The first BNF Temporary Platform candidate, Comrade Selala, who contested the Thamaga by-elections as an independent candidate of a special type, garnered 283 votes against the BDP’s Janie who was voted by 358 people.
Against all odds, Comrade Selala acquitted himself well and gave the BDP candidate a run for her money despite the limited campaign time at his disposal. He put up a good fight and certainly did not embarrass the BNF Temporary Platform because 283 against 358 is certainly not as 63 nor is it 13 votes. Our loss must be placed firmly at the doorstep of the BNF Central Committee, which de-campaigned a fellow BNF member.
Clearly, if we work an extra bit harder in the next few months we can overturn the BDP majority and capture the ward. The BNF Temporary Platform wishes to take this opportunity to thank the BNF comrades and well-wishers who cast their ballots for our candidate. We also wish to make a few observations about the shameful conduct of Moupo’s Central Committee during the campaign.
Having earlier suspended Comrade Selala for daring to win the primary elections against Moupo’s loyalist, the BNF Central Committee feverishly tried to find a candidate but came unstuck because BNF members in Thamaga made it clear that they were not going to help them to impose their candidate on them. As a result the BNF Central Committee once again made headline news for the wrong reasons by dismally failing to field a candidate in the by-elections. If there were any doubting Thomases who were not yet convinced that Moupo is in bed with the enemy BDP then his conduct in the Thamaga by election must have dispelled any such lingering doubts. As if that was not enough embarrassment of the party, instead of trying to redeem themselves by throwing their weight behind a BNF comrade who had been popularly elected in the primary elections but was unfairly slapped with a 12 months suspension, the demented Central Committee actively and completely unashamedly campaigned for the BDP.
They urged BNF members not to vote for Comrade Selala. On the day when we launched Comrade Selala at a colourful ceremony attended by hundreds of party activists from different constituencies, Moupo and his Central Committee were in Thamaga trying to disrupt our campaign. The following week right until elections day they went around the village using public address systems mounted on trucks calling upon BNF members not to vote for Comrade Selala. The BNF Temporary Platform condemns very strongly such breathtaking collaboration of the BNF Central Committee with the BDP.
Moupo’s revolutionary posturing was once again badly exposed.
Back in the 1980s and 1990s when he was still a BNF activist taking part in political study groups we thought the man had understood the basic laws of dialectics on contradictions. Today he fails to comprehend this basic law of dialectics which teaches that we must learn to distinguish between different types of contradictions. The contradictions between comrades, or more specifically between his Central Committee and Comrade Selala on the one hand, are non-antagonistic, while the contradictions between the BNF Central Committee and the enemy BDP on the other are antagonistic. Therefore given a choice between supporting either Comrade Selala, the unfairly suspended BNF member, or the BDP in the Thamaga by-elections the BNF Central Committee should have easily resolved to rally behind their suspended BNF member.
Their differences would then be sorted out after the by elections. This tactical blunder or confusion regarding the nature of the contradictions between comrades has clouded the Central Committee’s judgment and attitude towards the BNF Temporary Platform. This has unnecessarily heightened tension between two groups both of which are members of the same party.
The dreadful decision of the Central Committee to rally behind the BDP ÔÇô our sworn enemy – earned them the wrath of BNF members. It did not come as a surprise to us that when our motorcade passed by the Central Committee’s rally BNF members supporting Comrade Selala chanting BNF slogans and waving BNF flags spontaneously alighted from their vehicles and rushed straight to the Central Committee and openly jeered and shouted at them. It was a dramatic development which severely embarrassed the illegitimate Central Committee.
With the Central Committee’s life having ended on December 31st 2008, the BNF Temporary Platform has decided to step up the political and legal struggle against them and we are now fast approaching the endgame, the critical or nodal point of qualitative change. Mene mene tekele forasai! Already the pressure we brought to bear on them is yielding good results. We have been witnessing unprecedented mass resignations from the Central Committee. Less than two years since this Central Committee assumed office Health Secretary Nomsa Sebataladi, Labour Secretary Gabatsoswe Lebitsa, Deputy Secretary General Gordon Mokagwathi and Foreign Affairs Secretary Paul Mosimanegape have resigned from the embattled Central Committee. And now, according to reliable sources, even Secretary General Mohammed Khan has also resigned from the Central Committee. For this to happen when the general elections are just around the corner has far reaching implications and speaks volumes about the crisis that has engulfed Moupo’s leadership.
Under normal circumstances when the party is run on the basis of its Constitution, mass resignations from the Central Committee, especially that they involve Executive Committee positions should have prompted the convocation of a national congress for the rank and file party members to elect a new leadership. Unfortunately under Moupo’s treacherous leadership which has repeatedly shown a total disregard for the Party Constitution he has been co-opting and co-opting new members, including opportunistic new comers from other parties whose loyalty to the organization is highly suspect. The BNF Temporary Platform takes a dim view of this continuous trampling of the party Constitution. We therefore call upon all BNF members to attend the so-called Special Congress scheduled for February 28th, 2009 in large numbers and convert it into a normal congress which should culminate in the election of a new Central Committee. This party cannot be run by special congresses just because the power hungry leadership is terrified by the prospects of being humiliated should free and fair Central Committee elections be held.
*Dr Tafa is Spokesperson of “BNF Temporary Platform”