The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee meets on Monday to decide among others, the fate of Tati East MP’s candidature for Chairmanship of the party.MP Samson Moyo Guma has declared interest to replace outgoing party strongman Daniel Kwelagobe as BDP Chairman at this year’s Congress.
He faces a strong challenge from Education Minister and MP for Serowe South Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi. Guma’s candidature is however fraught with legal hurdles presented by the party’s constitution, which he must first overcome. Some democrats are said to have already complained that Guma can not lead the party because of his past liaison with the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD)- an offspring of BDP, for which he also served as founding member and founding treasurer.
But more the biggest hurdle is presented by the BDP constitution, which stipulates at Section 30.6.4 that, “save that a member admitted from another Party shall fulfil all of the above as well as remain for a period not less than 2 years before such member can become a member of the Central Committee.”
Guma only rejoined the BDP earlier last year and by the end of the year declared his ambition to contest for the chairmanship. A member should also be a citizen of Botswana and in good standing for at least two years among others. Apparently in the past Kabo Morwaeng and Prince Kgwaneng were also barred from contesting because they could not fulfil the same provisions.
But Guma is not concerned about his detractors. He confirmed being aware of the provision in the constitution but stated that in the past there had been some “waivers granted or denied” for some people to contest. In any case he said he would be willing to abide by the decision of the Central Committee.
However aninsider said that no such waiver was granted in the past. He said the central committee could only waive in cases where members want to contest for public office such as Member of Parliament or Councillor in accordance with Article 8.5 of the BDP constitution.