Leader of the Botswana National Front (BNF), Otsweletse Moupo, on Saturday afternoon vowed firm grip against wayward party members in a bid to restore order and discipline in the embattled party.
Addressing party members at an annual national party conference in Serowe, Moupo said he was unsettled with some party members who, instead of channeling their misgivings against party members and the party in respectful, acceptable and laid out procedures, vent their anger through the media.
Moupo said such behaviour brings about disrespect to the party.
He said that the party has been treating defiant party members with kid gloves, resulting in disrespect of party rules and regulations. He indicated that such treatment would be coming to an end.
“Recent indications suggest appeasement and leniency have been doing us great harm as some party members publicly character-assassinated some of our party members and party. Today, I declare such leniency has come to an end. Those who breach party regulations and rules will face the wrath of party rules,” he declared to the applause of the audience.
Moupo added, “Even though our organisation enshrines freedom of speech, it would be disastrous to fold our arms and allow character assassination and party assassination for the sake of freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is meant to build not to destroy.”
He said the BNF would only allow honest, objective criticisms chandelled in party laid out procedures and good faith.
He told the audience that the BDP too was having its own problems but the party knows how to solve their differences. He advised party members to listen to the voice of the party and said that those who do not want to do so should leave the party.
Moupo said the BNF was not a club and said party members should also listen to the voice of the masses.
“The masses have spoken in Molepolole and, as such, should be respected.
He said those who thought were supreme against the masses were wrong.
Moupo also took a swipe at the MPs and councillors who do not attend party meetings, saying they are cheating the electorate.
“They should be here to represent their people especially that they are paid,” he said.
Absent at the conference were Letshabo, Modubule, Molefhabanye and councillor Mogalakwe Mogalakwe.
Analysts suggest Moupo’s remarks targeted the above MPs as they have been known to speak against Moupo.