A day before the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) holds its crucial elective congress in Maun, President Ian Khama announced today that he intends to keep former Vice President Mompati Merafhe and vice president Ponatshego Kedikilwe as additional members in the central committee.
Khama said he needs the two in the central committee because the party needs to utilise their experience as they prepare for the 2014 general elections. Later the President critisised the media and opposition parties saying there are unpatriotic. Khama who was officially opening the 35th BDP congress in Maun is of the view that his party’s 47-year uninterrupted rule is based on sound ideals and values of democracy with the rule of law and respect for human rights. However according to him they as a party have accepted that their success will not come with the acknowledgment it deserves from “our detractors in the opposition and which include some in the media who constantly lead people astray in pursuit of their unpatriotic and nefarious agendas against everything that their government does whether good or bad.” Khama notes that these people are shallow in their reasoning and do not contribute anything that is good for society.
“They have blinded themselves with negativity in their desperate attempt to discredit us in order to promote the opposition,” he argued, adding further that what detractors have achieved is being masters of misinformation and deception who are pretending to understand complex problems when they don’t. The president however noted that the BDP have always understood its purpose and place, “and we have strived to remain relevant in the affairs of this country and its people by committing to duty and the spirit to serve the nation in our hearts and minds.” On other issues the President urged democrats to unite as they prepare for the 2014 general elections. “As I have said before, political parties, like in most sports, do not win elections or championships as individuals, but their greatness lies in what they are able to achieve together as a collective and as a team.” This year’s congress is held under the tagline, “secure your future with the party you can trust.”
One of the hotly contested positions is that of party chairperson which has pitted Members of Parliament Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi and Samson Moyo Guma. Elections will be held tomorrow on Saturday.