The thought of Opposition parties infiltrating the ruling Botswana Democratic Party sounds like an absurdity, but BDP’s Secretary General Mpho Balopi is convinced it is a reality.
Such fears are borne out of last week’s scare by BDP Members of Parliament who threatened during the party’s parliamentary caucus meeting to resign en-masse from the party unless their concerns regarding registration of members are addressed.
The bone of contention is that some of the cell secretaries who are custodians of the Registration Books have been ‘captured’ by some of the people interested in contesting for political office. MPs also queried about abuse of the party office where registration books are issued.
To address this, BDP Central Committee has since assigned the party’s Political Education and Elections Committee (PEEC) to oversee registration of members across the country. Balopi told the Press this week that the committee will ensure that all processes are duly followed.
The BDP will conduct its last batch of primary elections on the 11th of August this year where democrats will battle it out in 39 constituencies and some of the wards in those constituencies. Most of the MPs are expected to defend their seats come August.
The MPs feared that should their concerns not be addressed what was experienced in the January 20th 2018 primaries in opposition held constituencies might be worse this time around.
Balopi said the committee which is chaired by Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri will be on a membership drive starting next week.
“The PEEC would be engaging on that campaign to ensure everything is done properly. They would be also doing auditing alongside registration of members. We just want to ensure that by the time we conduct our primaries in August everything is in place.
“The January primaries would be used as a yardstick so that whatever mistake or challenge we encountered then would be avoided,” Balopi said.
The secretary general stated that the intention is to ensure that two weeks before the primaries all the challenges would have been addressed. He said they want things to be done right because as the BDP they have since discovered that opposition members are the ones attempting to cause chaos within the party.
“We know about their infiltration. They are busy telling our members especially those interested in political office that they are being purged. We know that those who contested in the opposition held constituencies and have filed their complaints have been advised by members of the opposition that we are sitting on their complaints with the aim of frustrating them. Democrats should be on the lookout for such comment because their purpose is to divide us,” Balopi revealed.