Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Youth Wing Chairperson Andy Boatile has challenged the party leadership to be transparent in special nomination of youth for council positions. Addressing youth in Masunga recently, Boatile said a number of deserving youth were left disgruntled after they were sidelined during nomination of councilors.
“I am concerned about the criterion that was used in nominating youth councilors. In some constituencies, more deserving and qualified youths were left disgruntled as they were sidelined. There must be transparency in nominations,” he said.
Boatile also said his committee has managed to empower BDP youth politically as evidenced by the high number of youth candidates who stood for political office in the last general elections.
“We did very well in political empowerment. We hosted a number of workshops, youth rallies, consultation meetings and house to house campaigns aimed at encouraging the youth to run for political office. We also taught them how to conduct their campaigns,” he said.
As a result, said Boatile, an unprecedented number of BDP youth participated in the party’s Bulela Ditswe primary elections while many others hold leadership positions within the party structures.
“150 youths ran for Bulela Ditswe under council candidacy and 12 under parliamentary candidacy. 97 of 150 youth won the primary elections and 75 went on to win the general elections as councilors, 13 percent of who are female,” he said.
He also revealed that over the years the number of youth who were nominated for council seats increased from 29 in 2009 to 42 in 2014 out of 119 nominated councilors.
“Most of these youth councilors are chairpersons, deputies chairpersons and councils committee members,” said Boatile.
On youth economic empowerment, Boatile said he organized a Youth Pitso that was attended by representatives from all 57 constituencies.
“We deliberated on how to combat the high rate of unemployment and introduced the Exposure Programme where we send our youth to benchmark in other countries. So far 27 constituencies have benefited from this ongoing programme,” he said.