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Broke BDP turns to members

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  • Party is P7 million below election budget
  • Khama farewell party hit BDP coffers hard
  • Khama among members behind with pledges

LETLHOGILE MPUANG

“The BDP is broke,” this was the tough import of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) treasurer Satar Dada’s financial report to the party’s 38th national congress that was held in Mochudi last weekend.

According to Dada’s report that this publication has a copy of, the party is in serious financial distress and is likely to struggle to roll out a full-hearted campaign for this year’s general elections.
According to the treasurer’s report, the BDP is yet to receive P7 million in members’ pledges for the elections, hence Dada’s appeal for members to deliver on their promises.

According to information confirmed by the party’s head of communications Kagelelo Kentse, former president Ian Khama is among members who have not fulfilled their pledges. Khama was one of the highest pledgers at P1 million alongside Dada and deputy treasurer Jagdish Shah. Secretary General Mpho Balopi had pledged P500 000 while President Mokgweetsi Masisi, Tshekedi Khama and Slumber Tsogwane each pledged to donate P250 000.

“Yes, it is true Khama is one of those who did not fulfill their pledges,” Kentse said. “He must have had second thoughts.”

In his report, the treasurer revealed that a significant amount of the party’s monies was spent on former president Ian Khama’s farewell party which was hosted by the BDP in Gaborone in March last year. Although the figures were not divulged, it is believed that close to P2 million, excluding gifts, was spent on the former president.

According to reports, nearly P36 million was spent by the ruling BDP on the last general elections in 2014 in which it dropped in the popular vote from 53.26 percent in 2009 to 46.45.
President Masisi also recently told the party’s parliamentary candidates that the BDP was fighting tooth and nail to bounce back from a P50 million deficit which had accumulated over the past few years.

Masisi said commercial banks that had been assisting the BDP with loans and overdrafts were no longer willing to finance the “Red Machine” as a result of deteriorated relationships between the BDP as a client and banks.

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