- Branch Chairpersons claim ignorance of the decision
- accuse the Executive for not consulting them
FRANCISTOWN: The postponement of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Women’s Wing’s congress has sparked discontent within the organization with different Branch chairpersons dismissing and claiming ignorance of the decision, raising suspicion that there have violated the party constitution.
Last week while the constituencies were preparing for the election of the Women’s Wing delegates ahead of the elective congress on April 5th, the Executive Committee instructed the women’s wing to postpone the process claiming that the postponement was necessary due to logistical concerns, “Please be informed that due to logistical issues the National Women’s Wing congress which was to be held in Kang has been postponed until after the general elections. The decision was unanimously taken by the women’s wing committee,” the BDP Women’s Wing Executive Committee Secretariat stated in a letter that announced the postponement.
However while the Executive Committee claimed that the decision to postpone was taken unanimously, BDP’s Branch Chairperson interviewed by The Botswana Gazette claimed that they are in the dark about the postponement. The Branch Chairperson claimed that they only heard about the decision through the grapevine and on social media. They have accused the Executive Committee of taking a decision that affects them without consultation.
The Chairpersons claimed that since last year when Dr Pelonomi Venson Moitoi declared her interest in challenging the current President Mokgweetsi Masisi, the Women’s Wing Executive committee started making decisions without consultation on the pretext that those decisions were unanimous. According to the concerned Branch Chairperson the decisions are only meant to benefit one of the Presidential candidates; Masisi. “The Executive Committee has realized that the women’s wing is aligned to both Presidential candidates but they now want to impose the decision on us without consultation so that it would look like we all support Masisi. It is an open secret that the wing is divided according to these Presidential candidates therefore it is worth noting that this decision of postponement was taken without consultation,” revealed a Chairperson of one of the Women’s Wing, who preferred anonymity because of fear of being victimized.
Women’s Wing members have accused the Executive Committee of applying a big brother mentality when making some of the decisions, citing the resolution to support Masisi over Venson Moitoi. “This decision to support Masisi was also imposed on us just like this postponement. This a clear indication that the Executive Committee takes decision alone without consultation,” another Chairperson added.
While the Executive Committee claimed to have engaged in consultations last week, Francistown East constituents were forced to stop its branch congress, which was to have determined the delegates for Kang on April 5th. The branch was in the dark over the decision to postpone the women’s wing congress.
The postponement follows the decision by BDP National Youth Committee to postpone their elective congress after their term elapsed.
BDP Women’s Wing Secretary General Neo Maruapula referred all the enquiries to the Chairperson Dorcus Makgatho who could not be reached as her mobile phone was unreachable.