Botswana National Front (BNF) publicity secretary Moeti Mohwasa has appealed for calm and called on party dissidents lobbying for the use of the BNF electoral symbol in the upcoming general elections to give the party leadership an opportunity to consider the plea.
Mohwasa has warned that the party leadership will not be timid and would take action against party members trying to introduce factions within the party.
A group of BNF members composed of among others Tona Mooketsi, Mishack Mthimkhulu and Malatsi Mokhubame have began lobbying for UDC to shelve its symbol and instead take part in the October general elections using the popular BNF symbol.
At the weekend the group briefed party members in the Boteti and Serowe constituencies. The group is mobilising BNF
constituencies countrywide to call a special congress to block the de-registration of the BNF symbol as well as press for UDC to use the symbol.
According to party insiders, the group wants a special congress to discuss the issue.
The BNF leadership is accused of failing to implement a central committee resolution that a proposal be made to BNF’s Umbrella partners to consider the use of a BNF disk at the polls.
Already some within the temporary platform are mulling the possibility of taking party leader Duma Boko to court to force him to implement the central committee resolution.
As the plotting against the party leadership continues behind the scenes, Mohwasa says that there is need for party members to be consistent and use party structures to launch their grievance as well as give the party leadership an opportunity to assess the matter.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Mohwasa said that members of the temporary platform had formally written to the party leadership on the possibility of using the BNF disk at the general elections instead of the already registered Umbrella symbol.
The party members argue that the BNF symbol will be easy to sell and thus bring electoral gains for the newly formed Umbrella party, an alliance between the BNF, Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) and Botswana People’s Party (BPP).
“The central committee is still seized with the matter and at this stage it is important to allow the party leadership to deliberate on the issue,” said Mohwasa.
“We hope that they do not turn into a faction and destabilise the party,” he further warned.
UDC has already registered an electoral symbol with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
The main partner Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) had no discussions on the possibility of using the BNF’s disk at the polls.
This has been disclosed by the party’s secretary general Wynter Mmolotsi in a separate interview with The Telegraph.
“The consensus between the Umbrella parties was that we use a neutral and acceptable symbol,” said Mmolotsi.