Wednesday, January 27, 2021

“Irresponsible campaigning will sink the BNF further”

This statement is prompted by some articles which have been published in the media lately by some Botswana National Front (BNF) members attacking others.

Our aim is not to interfere with lobbying but as it is the party principle, this has to be done in a principled way within the party structures. One would have thought that the experience from the 2007 Molepolole Congress would have taught us a few lessons.

We did not perform as expected in the 2009 General Elections because of anything else but our disunity and infighting. In July this year the BNF will hold an elective congress in accordance with the party constitution.

The BNF members will like 3yrs ago have an opportunity to use the power of their votes to put in a new leadership. It is worth emphasising that the BNF constitution allows any member in good standing to contest for any position of leadership.

As it was the case 3yrs ago, the build up to the congress will without doubt result in differences of opinion as to who will advance the party’s interests better if voted into any party position.
Such differences of opinion should not create space for character assassination and belittling of people not favoured in positions they are┬ácontesting for. Clean campaigns are a good recipe and appropriate for┬áa party of BNF’s stature.

When going into an elective congress it is important to know that there can only be one winner for each position. It is therefore important for contestants for various party positions to be mature and principled enough to accept election results as the voice of BNF members.
In the past we have had situations where election losers were determined to discredit and undermine the party leadership.

This is despite them unequivocally accepting election results following defeat. We hope that for the sake of revitalizing the BNF and restoring the party to its rightful position this does not happen after the coming congress.

Instability in the party is normally a result of unbecoming behaviour from election losers who will do anything in their power to undermine the authority of a popularly elected leadership.

The BNF general membership has time and again proven to be competent and robust in making the right decisions when it comes to choosing party stewards. This time will not be different.
The coming election provides a good opportunity for the party to take stock of itself and we should not let dirty campaigns polarize us as we approach the congress.

We should focus on the merits of people we prefer to lead us and not attack fellow contestants. Criticism and attacking of other comrades in the newspapers will not improve the party image. It will further divide us. As they say, readiness, willingness and commitment to join hands will overcome even the greatest challenges.

As Cde Nelson┬áMandela once said, “…solutions can be found even to conflicts that have come to seem intractable and that such solutions emerge when those who have been divided reach out to find the common ground”.

We appeal to comrades to behave in such a way that will enhance the image of the party and make it attractive. Irresponsible public spats will sink the party.
Let us learn from the past and unite our party.
 
*Mohwasa is BNF Information and Publicity Secretary

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