The newly elected President of the Botswana Congress Party Youth League (BCPYL) Tumiso “Chillyboy” Rakgare has vowed to bring back lost hope in the BCP by reviving youth party structures across the country. He said the majority of Batswana are young and therefore the youth play a very crucial role in the politics of Botswana.
Giving his remarks after winning the BCP youth league presidency during the weekend in Francistown, he said that top of his priority as he assumes power, will be to visit different areas across the country where he will resuscitate youth structures which are currently weak. He also said that his team will work hard to make sure they recruit more members into the BCP.
“In an endeavour to achieve these, the committee and subcommittees will embark on a countrywide tour of regions, constituencies and wards to revive seemingly weak youth structures,” he said.
Rakgare won the youth league presidency after garnering 227 votes against his rival Tshegofatso Raditlhokwa who only acquired 172 votes. Most members of Rakgare’s lobby list were elected into the committee apart from Tlhabologo Furniture who lost the Chairperson’s position to Tebogo Molefe. Fourty seven constituencies participated in the elections and the results were not protested.
Rakgare rubbished suggestions from political pundits that the BCP needs the Umbrella for it to topple the ruling party from power. He said that it is important for members to avoid petty issues but focus on growing the party ahead of the 2019 general elections.
“We will not be put under pressure by those who say that the BCP needs the Umbrella for Democratic Change for it to wrestle power from the BDP. The BCP is still going strong and relevant as evidenced by the increase of its votes.
In 2014 the BCP registered 140 000 votes as compared to 100 000 votes in the 2009 elections. This clearly shows that the BCP is growing. I maintain that we can still win the 2019 elections without other opposition parties,” said Rakgare to loud BCP slogan chants and ululations from its members.
Rakgare commended his party for embracing women in its structures. He said unlike other parties, the BCP upholds gender equality in high regard. He said that although he competed for the youth league presidency against, Tshegofatso Raditlhokwa and won, there is no bad blood between the two.
“Raditlhokwa is my friend and we have been friends even during our days at the University of Botswana. We cannot allow party elections to divide us. When we began this elective congress, there were some people who thought the elections would divide us but that never happened.
I would also like to plead with fellow BCP members to unite, retrospect and come up with strategies on how we can grow our party ahead of the next general elections,” he said.
In conclusion he applauded the outgoing BCP Youth league president and Member of Parliament for Phikwe West, Dithapelo Keorapetse for a job well done.
Efforts to get a comment from the election loser, Raditlhokwa proved futile as she was nowhere to be seen after the election results were announced.
Several efforts to contact her mobile phone also proved futile as her phone was not answered until the time of going to press on Monday.