Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) followers have been called upon to desist from a growing tendency of bitterness resulting from hatred against new recruits from opposition parties.
The call was made by party President Ian Khama at an event to mark the 16th National Women’s Wing Congress in Maun over the weekend.
He pointed out that it has come to his attention that some party members highly disapprove the appointment of new recruits into party positions such that they resent fellow members, something which he said should be discouraged before it spirals and weakens the party itself. Often times, he said, there had been reports reaching his office to the effect that some members were not happy as they feel bypassed by new comers who instantly progress and fit into the system while their equally capable associates wonder about despite having excessively worked for the party.
“I beg to disagree with you here because there is no such arrangement. What I know is that people are selected on merit based on their capabilities. It is just the same with what is done at election,” said Khama.
Khama said voters will choose you because they believe you can be a better representative, and so if you are popular you will prove yourselves.
“The recruitment drive should continue, and so please make sure new members are made comfortable so that they may adjust quickly.”
He added that the new committee will be tasked with a lot more work and responsibilities.
“I would like to meet all of you who would have emerged victorious after the elections so as to map a way forward. I want to see your capabilities ahead of the Tlokweng by-election and so I am counting on you to prove yourselves so that we win this constituency.”
The president also said that every member of the BDP, whether a new comer or old members have every right to stand for whatever positions they may wish for, adding that those who win should know that they represent all women and not just a batch of those who supported them. For the purpose of strengthening unity within the party, he advised that they should refrain from petty talk and help support those who emerge victorious for the interest of peace and progress because all what’s needed is a solid BDP.
Women were also advised to ensure that they build strong and functional structures which will be of benefit to Batswana as a as a whole.
Khama also commended Gaborone city mayor Kagiso Thutlwe whom he described as a true patriot. He said often times when members of the opposition shunned national events, Thutlwe always stood out and proved he is a sophisticated leader despite party affiliation.
“They boycotted the independence celebrations but he was there celebrating with the nation. Just recently we called for prayers in appreciation of the good rains and still he came out to prove his true leadership skills. This is the kind of leadership we yearn for. We might affiliate to different parties, but at the end of it all we must be seen to be directing as per the interests of our people”.