Leader of the Botswana National Front, Otsweletse Moupo said this morning (Tuesday) that he will offer himself to be reelected BNF President at the coming Special Congress.
He said he used the powers bestowed on him by the BNF constitution to call a special congress because of the divisions consuming the BNF leadership.
Addressing the media Moupo looked relaxed and on good form.
His composure however belies tensions and ongoing high charged debates following his unilateral decision to call for the Special Congress.
He said he was well within his powers to call the extraordinary congress, saying his preoccupation is to bring unity inside the Front.
He said unity can only be brought about by way of a fresh mandate.
“As to whether I am a failure only the BNF members will decide,” he said.
For the first time since BNF troubles started, Moupo went public to say the party leadership lacks cohesion.
“For sometime now there has been a situation of considerable lack of cohesion within the BNF leadership. It was out of this situation in the Party that I deemed it appropriate to invoke my powers in terms of the constitution to convene an extraordinary congress so as to seek a fresh mandate from the BNF membership and elect a new leadership to restore unity.”
He said the calling of the extraordinary congress was done in the best interest of the party and in conformity with the principles and traditions of the BNF “which emphasise the central role of the masses in resolving all vexed questions facing the party including the assessment, evaluation, selection of the Party leadership.”
He said he will not discuss the BNF internal processes with the media.
“I remain a disciplined cadre of the BNF. I can’t open up the book. That would be improper and indiscipline,” he said.
This was in direct contrast to other of his colleagues who have been giving interviews to the media castigating him.
In a letter of resignation, one central committee member Monageng Mogalakwe called Moupo a “fake revolutionary.”
“I refuse to allow a few men in the media to judge. Politics is much more complicated than that,” he said when pressed if did not consider himself a failed politician.
“In the next three or four years when people look back, they will be less harsh on me.”
He ruled out the possibility of BNF splitting, saying “BNF has been through much bigger troubles.”
“All I can say is to quash alarmist sentiment. BNF members should be calm,” he said.
It is expected that a challenger to Moupo will come up front in the next few weeks.
BNF watchers say Cathleen Letshabo, the current Vice President is the most likely candidate. But From his composure at the press conference, Moupo looks prepared for whatever eventuality.