Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) members who are not actively engaged in party activities will not be allowed to contest the party primaries ahead of the 2019 general elections.
This new vetting system follows the Siele Commission and extensive consultations in the Regions. BDP leader, President Ian Khama shared the news with members of the ruling BDP at the 54th BDP National Council last Friday.
“Those who will only be visible at the time of primaries seeking to be voted by democrats either at Council or Parliamentary level shall be deemed not fit for office. There shall be a record keeping of individual members showing how each individual participated in party activities previously,” said Khama.
The BDP will in the period leading to the elections in 2019 introduce a new vetting system. Some of the reforms will include a new registration process, as well as new membership cards.
“It is critical that those aspiring for political office should be seen as having the integrity to hold such a post. It therefore goes without saying that this will require us party members, to stay focused on party interests, rather than personal interests, in that we ensure that various elective competitions for party leadership positions do not lead to deepening divisions between party members,” Khama told the BDP National Council.
Khama also used the platform to attack opposition parties. He said opposition is one of the entities in the country that has shown no contribution to nation building.
“The opposition continues to this day to reflect the worst attributes we do not want in our society; no manners, no truth, no tolerance and no patriotism. One thing that defines a democracy is the necessity to have different political parties playing the role of creating choice for voters through alternative policies and providing checks and balances for the ruling party. But in this country it seems the opposition’s role is just to register that they exist through making false claims and childish utterances,” said Khama.
President Khama said opposition leadership has continued denouncing the Economic Stimulus Program and misleading the nation while they benefit. He is of the view that opposition tried to lie and cheat their way into government.
“At elections they pay people to vote for them because they cannot get people to vote for them for anything else. They also have to cheat by resorting to trafficking of votes to win in a particular areas. They have to lie and cheat and scare people to believe we want to assassinate their leaders,” said Khama.
He further said it is opposition policy of desperation and hopelessness that makes them condemn policies aimed at improving the lives of Batswana.
“As long as the BDP is in government, which it will continue to be, they have no sense of belonging and supporting this country of Botswana and demonstrate a high level of being unpatriotic,” said Khama.