Sunday, October 17, 2021

BNF faces possible split- warns party veteran

A veteran of the Botswana National Front has said there is no need for the party to hold a Special Congress.

He has also warned that if current tensions inside the party are not handled properly, the BNF faces a the threat of a possible split.

Speaking to the Sunday Standard, Professor Monageng Mogalakwe who is a lifelong member of the BNF said the problems at BNF can easily be resolved by the Central Committee exercising and asserting its mandate.

Different factions of the BNF have recently been agitating for holding of the Special Congress.

This follows a recent Congress by the Umbrella for Democratic Change where other BNF members called for expulsion of Botswana Movement for Democracy, one of the contracting parties.

At the UDC congress, BNF leader Duma Boko resisted expelling the BMD, threatening that if BMD was expelled he would resign his position.

Professor Monageng has said under the BNF constitution, the relationship between BNF and BMD is not a matter to be determined by party president.

“That is a matter to be decided by a collective Central Committee.”

He said in the BNF powers are exercised collectively. “Anything else goes against the spirit of the BNF.”

He added that the Central Committee and not the president is fully empowered between congresses to run the party.

“BNF is a progressive party. There is no how the party constitution could centralize power on one person [President]” said Mogalakwe.

He said a Special Congress can only be held as a matter of the last resort.

“BNF does not give its president the powers to pronounce on policy,” he said.

Mogalakwe is of the view that between congresses, the Central Committee and not the president is the supreme body running the BNF.

He called on the Central Committee to take decisive steps to assert supremacy between congresses.

“I am worried that if the Central Committee does not to what is right, the BNF is going to break up,” said Mogalakwe who teaches Sociology at the University of Botswana.

The fears of a possible split, he said are founded on a realization that there are very powerful forces inside the BNF that do not want to do anything with the current BMD.

“I can assure you that these forces are not going to retreat. The risk therefore is that if not handled properly, the BNF will end up breaking.”

The aversion to BMD, said Mogalakwe was borne by the fact that BMD does not have members.

“Today’s BMD is totally different from that one before Bobonong. That much was clear at the recent UDC congress. To pretend otherwise is being disingenuous.”

He said for UDC to win a way has to be found to bring back Alliance for Progressives.

“The winning formula includes the BNF, AP and the Botswana Congress Party.”

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