Sunday, April 2, 2023

Venson Moitoi’s impending BDP chairmanship bid suffers heavy blow

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Serowe South branch recently dealt its Member of Parliament and Education Minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s bid for the party chairmanship a heavy blow when it excluded her from the least of voting delegates for the party’s national congress that will be held in Maun in July.

Although the minister will attend and vote at the congress in her official capacity as area MP, she is likely not going to enjoy the backing of her constituency which snubbed her inclusion in the least of six voting delegates.

At a meeting held at Grace Kgari Primary school in Serowe on February 3, the branch elected a committee that will take it to the 2014 general elections as well as delegates for the July congress.

Information reaching Sunday Standard indicates that the branch is unhappy that their MP made the announcement to contest for the chairmanship without first consulting her constituents.

“The branch in general felt undermined by the minister who did not seek their blessing in her endeavours to becoming the party’s chair person. Although it was a personal choice and her right to contest like any other democrat, it was incumbent upon her to be courteous to us as her electorates to tell us of her intentions. To learn of her candidature from some quarters, including the media, was a clear way of despising us. This is despite the fact that she is our representative. May be she felt we were not important hence she did not consult us. If that’s her thinking, then let her try it on her own. She is not going to get our backing,” said a member of the constituency who is not authorized to speak for the branch to the press.

She added that instead of Venson-Moitoi eyeing bigger positions in the party, she must be concerned with development issues affecting her constituency.

“As a minister, especially for the embattled education ministry, she should focus her efforts more on turning the ministry around instead of adding further responsibilities to herself. Her exclusion as a voting delegate at the coming congress is a clear sign of our disapproval of her intentions.

She will have to go it alone and if she loses, she must not blame us. Consultation with us on party matters is crucial. She cannot expect our vote at the congress when she despises us in the manner she did. As a constituency, she should have our blessings to contest for positions of power within the party. In this particular instance we feel she jumped the gun,” said the anonymous member.

Another constituency member said if the minister ever consulted, then she must have done it to a selected few and thereby causing divisions within the constituency at a time that the party is preaching unity instead of factionalism.

“If that is the case, her faction will vote for her at the congress. As for us, we are going to punish her dearly for that oversight. We will definitely vote for somebody else and not her. She should rest assured that she does not have our support,” said the enraged member.

Venson-Moitoi will battle it out for the chairmanship with Tati East Member of Parliament, Samsom Guma Moyo, and former Speaker of the National Assembly, Patrick Balopi, at the July congress.

Although Venson-Moitoi has not be chosen as part of voting delegates at the coming congress, she will nonetheless discuss the rest of the issues at the congress as a Member of Parliament for the Serowe South constituency.

In the run up to the tumultuous Kanye congress, democrats in the Serowe South constituency did not elect Tebelelo Seretse as a voting delegate despite that she was contesting.

In the meantime, the Delimitation Commission has removed one of Venson-Moitoi’s wards of Tewane to the Serowe North West constituency.


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