Monday, May 17, 2021

BDP elders to summon Masisi over election

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) elders committee, it is alleged, plans to summon President Mokgweetsi Masisi over a distracted 2019 manifesto.

A close source within the committee says concerns are that the party made a promise to overhaul the constitution, something which has not been done.

The source also said among key issues to be raised with Masisi is the continued rise of unemployment particularly among young people.

“It is sad at this time that we continue to hear reports of job losses especially in the private sector. Our industries are bleeding jobs and we seem to have lost the direction we sought to take in the lead up to the 2019 general elections,” said the source.

This source also indicated that they have also proposed to engage the President on issues of land.

“Most Batswana do not have land. We had thought by now, the President would have taken it as a matter of urgency to allocate land especially to those who have been on the waiting list for many years,” added the source.

The source further shared that they had initially proposed to meet in January but the meeting was set aside owing to the rising cases of Covid-19.

“This will not be our first meeting with him. We met him prior to the elections. He is a consultative man. I have no doubt that he will listen to our grievances. All we want is for the party to refocus and ensure that we deliver on our promises before it is too late,” said the source.

The source also indicated that although there are challenges of high unemployment rate as a result of Covid-19, they appreciate efforts done by government thus far in the fight against the virus.

“I particularly think some of our efforts to revive our economy and to create jobs have been thwarted by the virus but that cannot be an excuse because more people are now in the streets trying to make ends meet in the literal sense,” said the source.

“The meeting is not basically to crucify him, we want to understand his challenges, assist where possible because the last thing we want in 2024 is to lose elections. People will be asking about the promised jobs, constitutional review, economic transformation and so on and so forth,” added the source.

In the lead up to the 2019 general elections, President, Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi launched the Botswana Democratic Party’s 2019 election manifesto anchored on economic transformation, job creation and equitable distribution of wealth.

The manifesto, which was launched in Gaborone, pledged to implement economic transformation through a comprehensive constitutional, legislative and policy review including land reforms, as well as revamping social protection programmes with a view to break the cycle of poverty.

Source highlighted that another issue expected to be raised is the continued to loss of key party members within party structurers.

“There is a concern among elders that some party members from different regions have left while some are threatening to divorce themselves from the party. And here, I am talking about life long members. We cannot allow this to continue happening,” the source said.

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