Taking their cue from the ANC Youth League, the youth wings of other ruling parties in Southern Africa are expected to go public in their criticism of Botswana Government and the ruling Botswana Democratic Party.
Last week, the leader of the ANC Youth League stunned the region when he called Botswana Government a puppet regime that had to be toppled.
Julius Malema said the ruling BDP had taken Botswana with itself into the pockets of the West.
He said Botswana under the BDP is a security threat for Africa and the African agenda.
Specifically, he said Botswana’s stance against Libya could not be tolerated by other African countries.
The Telegraph investigations have turned up information that the ANCYL are not acting unilaterally but are implementing a decision taken at last November’s World Festival of Youth and Students.
It was apparently agreed that in countries with AFRICOM interests, there should be concentrated “youth command teams.” In countries where the US either has military bases or is planning them, the work of the “youth command teams” is to condemn AFRICOM and make sure that it does not exist.
Accordingly, the Pan African Youth Union charged the ANCYL, as the country closest to Botswana, to run the youth command team.
The Panafrican Youth Union (PYU) is the apex body for National Youth Coordinating Bodies and Mechanism in Africa, known formerly as the Panafrican Youth Movement (PYM). It was transformed into the PYU at the organisation’s 2003 congress in Windhoek, Namibia.
The organisation, based in Algiers, Algeria, was formed in Conakry, the capital of the Republic of Guinea, on 26 April 1962, at the urging of African Heads of State and Government at the time, who wanted to create a platform to rally African youth behind the cause of the African liberation.
The Telegraph has further raised information that the parties likely to lead fresh criticisms against Botswana and the BDP are those that have liberation credentials as well as a history of leftist leaning politics.
The parties so far mentioned are SWAPO in Namibia, MPLA in Angola and ZANU-PF in Zimbabwe.
If fears of public criticism come to pass, they are most certainly likely to further isolate both the BDP and the Botswana Government.
Secretary General of the Botswana National Front Youth League, Arafat Khan, has also confirmed that prior to Malema’s outbursts, his organization had been in touch with the ANC Youth League.
Khan said the BNF Youth League briefed their ANC counterparts on Botswana’s deteriorating political situation.
The BNF youth also engaged their ANC counterparts on Botswana’s foreign policy relations as well as on growing number of extra-judicial killings at the hands of Botswana’s security services.
Khan said efforts are ongoing to replicate the ANC Youth League stance in more SADC countries.
“What we did was to only tell them the truth as we saw it on the ground as youth members of Botswana opposition. We also briefed the ANC Youth League on how badly the Botswana government handled the recent strike action by public servants,” said Khan.
On foreign affairs policy, Khan said like the rest of Africa, the BNF Youth League has been disappointed by Botswana’s support for Allassane Ouattarra of Ivory Coast, who he said is a puppet of France.
In Libya, Khan acknowledged that there have been human rights violations by the Ghaddafi regime but said it was a big mistake for Botswana to cut diplomatic ties with Libya.
“People are accusing Malema of calling for a regime change in Botswana. But Ian Khama has called for the same changes in other countries and nobody said it was wrong for him to do that. As BNF Youth league we are not going to treat Khama with kid gloves.”
Khan said it is also important for people not to forget that it was Ian Khama who attacked Julius Malema long before the recent furore broke out.
“Khama said Malema was ill-disciplined and nobody saw anything wrong with that. All of a sudden when Malema hits back at Khama people are shouting for ceasefire,” said Khan.
A BNF Youth League delegation is expected to leave for other SADC capitals this week to brief their counterparts in those countries on the situation in Botswana.
Khan said the BNF is doing it on behalf of the collective youth oppositions in Botswana.
“We are just the link. This matter is no longer for the BNF Youth League. What is important is that as BNF Youth League we are in touch with other countries’ political parties. They too will be criticizing Botswana very soon. Rest assured,” said Arafat Khan.
On comments by Freedom Front, an Afrikaner nationalist opposition party in South Africa that Botswana Government should consider charging Malema with sedition, Khan said “Freedom Front are the true BDP friends -the ultra rightists that are against the African agenda.”