BNFYL leader quits for sabbatical

Kemoreilwe Jimson - BG reporter
Friday, 21 October 2016
BNFYL leader quits for sabbatical

Botswana National Front Youth League President (BNFYL), Khumoekae Richard is said to be contemplating quitting his post for further studies outside the country before end of this year.

The government recently fired Richard from work as Administration Officer at Gaborone Central constituency office. Ever since he was voted BNFY leader this year, Richard and his employer have been fighting over his active involvement in politics. Just two months ago Richard lost his bid to have the Gaborone High Court interdict his disciplinary hearing. Dismissing Khumoekae’s application, Justice Gaolapelwe Ketlogetswe said Khumoekae’s complaint was that if he was to be put through the disciplinary hearing and was dismissed he would lose out on his employment benefits, as he would be entitled only to notice.

“This averment in my view does not touch on the loss of the enjoyment of the freedoms and rights he is seeking to protect, but rather on the financial loss he is likely to suffer should he opt to continue with his being active in politics at the expense of his job,” he said.
BG News is reliably informed that this week Richard told Central Executive Committee members of the mother body, BNF that he wants to quit his post and go for further studies. “He told us that he was given scholarship opportunity to study in Canada in December. Even though it is a major setback for the party we are happy for comrade because this is a lifetime opportunity one cannot miss,” said a member of BNF NEC on condition of anonymity.

He said Richard told them he received the scholarship before he was dismissed from work. “Activists like him are very important in our movement moreso that we are looking to wrestle power from Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) in 2019 as combined opposition parties. But he is still a youth and he will contribute meaningfully to the party when he comes back,” noted the source. But BNF Publicity Secretary, Justin Hunyepa played his cards close his chest saying, “As far as we know Richard is still the youth league leader. If there are any developments it will be announced in the public. What is discussed in our central executive committee meetings cannot be shared to the media and the public.” Asked whether a vacancy at that level would immediately necessitate an election to find replacement, Hunyepa responded that they would cross “that bridge” if they got there.

However, a party insider explained to this publication that in the event Richard quits, the Youth League could easily co-opt from within to replace the president. Reached for comment, Richard denied the development saying, “I am still the BNFYL President at the moment. If there is anything concerning my life I will update my fellow comrades. This is news to me.” In 2014 Richard was fired from Francistown College of Technical and Vocational Education where he was working as a lecturer. This happened after he published a book titled; ‘Scandalous Murdering of Democracy’, which is highly critical of President Ian Khama.

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