Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Ex BNF Youth President calls for UDC leadership change

Former Botswana National Front Youth League President, Richard Khumoekae is expected to make the first clarion call for a change of leadership in the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).

Khumoekae is planning a press conference next week where he will focus on leadership crisis that the opposition UDC is currently going through.

“Alternative leadership is what we need if we are to realize our full potential. That leadership should have integrity and honesty”, he told the Sunday Standard.  Khumoekae says he is currently seized in a deep conversation with those closest to him about his political future.

Khumoekae who was elected BNFYL president mid last year gave up the post a few months later to pursue further studies in Canada. He is currently in Botswana on a short break.

Speaking to Sunday Standard, Khumoekae made no effort to hide his disappointment with the BNF.

He said the current problems besieging the Umbrella for Democratic Change can very easily be traced to structural and leadership weaknesses at the BNF, the party currently leading the UDC.

He said it was a misnomer to blame UDC troubles on the situation that had besieged the Botswana Movement for Democracy ÔÇô one of the constituent parties.

BMD had to split recently, with former leader, Ndaba Gaolathe going on to found the Alliance for Progressives.

“It is time as opposition we stopped playing with people’s intelligence,” said Khumoekae.

Narrating the source of his frustrations, he said he has for some time now been trying to counsel BNF leaders internally on what governance should be like.

“They have been unrepentant. They are rude and arrogant internally. They have equally been rude to some of us outside of the party structures,” he said.

He said his assessment thus far is that the Alliance for Progressives has set itself on a path to becoming a new platform for addressing the wishes, aspirations and fears of the nation, especially the young people.

“The days of being emotionally attached to monuments called political parties even when they flout our aspirations are over. A political party is not a destination. It is a platform we use to reach a destination,” he said.

He said political parties are like a driver, and if a driver loses his way, it’s up to passengers to find that way for themselves.

He said he expects to address a press conference in the coming week.

The press conference he said will focus on leadership crisis that the opposition UDC is currently going through.

“Alternative leadership is what we need if we are to realize our full potential. That leadership should have integrity and honesty.”

He declined to say if he will be resigning from the BNF at that press conference.

“I remain a BNF member. The truth though is that the BNF leadership knows where I stand on all issues afflicting our organization.”

He says he has been saddened to find that at BNF there is no accountability as money that was accrued by youth Congress were not accounted for.

The party he said he now overrun by no more than two individuals who shout out everybody they disagree with.

He advised the youth to take a deep look at all the political parties before choosing which of them can be trusted.

“We need honesty. We need integrity. BNF is not taking youth seriously. To this date there has not been proper handing over by the previous youth because that Committee was aligned to leadership. No accounts, no reports and no systems were handed over when we came in. Currently the BNF Youth League does not know anything about past finances. The decay inside the BNF is hurtful. And it shows at the UDC because it is BNF that is at the UDC helm; no accountability, no filing,” he said.

Throughout the interview Khumoekae kept repeating that the UDC problem is not the BMD.

“The exact pattern of unilateralism that we see at BNF we see it replaying itself at UDC. There is no collective leadership at BNF. The Central Committee is overruled by the president and Secretary General. The simple fact is that UDC has been caught by the BNF disease including work ethic at leadership.”

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