A Unionist, Kgang Kgang, ended the past year having emerged victorious as the Botswana Democratic Party’s Kweneng Regional Chairperson. In fact, he and the whole of his committee members got their new positions unopposed.
It emerged that the suggestion of names for each position was but for procedure’s sake, a list had long been prepared for the various positions. So when the time for voting came, the ‘elections officer’ had a simple duty. For each position he requested for a name, hands will be raised to mention it. He asked for secondment, it would be granted. He called for the next name and nothing would be said or done-proving that the candidate was unopposed.
Therefore, within five or so minutes, the elections were done with and the following committee was taking over office: Kgang Kgang from the Kweneng South constituency was taking over as the Chairperson, Deputised by Seipati Kgosinaga from Mogoditshane constituency. The Secretary became Goitseone Jane from Kweneng South constituency; John Kebopetswe from Molepolole South constituency became the Vice Secretary. Lulu Masilo from the Kweneng South East constituency became the Treasurer; while Obakeng Kgabo from Kweneng East became the Vice Treasurer.
The elections were the only main agenda item of that extra ordinary congress. The congress could have been held on the 18th November, 2012 at Lentsweletau, but flopped due to members’ absenteeism. Though the elections are held every two years, this could not be the case due to the changes in the BDP.
The out-going chairperson, Motlhophi Leo, informed the democrats that his committee had to quit because of the requirements that those who have interest for standing for council or parliamentary seats had to relinquish their positions in the party structures. This has seen most of his committee, himself included, having to quit their positions. Only two of the six-member committee were left and there was no way a committee could operate with such number.
Before handing over to the ‘elections officer’, Leo took time to read correspondence from the national central committee in order to highlight the cause of that day’s gathering.
He said on the 30th September they received a letter from the main central committee, dated the 10th Septembers, 2012; written by Parks Tafa – the BDP electoral board chairperson – informing them of expression of interest for political seats and withdrawal from party structures.
Therefore, there was need to have elections as soon as possible. He explained that there are no reports during an extra ordinary congress. He also explained that the instruction of the leadership should not be questioned.
But a Councillor raised his hand to ask why the chairperson of the electoral board wrote correspondence while the BDP has effective structure as there is General Secretary.
“Are we losing our way as democrats?” he asked. To that, Leo explained that he did not have an answer and that the leadership was present and could explain better. He, however, said that as the regional committee they sent their responses to the main central committee through the General Secretary.
Congratulating the newly elected committee for their election, Gaborone regional chairperson, Bontsi Monare, said they are going to be the link between the region and the main central committee. He said they, as Gaborone region, also get confused by the happenings in the party. Sometimes the party does not step well.
He said they are going to meet in March 2013 with the main central committee and the regional committee should know that that is the time to raise questions on everything. They should not attend the meeting just to say, “Yes sir!”
To everything the leaders like Rre Kwelagobe says or the Presidents or Vice President. “You have to interrogate issues there as representatives of your region,” he said.
When he stood up to motivate the new committee the party chairperson, Daniel Kwelagobe, said they were aware of what the councillor had raised. But that it was important that the issue is resolved amicably. People should not speak at the top of their voices to show dissatisfaction over internal matters.