Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has resolved to stop forthwith the practicing of allowing cell phones in its internal meetings.
This has come out in papers presented by BDP Secretary General Mpho Balopi at the party’s National Council meeting held over the weekend in Gaborone.
On numerous occasions the party leadership has been embarrassed by tapes privately recorded at internal meetings only to be later leaked to the public media.
Due to weak security and poor systems of vetting, the BDP internal meetings have in the past been infiltrated by aliens.
“We have to deliberate, in this National Council, how to reinforce security at all future internal Party meetings.
The Council deliberations should include, among others rigorous accreditation of delegates, not allowing the use of recording devices such as cellular phones and other recording devices in our internal meetings” said Balopi.
Ministers and public officers attending President Lt gen Ian Khama’s meeting have also been banned from bringing their cellular phones to the meetings since February this year.
The move to disallow cell phones in the Botswana Democratic Party internal meetings is not solely for the reasons that the gadgets make noise during presentations.
Sources within the party said the party leadership was embarrassed by a leaked tape in which Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi briefed the party activists on the media strategy employed by the publicity committee of which he was a Chair at the time.
The tape was to later play on Gabz FM.
At another event, Masisi was recorded saying he was a bootlicker.
The tape which went viral embarrassed the party that had always argued it did not encourage nor rewarded bootlicking.
“The move by Secretary General to disallow cell phones is a result of fear that some members are likely to record proceedings of the party internal meetings and pass them to the media,” said one activist.
Masisi stated in the leaked tape, that it was surprising that Gabz FM was against the BDP, despite most of its revenue coming from government and other private businesses owned by the BDP.
Masisi further stated that they went ahead to boycott the Gabz FM debates because the debates were a witch-hunt against his party.
In the Secretary General’s Report since passed to The Telegraph, Mpho Balopi dedicates a significant amount of his attention to what he calls “Security at BDP Internal Meetings.”
Balopi’s concerns are however not without precedence.
The president, through the Permanent Secretary to the President Carter Morupisi has in February complained against cell phones ringing during President Ian Khama’s meetings.
“These cellular phones disturb both the flow of information and concentration during the meetings,” he said.
“Regrettably, the enormity and frequency of the disturbance generated by ringing cellular phones is such that this conduct cannot be ignored anymore. I have decided that no cellular phones should be carried and/or brought into His Excellency the President’s briefing meetings. You are, therefore, directed to cease bringing cellular phones to these meetings……” Morupisi’s February savingram reads in part.
Meanwhile Balopi also stated in the papers passed to the The Telegraph that the BDP is a party at war with itself.
“The party is at war with itself. We have to portray positive image in the eyes of on-lookers. People want to be part of a stable and winning team. Let’s stop attacking and hating each other. We need each other.”