National Treasurer of the Botswana National Front (BNF) Noah Salakae shocked many people this week when he revealed that the party is run by the president’s bodyguards.
According to the BNF Constitution, President Advocate Duma Boko’s bodyguards would not even be allowed to sit in any Central Committee meetings. This doubt has now raised questions regarding the powers of the central committee to run the affairs of the BNF.
In his crucial portfolio of National Treasurer, Salakae’s utterances cannot be taken for granted. He sits not only on the central committee but also on the Executive Committee.
In his resignation letter which was circulated on social media which he would later withdraw Salakae said, “at the height of my resignation is the manner in which the BNF/UDC is run. The BNF CC remains only in name because it is run by Comrade Boko’s bodyguards.
“The BNF Executive Committee never meets. Ever since the AP comrades left we are still to meet as the UDC Parliamentary Caucus to mention but a few. We can’t open up on these truths as the CC because of the love and respect we have for the BNF and its members”.
At its recent conference in Rakops, Boko said there has to be a valid reason that warrants for the meeting of the Central committee. He said central committee members know that if one of them wants a meeting he or she has to make a short write-up. The write-up, according to Advocate Boko, is forwarded to the Secretary General Moeti Mohwasa who then engages the president.
“We don’t have to meet to pass time. We meet for serious issues. The matter has to be notified three (3) days before the meeting. We cannot run government with gossip, we have to be serious,” he told the delegates. Confronted about the letter he authored, Salakae was reluctant to speak to the issue of the bodyguards. He told this publication that he would not discuss contents of the letter with the media. Salakae explained that it was unfortunate that the letter was leaked to the media and the public while it was only for internal consumption of the central committee through the party’s Secretary General.
He dismissed claims that he had to rush to resign because of a communication he had with other people where he attacked the leadership of the BNF. In a leaked conversation which Salakae had with one of Botswana Congress Party (BCP) activists (known to this publication), Salakae expressed his misgivings that the UDC cannot be saved with Advocate Boko as the face of the project. “We cannot with Boko.
Everybody including Kago, Kwenantle and Moeti who appear to (be) supporting Boko in public tell us in privacy how frustrated they are with him. They don’t want him. So we can’t save the project using Boko as the face. People are going to leave silently because in the first place comrades make the mistake of theorizing the UDC dilemma yet Boko is very clear that politics of ideology live in the past.
“He told us that point blatantly at some point. We just can’t win anything with Boko because though he is intelligent he lacks honesty, wisdom and respect on other people,” reads a conversation which Salakae shared with the BCP activist who shared it with BCP executive then some relayed it to Advocate Boko. Salakae would also not want to be drawn into discussing this conversation saying he would not discuss internal matters with the media. However, it is understood this is the message that drove Salakae to draft the letter which he shared with his colleagues from the BNF Central Committee and got leaked before reaching the Secretary General Moeti Mohwasa.
Mohwasa could not be reached for comment. BNF Publicity Secretary Justin Hunyepa said he could not comment on matters that were not communicated with the party. He indicated that if Salakae has a problem with leadership, as part of the central committee, he knows the proper channels to follow. He dismissed the claim that Boko’s bodyguards run the party as “not possible” adding, it would never be possible for people not mandated by the BNF membership to run the affairs of the BNF.
According to Hunyepa every leader within the central committee knows his or her portfolio and there is no one who will take the other’s assignments. Kago Mokotedi refuted the comments in the conversation indicating that the author of the message is better placed to explain his words. Kwenantle Gaseitsiwe said there is no truth regarding his name in the conversation. “I do not hold private talks. I speak at puo-phaa platforms so what is being said about my name is not true,” Gaseitsewe said.