- Members and party fight over timing and control of elective congress
- Boko acts for defendant BNF
The case in which some members of the Botswana National Front (BNF) have approached the Gaborone High Court on the certificate of urgency for an interdict against the party’s imminent congress is due tomorrow.
The applicants, Kgakgamatso Kebiditswe and Tlamelo Mpodi, are allegedly sympathetic to BNF president Duma Boko’s competitor, Dr Baatlhodi Molatlhegi, and want the national elective congress postponed because they stand to suffer irreparable harm if the congress goes ahead from 16 to 19 July as scheduled.
Their grounds are that the BNF, which is represented by Boko himself, is manipulating memberships in some branches and has enabled such to be delegates at the national congress. They further accuse the party’s central committee of violation of the BNF constitution by denying members an opportunity to question the voters’ registration.
The two applicants are represented by Advocate Setso Mokoti.
They also want the court to invalidate the BNF central committee’s powers to hold the congress and to instead grant those powers to a special joint committee to ensure free and fair elections, as well as to appoint an independent and impartial elections body to supervise the running of the congress.
Should they succeed, the BNF will have to publish the voters’ roll and make it accessible to all members of the party through their party structures. But the BNF is opposing the application, asserting its central committee’s constitutionally-entrenched powers to regulate congress.
In its court papers, the party wants the court to throw out the case, arguing that the applicants have no right to interdict the BNF and its activities because they failed to prove their membership of the party and their rights to take it to court.