A Botswana National Front (BNF) youth activist, Poloko Monang, has declared his interest to challenge Duma Boko for the Presidential race ahead of the party’s Congress billed for President holidays in July in Ghanzi.
The 30-year-old Monang believes that he has what it takes to take the BNF to its heydays. Asked what prompted him to develop interest in contesting for the lofty position within the party, Monang attributed his interest to compete in the presidential to some of the challenges facing the BNF.
Monang also added that his interest was necessitated by the fact that there is no ‘comrade’ who has shown interest to contest for the party presidency.
“For quite some time, I have observed that some of the things are not properly done within the party. The leadership is failing to hold those who had been nominated for Central Committee accountable,” he said.
Monang said there should be a compiled report on the performance of the Central Committee members even at lower structures.
“Performance of those in the Central Committee should be evaluated by the President. If they are underperforming, they should be recalled and a new committee nominated,” he said.
Monang also revealed that there is a new trend by the BNF leadership to disregard the party’s polices.
“The BNF has a Social Democratic Program. But the party’s leadership does not share the noble polices with Batswana. The BNF can apply for a plot where we could produce something and show Batswana that indeed when given the chance to govern this country we will be able to feed the nation through our tried and tested polices,” he said.
Monang revealed that he had not consulted on his intention to vie for the BNF presidency at the upcoming Ghanzi Congress.
“I have a reason for not consulting. I believe that it’s a good thing because some comrades would have dissuaded me saying age does not favour me and should try my luck at the BNF Youth League,” he said.
The former Gaborone North region youth Secretary said since he declared his interest this week he has received positive response and support.
“Some of them told me that I should have declared my interest way back. I’m convinced that I’m going to win come Ghanzi Congress,” said Monang.
He claimed that some members of the BNF are unhappy with the current state of affairs within the party.
“They are unhappy with people who often claim that the BNF is no longer relevant,” said Monang.
He added that the leadership is failing to provide direction to the MPs and councillors of the BNF.
“MPs and Councillors need guidance from the leadership, but that is non-existent. The result is that some of our councillors make public statements that contradict the position adopted by the party,” he said.
By his own account, Monang was one of the BNF members who marshalled petitions that BNF used to hold when Otsweletse Moupo was at the helm of the party.
“That made the BNF to be visible. For instance, we held a petition demonstrating against the relocation of Basarwa from Central Kalahari Game Reserve (CKGR),” he said.
The presidential aspirant said there are some ‘comrades’ who are against Boko being challenged for the Presidency but he is unrepentant.
“What do they mean when they say Boko should not be challenged, come what may I’m going to do that,” he said.
Monang said some people raised the issue of age and economic status as some of the reasons why they believe he is not the right candidate to lead the party, but still Monang is unfazed.
“People should know that BNF is a mass movement. It is a party for the workers and peasants. Hence the person at the helm should be someone who understands the socio-economic dynamics experienced by these people, someone who is in touch with the ordinary,” he said. Asked if he has a lobby list, Monang answered in the negative. He called on the youth to take politics seriously and contest for lofty position at their parties.
Contacted for comment, Boko confirmed that he will stand to retain his Presidential position. He welcomed those who have intentions to challenge him saying in a democratic society, those who are interested in challenging for any position of the party should be encouraged.
“At the BNF there is transparency; it is not like other parties where a person is given a position on a silver platter. Anyone who wants to lead the BNF should be encouraged to do that. In fact, that should be encouraged in a democratic society,” he said.