BDP regional congress turns violent

Edward Bule - NE correspondent
Monday, 20 March 2017
BDP regional congress turns violent

The Central Police Station in Francistown is investigating a case in which a Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) elective congress for the Francistown region degenerated into a violent affair over the legitimacy of certain delegates.

The congress was held at Donga Junior Secondary School last Saturday.“The incident took place at about 4 pm. We should have started at 2 pm but could not because there was this lengthy argument over delegates from a ward in Monarch. One of the BDP members, Otto Masogo protested the legitimacy of delegates from Monarch north ward in the Monarch township,” said a source who witnessed the fight which took place inside the hall where the delegates congregated.

“Masogo stays in the ward and was concerned that no ward meeting had been called in accordance with the constitution to choose delegates to the congress,” said the source who indicated that, so bad was the situation that the secretary general, Botsalo Ntuane, who was in town, had to be called into the hall. By then, Masogo had already called the police and accompanied them to the station to lodge his assault case. When approached, a reluctant Masogo could only confirm that he was assaulted by a “group of boys who stay in Monarch,” saying he felt constrained to say much before the matter was reported to the relevant party structures.

Eyewitnesses say the group of boys are close to the area Member of Parliament (MP), Ignatius Moswaane and are linked to the group that beat up another senoir BDP activist, Ford Moiteela last year. For his part, Moswaane claimed that he did not witness any fight. “I only witnessed Masogo being escorted out of the hall because he was drunk and disorderly. As far as I am concerned, the party should charge him with disrupting the congress. He had no business being there in the first place because he was neither a delegate nor an observer,” said Moswaane adding that he was not aware that Masogo had been assaulted.

Neither is he in a position to identify those he saw assisting Masogo leave the hall. Regional chairman Baemedi Medupe, said that the matter had not yet been reported to his committee. Ntuane was not available for comment as his phone was off air at presstime. A ceratin Ketsile Matota, also claimed that the same group assaulted him after he had gone to Donga secondary school after learning about what had happend to Masogo.

“Masogo is a friend of mine. After hearing that he had been beaten, I went to Donga secondary school to check on him only for somebody I hardly knew attacked me,” said Matota who added that one of his ears and one of my eyes have been injured. Matota, who knows his assailant only as Robert, said he reported the matter to the police on Sunday. Station Commander, Superintendent Lebalang Maniki confirmed that his office had received Masogo’s complaint. “We are still investigating the matter and have neither charged nor arrested anybody as yet,” he said.

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