The Botswana Democratic Party’s Deputy Executive Secretary, Fidelis Molao, last week chastised the party’s youth wing for failing to rise to the challenge to comment on issues of national interest and protect the BDP and government policies. Recent developments at the Government Enclave, among them the Intelligence Bill and the privatization saga, have earned the BDP-led government the wrath of many political parties and the opposition youth have had a field day condemning the BDP policies. Despite this onslaught on their party, the BDP youth wing has been silent on these profound issues of national interest offering neither commentary nor defense for their besieged leadership, and indications are that the party leadership is becoming increasingly concerned about the youth wing’s despondency and perpetual slumber.
Speaking at a youth empowerment workshop in Tutume last week, Molao challenged the youth to take the front seat in making intelligent commentaries on present day issues of national interest like the government’s youth empowerment schemes, privatization and diamond beneficiation. He urged them to become conversant with national issues so that they can be able to influence policy direction in the country. He slammed the youth for failing to take advantage of fora such as the national council to present proposals on policy issues and comment on issues affecting their welfare.
“You are the future party leaders and you can only be able to influence the political landscape if you take the initiative to take the mantle and lead, of course, without speaking off tangent to the party,” he said.
While opposition youth movements have always been vocal in critiquing government decisions and government schemes, the BDP youth wing has dismally failed to defend the party leadership or comment on issues of national interest.
The objective of the seminar, according to Molao, was to empower the party’s youth movement and educate those willing to stand for political office on the dynamics of party policy.
At the seminar, the youth was challenged to take over the responsibility of marketing and modernizing the party to conform to new trends and new challenges as the political landscape changes throughout the country. Molao said that because of new challenges in the political divide, the party was becoming increasingly dependent on the youth to evoke their vibrancy, innovation and new initiatives to counter the challenges of the new millennia and the opposition parties. He also challenged the youth to work hard to take the party forward and, in the face of new challenges, take the responsibility of maintaining a modern and adaptable party organization which shall be able to meet the wishes and aspirations of society.
“Many of the youth in Botswana are becoming despondent and disgruntled with politics and we are presently faced with a serious problem of voter apathy among the youth. It is your responsibility as the youth to rise to the occasion to turn these disgruntled youth’s minds and familiarize them with BDP policies,” challenged Molao.