-Women’s Wing has declared their support for Masisi, the pronouncement, The Botswana Gazette has been informed, has ruffled the feathers of party hardliners who are seeking to disassociate themselves from the decision. BDPWW chairperson Dorcus Makgato late last year declared support for Masisi during the general assembly. She said the Women’s wing intend to fully support Masisi for the 10 years that he will serve as national president.
Despite the public statement of support by the Wing, some members of the Women’s Wing have disassociated themselves from the decision arguing that there has never been a resolution taken to that effect. Those against the declaration to support Masisi argued that the decision was taken at a platform that was not mandated to make such decisions. “The congress is the only supreme body that can make and endorse the decision but I do not remember us taking a resolution to support Masisi’s candidacy. We only learnt about the decision during our general assembly. So we wonder who exactly endorsed this decision,” A BDP Women’s wing committee member who questioned the declaration to support Masisi, revealed to this publication.
To their frustration, efforts to seek clarity on when the resolution was taken to endorse the party leadership have been met with hide and seek, a development which they said signifies that something is amiss.
“Following the declaration by the Women’s Wing Chairperson to support Masisi we confronted the leadership, but we never got a positive answer. So this shows that this decision was taken by few people who want us to support Masisi’s candidacy,” the protestors added.
Reached for comment BDP Women’s wing Secretary General Neo Maruapula said that though they have a mandate to advocate for women empowerment, in a Presidential race that does not have to be the case. “We have agreed that we should rally and support the incumbent President until his term lapses. We agreed in one voice as BDP women and no one ever rejected the decision. So we are not going to support anyone other than Masisi in the coming elective congress,” Maruapula said in an interview.
Since Venson declared her interest to challenge Masisi for the Presidential position last year she has had to fend off accusations from colleagues who accuse her of doing the bidding of Former President Ian Khama. Her declaration to challenge Masisi cost her her Ministerial position as she was dropped from the post immediately.