Sunday, May 9, 2021

BCP moves to suspend anti-unity dissidents

Botswana Congress Party Central Committee is on the verge of suspending dissidents behind guerrilla-like internal resistance against an alliance with the Umbrella for Democratic Change.

A BCP insider said this week that the party is in a state akin to a civil war.

He said the BCP unrest was fuelled by the ruling party that is using money to finance activities of the dissidents.

Over the weekend some of the anti-unity dissidents held a rally in Bobonong at which they attacked the leadership of the UDC.

Such attacks are clearly calculated to create a wedge between BCP and UDC.

At the Bobonong public rally there were also veiled threats against BCP leadership if the party moved towards consolidating a relationship with UDC.

Some of the dissidents include BCP long time firebrand Phagenyana Phage and also the BCP Youth Leader, Tumiso Rakgare.

Incidentally, a BCP long time loyalist, Taolo Lucas is also mentioned as the group’s spiritual leader.

For many years, Lucas has also been a close ally of BCP leader, Dumelang Saleshando.

Under the current atmosphere, it would appear like the two have irrevocably fallen out.

Bobonong is his Lucas’ village. While he has also been the BCP parliamentary candidate there for over 15 years, it is important to note that he has never won a single election.

A source close to BCP confirmed to The Telegraph that the party leadership is aware that the same faction that held a rally in Bobonong is well financed by the ruling Botswana Democratic Party as part of ongoing efforts by the ruling party to foment instability inside the BCP and also ensure that the still fragile relations between BCP and the UDC do not hold. That multi-pronged BDP strategy, he added, includes breaking the BCP apart before it can join UDC.

He said BCP will not hesitate to act against any member found guilty of destabilizing the party.

“Nobody will be too big. We will apply the same rules to everybody,” said a member of the BCP Central Committee.

A few months ago the BDP caused a similar storm inside the BCP when the Secretary General of the ruling party Botsalo Ntuane held a clandestine meeting with a group of BCP activists many of whom were also against their party aligning with the UDC.

After they were found out, many such BCP activists later defected from the BCP to join the BDP.

If allegations that BDP is financing the BCP dissidents are true, then BCP is about to witness a repeat of what happened last month when some of its key activists joined BDP. The only difference is that this time around, the kingpins behind BCP internal dissent would prove a bigger catch for the ruling party if they defect in protest.

Meanwhile the BCP has also refuted allegations that the party could be on tracks towards cooperating with the BDP.

In a statement, BCP Spokesperson, Dithapelo Keorapetse said efforts are ongoing inside the BCP to formalize relations with UDC.

“All the BCP and UDC members and Batswana at large who yearn for change in 2019 shouldn’t be perturbed by these sordid suggestions from those who seek to divide us and to cling to power at any cost. If the BDP does approach the BCP, the gesture would be treated as an indecent one worth of utmost contempt and disdain. The number one enemy of democracy and social justice in Botswana is the BDP. The BCP therefore cannot engage in any blasphemous infidelity of sleeping with the enemy,” said Keorapetse in a statement.

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