Members of Botswana National Front Youth League will be waiting with bated breath this Friday to know whether the BNF national executive will uphold the invitation of ANC expelled youth league, Juliua Malima to address them during their elective congress in Thamaga.
According to the Publicity Secretary of BNF Moeti Mohwasa the party executive will meet to discuss the invitation of Malema to the BNFYL congress. During the week the two BNFYL were at each other throats, with the Tona Selala led group saying that the youth league executive has agreed to invite Malema to be the guest speaker.
Secretary General Arafat Khan accused those who are against the invitation to the party to be puppets of the government of Botswana Democratic Party. Khan said that Malema’s invitation has nothing to do with the alliance the BNF has with ANC. “We have consulted with some central committee members and they have given the invitation the nod’’
On the other side, BNFYL outgoing President Tona Mooketsi said that it was immoral to invite Malema who has been fired by ANC and “expect him to share a table with members of ANCYL and young communist league who will also grace the occasion”.
Inside information within the BNF central committee reveal that Malema invitation will be thrown out as it puts BNF’s relationship with ANC at risk. “There is no way we will allow Malema to grace the BNFYL congress as a guest speaker for that matter.’’, said the source.
“We are not aware of the Friday meeting and as the secretary general of the youth league I am surprised to hear that from you”, charged Khan.
Asked if they will accept the decision of the central committee if they don’t allow their favourite man to grace the congress, “the preparation for Malema’s invitation is already at an advanced stage and we were communicating with him today [Wednesday] and has confirmed that he is coming” Khan said that they will attend the Friday meeting if they are invited and won’t pre-empt the decision of the meeting.
In his tweet account Malema has announced that he will be in Botswana on the 1st of June and was made 15 minutes after he spoke to Khan. There is fear amongst some BNF cadres that Malema’s issue might divide the party as some central committee seems to be supporting his invitation and the party might come out of the meeting politically badly wounded.
BNF is historically known for breaking up in the build-up to the general elections. In 1998 it gave its offspring Botswana Congress Party and in 2008 it expelled some of its leaders leading to its poor performance in the 2009 general elections.
Efforts to get comment from the BNFYL president hit a snag as he did not answer his phone.