A visit to two Churches and an informal settlement where scores have been evicted for squatting in the diamond capital of Jwaneng marked the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leader Dumelang Saleshando’s first aggressive campaign to lure new members.
This was Sunday in the morning ÔÇô a day which is not for worship for the BCP leader who attends the Seventh Day Adventist Church whose congregants worship Saturdays.
The benefits of Saleshando’s Jwaneng visit, with BCP Councillor Phagenyane Phage on tow, seemed to show immediately as scores of people visited the BCP stall erected close by to register as new members. At the end, the party claimed it had registered 436 new members.
Saleshando’s visit was seen, at least by the account of one Botswana National Front (BNF) member in Jwaneng, as a calculated move to destabilize the BNF in the area coming weeks after the area Member of Parliament, Mephato Reatile left the BNF. Reatile was earlier seen in the morning hanging around with people in the vicinity where the BCP was to hold a rally.
He was to be seen also in the afternoon during a rally addressed by Saleshando. Reatile has not joined the BCP, opting to remain an independent Member of Parliament. There is, however, speculation he could be headed for the BCP soon. This after another BNF MP, Kentse Rammidi, join the BCP on Monday.
In his address during a rally that afternoon, which attracted members of the BNF some clad in their party attire, Saleshando tore into the administration of President Ian Khama’s spending habits claiming that the P300 million used to buy the Presidential jet could have built 6000 houses for the poor without the President begging the business community to donate to his Presidential Housing Appeal pet project.
He further said the P20 million used for the refurbishment of the State House could have been used to build 400 houses whilst the P15 million spent on the military barracks inside the State House could have been used to build 300 houses.
He blamed the country’s education for being skewed in favour of the rich and the lack of educating pupils in their mother tongue during their early education, saying there was education for the brave and education for the very foolish under the ruling Botswana Democratic Party.
The BCP would later receive within its fold 45 new members who were paraded before they shook hands with the party leader.