Thursday, October 1, 2020

Youth resignations shake the BDP

Hell broke loose at a press conference called by former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) youth wing chair, Armstrong Dikgafela, who has now resigned from the ruling party.
Together with his colleagues Tobokane Buzwani and Tlamelo Mokgathane, Dikgafela announced on Monday that he was formally resigning from the ruling party to join the newly formed Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD).

Obviously unable to stand the news that Dikgafela and others were quitting the ruling party, a number of BDP faithful who had flocked to Falcon Crest, where the press conference was held, took to disrupting the press conference prompting BMD officials to call the police.

Dikgafela said he was resigning because his continued allegiance to the BDP would be a grave injustice to the youth.

He said the BDP had somersaulted on good democratic credentials that it used to espouse.
He said that under Khama’s leadership some BDP top officials think they are above the law.
He said Khama has failed to show leadership, specifically because he aligned himself with the A-Team faction.

Dikgafela said the biggest problem at the moment is that there is a group that thinks it owns the party.

He said when he attended the BDP national council over the weekend, he had hoped that it would address the issue of factional infighting within the party.

“I had hoped that the national council would discuss reconciliatory measures.
“All past presidents managed to solve these conflicts,” he said, adding that the situation was so frustrating because those aligned to the A-Team faction were always getting preferential treatment.
“It has not been easy and the decision to leave the BDP is solely based on hope,” said Dikgafela.
He said he and others could not stand on the sidelines anymore and had therefore decided to quit the BDP.

“We are joining an organisation whose structures do not centralize power,” he said, amid the heckling and booing directed at him by some of the BDP members who attended clad in their party colours.

This prompted Dikgafela to say, “I urge those that have discipline to show it.”
Dikgafela said that even the party chairman Daniel Kwelagobe who prided himself as being a member of the Barata-Phathi faction would sooner or later change his views once he realized how difficult it was to continue fighting from inside.

He further said that in all their attempts to deliver on their mandate as young people’s representatives, the leadership of the party sabotaged their efforts because they belong to the Barata-Phathi faction.

In a press statement released yesterday the BDP tried to down play the effect of the latest resignations saying the youth wing committee had not been functioning.

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