- NEC warns and expels some members for indiscipline
- Fired member says BaNgwato and their loyalists want the party for themselves
- Says members are expected to idolise the Khamas but “some of us are tired”
The National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) may be cracking the whip on members who are not willing to tow the party line.
While party leaders say they are acting to stem indiscipline, those affected say the party is on a mission to crack the whip on members who do not tow the line, especially those who gainsay the Khamas.
The Khamas, former president Ian and his younger brother Tshekedi, were the driving force behind formation of the BPF in 2019 and are believed to be singularly bent on using it as a means of securing the leadership of the country and perpetuating a dynasty.
Among outstanding ‘dissidents’ is Gaontebale Roger Mphafe, who has been expelled from the party for expressing his views on social media. The NEC informed members of the BPF that Mphafe had been expelled. “The NEC of the BPF considered acts of indiscipline of some members of the party,” it said. “Notably, the NEC reviewed communication from a certain Roger Mphafe who presents himself as a BPF member.”
“Communication from him Whatsapp groups and Facebook was determined to be to the extreme detriment of the interest of the party and in flagrant disregard to Clause 6 on membership rights and duties. Given this, the NEC invoked its powers under Clause 15 of the BPF constitution and resolved it is in the interest of the party to expel this Gaontebale Roger Mphafe from the Botswana Patriotic Front,” reads a NEC resolution.
The party says Mphafe’s membership application at Gaborone Phase 2 will not be processed and that any practice that may have rendered him a member of the BPF is immediately revoked. “BPF structures, platforms and the forums in the name of BPF are instructed to immediately rid themselves of the former patriot, Mr Mphafe,” the resolution continues.
The NEC names Ogaufi Ratsie Nthobelang as another ‘dissident’ but says his “views have not been of an extreme discriminatory nature and resolved to have him appear for caution before a committee of NEC members who will then report back while the party monitors his behaviour going forward”.
But Nthobelang was found to have acted in clear violation of the party constitution by giving an unauthorised media interview.
Speaking in an interview, Mphafe said he had not received any correspondence expelling him from the party. “As far as I am concerned, I am still a bona fide member of the BPF,” he asserted.
“But I would not be surprised if it is true that I have been expelled because that is what our party has become under the current leadership since the arrival of its hijackers (who are) in it for the limelight and personal glory. Our greatest sin is to call out the witchcraft created for the party president Butale and to refuse to bow to and idolise the Khamas.”
Both Ogaufi and Mphafe had openly criticised the BPF for what they termed ill-treatment of its president, Biggie Butale.