Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) Secretary General, Gilbert Mangole, has expressed disappointment at the rate in which members of his party are defecting to Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), especially the youth.
He, however says there is nothing they can do with current defections because the youth who leave the party leave due to economic reasons.
Mangole’s comments come after the recent defection of BMD Youth League National Organizing Secretary Gomotsegang Karabo to the BDP where he was welcomed by non-other than Mokgweetsi Masisi.
“We are very much concerned about the defections of our members to the ruling party, but we have to appreciate that it is not only the BMD that is losing its members, even the BDP is losing members to us as the opposition,” said Mangole who qualified that defections to the BDP are only dramatic because the party is able to splash them in government media which it hogs to itself.
Mangole said it was difficult to convince defectors, especially in situations where they are lured for their economic vulnerability. “I can safely bear witness to you that most of the members of our party who defected did not differ with the ideology of the party. The reasons they advance as we try to convince them to stay are personal. They have economic problems and as the opposition we have nothing to offer them, unlike the BDP,” he said.
He said that the youth were an easy target for the BDP since they are hard hit by unemployment,
“That is the price we pay for being in opposition, we know it for a fact because we have talked to this people; their only reason for leaving is because at BDP there have been promised improved economic statuses which here we cannot guarantee.”
This reality also worried Kagelelo Kentse, the BMD Youth League National Spokesperson who has also issued a statement concern at rate at which NEC members leave the party.
“We must admit that we have had lots of challenges inside our organization for a while now, but running away from problems shows lack of leadership and endurance necessary for our survival and eventual power takeover from the ruling party,” he said.
The challenge, Kentse revealed, has caused the BMDYL President and Secretary General to develop a “rigorous and aggressive program” which will help calm the waters; “This will be done by visiting all the 57 constituencies to reignite, rebuild, rejuvenate and assure members that the party is still as relevant and alive.”