Arguably the fastest growing and stable opposition party in the land, Botswana Congress Party (BCP) finds itself at the mercy of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party, which is slowly destabilising its rank and file by recruiting its influential cadres. Even the party hierarchy admits that BDP has massive plans to destabilise them as they consider BCP a more potent threat than any other opponents.
BCP councillor Seabelo Thekiso defected to BDP last week, a move feared likely to trigger a heated battle for the control of Gaborone City Council (GCC). The BDP now has 18 councillors while the opposition coalition has a combined total of a total 17 councillors in the opposition-controlled municipality. Haskins Nkaigwa of Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) is the city Mayor while his deputy is Florence Shagwa of the BCP.
Botswana Guardian has it on good record that BDP cadres have intensified their recruitment drive and camped on the BCP territory. They are busy recruiting at least two councillors in the capital city. It is alleged that the said BCP councillors are on the verge of crossing the floor to BDP. The ruling party has admittedly intensified its recruitment drive in almost all urban and major villages where BCP appears to be very strong.
Even BCP hierarchy confirms having information to the effect that BDP is all out to destabilise them, Its spokesperson Taolo Lucas said: “We have no reason to doubt that they (BDP) are targeting us because they consider us as a more potent threat than other opponents.” He said they had been “informed” that BDP is targeting “our councilors in Gaborone, Selebi Phikwe and Maun. They want to destabilise us by recruiting from our ranks”, said Lucas. However he said they were alert and vigilant and promised that BDP would not destroy them. “We are mature enough to know that we may lose some members, but it doesn’t mean in the process, we will get destroyed.” Lucas said although they are a “sound and robust organisation,” it does not mean they do not get concerned when they lose members. For his part BDP Secretary General Mpho Balopi said their main mandate is to grow.
“As a result, we recruit any member of any political party and any Motswana of good standing to be a member of our political party.” He said it was also becoming clear that the opposition, including BCP, has miscalculated the ability of the BDP to regenerate. “We are taking the young and talented members of other political parties, and consistently recruiting more members into our party fold.”