A newcomer in the political arena, Seteng Motalaote says he believes he is the right man to become the National Chairman of the Botswana Democratic Party. In an interview with the Sunday Standard, Motalaote said the BDP needs a new thinking. A businessman with close blood ties to the Batalaote clan royal lineage in Serowe he said he has skills and time to turn the BDP fortunes around. “I was born inside the BDP. I grew up inside the BDP.
The fact that I never stood for any position does not in anyway rule me out. In fact as it is the party needs new and clean hands. I think the fact that I am not part of the old furniture puts me in a great position,” he said. He says for all its troubles, the BDP still has a future. This he said is because the party has strong foundations. “But of course we need to do a lot of self-introspection. We need to reconnect with voter. Without harmony with the voter we cannot move beyond our current challenges,” he said. Top of his mind will be to engage a reputable political consultant to help the party, exactly what happened years ago when Professor Lawrence Schllemmer was engaged to map a strategy of BDP revival.
“There is evidence that numbers of people voting for us are declining. It may be important that we engage third parties to run Bulela Ditswebecause very clearly we have no internal expertise to do it. Yet it is one of the things creating problems for the party,” said Motalaote. He also said the BDP, after staying in power for so long should by now be financially independent. “Our founders created Tsholetsa House. It is a mystery why we have not seen it fit for example to construct a shopping mall so that we became more financially independent.” Motalaote says if the BDP does not win the next General Elections due in 2019, it will be almost impossible for the BDP to make a comeback.
“Structures should be resuscitated, but first we need to put infrastructure in place. That infrastructure should include rebranding the party. If you do not brand, you can a passive brand.” Another of his worries is the youth, who he says the BDP has failed. He said his priority if elected will be to engage with the youth. The same applies to the media who he said there is also a need to create a new relationship with. “Across the country BDP members are clamouring for change. I perceive myself as someone who can bring and manage that change.
The BDP needs young, educated and vibrant leaders who can match the leadership we see in opposition. We have to accept as the BDP that opposition is appealing more to young people than we are. That is because opposition today understands and speaks the language of young people.
Many brilliant young people left the BDP. We need to ask ourselves why they left and then try working at bringing them back. We need their voices, their numbers and most importantly their votes,” said Motalaote.