The Botswana National Front Youth League and the Central Committee are headed for a showdown over the latter’s decision to disqualify Duma Boko from standing as presidential candidate at the party’s forthcoming congress.
The BNF central committee resolved to halt Boko from standing for the party presidency because he was a founding member of the New Democratic Front, a splinter party of the BNF.
“The BNF had instituted a task force to investigate if Boko was eligible to stand for the BNF presidency, after allegations emerged that he had earlier resigned from the BNF to join the NDF. The task team found that he was a founding member of the NDF,” read a statement from BNF Publicity Secretary, Moeti Mohwasa.
The BNFYL immediately convened an ad hoc meeting to deliberate on the issue, and subsequently released a statement rubbishing the central committee decision.
“The BNFYL has resolved to endorse Boko’s candidature notwithstanding the decision of the central committee. The BNFYL realised that all investigation standards were not followed. Founding members of NDF were not interviewed, let alone Boko. He should have been called to answer questions related to his alleged membership of NDF,” they said.
Speaking to The Telegraph on Monday, BNFYL Vice President, Tona Selala, said they have discovered that one of the members of the task force, Chalido Madome, should not have been a member of the central committee.
Selala said Madome, who was Vice President of the last BNFYL executive, was not delegated to represent the youth league at the central committee. According to the BNF constitution, the youth league president should be a member of the central committee, and should delegate someone to represent him if he cannot attend. Selala said former BNFYL President Motsamai Motsama has indicated that he did not delegate Madome to represent him at the central committee.
“Madome was not delegated to the central committee by the youth league. By extension his inclusion in the task force that investigated Boko rendered their findings null and void,” said Selala.
But BNF Publicity Secretary Moeti Mohwasa has defended Madome’s membership of the central committee, saying he was delegated by the BNFYL.
“This is just malicious. Even current youth league president Kagiso Ntime was present at the meeting that decided not to endorse Boko,” said Mohwasa.
The BNFYL has advised Boko to appeal the central committee decision. They have also asked the central committee to deal with the matter urgently ahead of the national congress. Some constituencies have also reportedly written to the central committee expressing their displeasure with Boko’s disqualification.
The youth league intends to have the matter resolved as a matter of urgency, failing which they will table it before the national congress.