Monday, October 25, 2021

Boko’s personal pledge to fund BNF conference awakens issues over accountability

What started as an innocent pledge by Botswana National Front president Duma Boko to sponsor the party conference has reignited issues over lack of accountability inside the BNF.

Boko has written to regional chairpersons of the party telling them that he will be personally sponsoring the national conference to be held next month in Rakops.

He says he will also be providing transport and food for party delegates.

“My intention is to provide transportation for all delegates to the conference and to feed them while there without them having to spend anything. This will relieve the pressure on the delegates themselves as the local leadership,” says Boko in his letter.

He also adds that his sponsorship will help ensure maximum attendance at the conference, as part of positioning for next general elections.

The gesture has however been met by cynicism within some quarters of the party who are questioning how the money has been raised and why such money does not go through the party National treasurer.

Boko’s opponents inside the party say his pledge to sponsor the conference is an attempt to micromanage the conference outcome by stacking delegates with his supporters.

To highlight the magnitude of differences inside the party, there are those holding the view that the BNF has been infiltrated by the ruling party and intelligence services who have been sponsoring some individuals inside both the BNF and the coalition Umbrella for Democratic Change of which the BNF is a member.

A central committee member has said at a past conference the party leader had said he was going to raise money to build the headquarters.

Years later, that has not happened.

Recently there was also a pledge by the party leader that he has raised P100 million for general elections next year.

Also pledged has been a car for each of the fifty-seven constituencies.

In his letter, Boko says he is now ready to give a first of those vehicles to the Mahalapye region.

“We are aware that UDC leaders have been going around the world soliciting money for the parties. None of them has come back to report to their members. More disturbing are allegations doing rounds that the same leaders are soliciting money promising potential sponsors that once the UDC is in power such sponsors will be favoured with shares from national treasures like Debswana and the management of Foreign Reserves at Bank of Botswana. That to us amounts to criminality,” said a Member of the BNF Central Committee.

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