Botswana Congress Party Youth League (BCPYL) new president, Dithapelo Keorapetse, will on July 1 take over from former chairman, Lotty Manyepetsa, due to the decision of adopting the new constitution, which accommodates any person between the ages of 16-35 to BCPYL membership.
Recently, the BCP held an extraordinary congress in Chobe, Kasane, to discuss and adopt the BCPLY constitution which co-opted Keorapetse as the president of the BCPYL.
He will be assisted by Bagalatia Aaron as the new vice president, who is also Member of Parliament for Okavango. On the list of those co-opted into the youth league is Tshegofatso Raditlhokwa as the Chairperson of the BCPYL.
Manyepetsa stated that the new constitution was unanimously adopted by delegates during the congress. He said that the constitution provides that irrespective of colour, race, and gender or of place of residence, any person who is between the age of 16 to 35 years, who is not a member of another political party, and is a member of the BCP is eligible for BCPYL membership.
“This year at the end of September, I will be turning 39 years and by June 30 I am stepping down as the youth president but I will still be active in the party activities,” said Manyepetsa.
He also revealed that Secretary for Labour, Reuben Bogale, is also in the same situation and added that the reason for the age provision is to make the BCPYL membership indisputable.
According to Manyepetsa, the new constitution has created positions such as president, vice president, secretary general, deputy secretary general, treasurer, publicity secretary, secretary for woman’s affairs, secretary for ports and also national organizing secretary.
Responding to a question, Manyepetsa said the decision to co-opt new leadership is that elections are expensive to conduct and delays people from working hence that decision was taken.
“BCPYL has been operating without a constitution but owed its existence to the BCP constitution. It was realized that as BCP structure, we need a set of written rules setting out our aims and how we intend to achieve them,” he said.
He further highlighted that the adopted constitution shall be the governing document and added that having a constitution will ensure that the BCPYL’s aims and objectives are clear and that everyone understands them.
Manyepetsa said that the constitution will also accord the BCPYL more legitimate status in the BCP and added that, “it preserves internal party democratic principles of elected youth leadership, periodically re-elected and recallable and as well as disciplined”.