In its article of July 6- 13 2008 the Sunday Standard purports to have inside information on the goings at the Botswana Democratic Party Central Committee meeting and ascribes to the Vice President Lt Gen Mompati Merafhe various misguided positions regarding the vetting of Mahalapye West Constituency.
They do this despite the fact that we are always available to clarify issues which they may not be privy to.
The Sunday Standard wrote that “Vulnerable Merafhe ordered out of the BDP Central Committee” and also that “Take Cover – factions are back”.
We are saddened that the Sunday Standard is trying to portray the BDP in bad light in particular Vice President Merafhe. We wish to categorically state that he has never ordered out of any Central Committee meeting. We view this as a personal attack on the Vice President geared towards tarnishing his reputation. We normally will not respond to yellow journalism, for to do so would be to dignify it. Yet for the sake of all those who so read this desperate paper we cannot let their half-truths, innuendos, and character slurs stand unchallenged.
Article 2 of the BDP Regulations for Conduct of Primary Elections states that; “all interested persons, whose participation is likely to give rise to conflict of interest, shall recuse themselves from the vetting body during consideration of the relevant ward and or constituency candidates”. It is this article which all BDP committee members, including Central Committee members, use to recuse themselves. These are the regulation of the Party as adopted by National Congress. Therefore, all candidates serving in the Central Committee recused themselves when their respective constituencies were being vetted including Mr Merafhe.
The article is also misleading in that it creates the impression that vetting was for Mahalapye West only while, in fact, more than twenty constituencies were dealt with and the Vice President was present and only recused himself during Mahalapye West vetting, which is normal. Further, the article is inaccurate when it purports that there were four councilors vetted out in Mahalapye West, which was never the case. It also insinuates that tribalism is rife within the BDP in Mahalapye. The BDP shuns tribalism and our constitution is very clear on this matter. We challenge the Sunday Standard, especially Spencer Mogapi to always verify his fats before going to print.
Lastly, the constitution of Botswana provides for the position of the Vice President and as far as we are concerned the Vice President of Botswana is in no doubt Lt Gen Mompati Merafhe. The BDP is united and moving towards 2009 with vigor and the “defenders” would not have to “criminalize” criticism. However Spencer Mogapi remains dishonest, unfair and unmeasured in his criticism of the mighty BDP as can be deduced from his article.
Dr Batlang Comma Serema
(BDP Executive Secretary)