If the recent report on The Patriot on Sunday paper dated 17th August 2014 is true about what the Botswana Democratic Party National Youth Executive Committee Chairman (BDP, NYEC) Mr. Andy Boatile is alleged to have said about our former heads of state - Sir Ketumile Masire and Rre Festus Mogae is true, he should be called to order by the party hierarchy.
I am sure my sentiments are shared by many democrats across the country. Mr. Boatile was quoted to have said the former statesmen should “just shut up and are non-starters who do not have moral authority to talk about corruption in the current government”.
In our Setswana culture and how we were raised within our beloved party this is no way to address elders. I wish to distance myself and fellow BDP youth from the irresponsible remarks made by the Youth Chair. His comments made me wonder about his upbringing. Which disappointed BDP youth was he referring to in the interview?
Mr. Boatile should have picked the tone and manner in which the BDP Secretary General Rre Mpho Balopi responded to media enquires this past week on comments made by Rre Masire and lately Rre Mogae. He has no place addressing the media on such matters and I am sure the party had not authorised him to do so.
The last time I heard from Mr. Boatile was when he stabbed our beloved party on the back by publicly attacking the then Minister of Education Mme Mma Pelonomi Venson – Moitoi in the local media. He was at it again after the budget speech when he attacked the leadership with the help of opposition commentators. He claimed that the BDP had not catered for the youth. I wonder if he was reprimanded for his antics then. Boatile has made insulting elders his hobby. We in the BDP do not believe in washing our dirty linen in public. We believe in in-house thorough debates and discussions. We are allowed to have differing opinions, discuss and reach common ground before going out.
Where was Mr. Boatile when the opposition youth had a field day attacking our elders (HE. SKI Khama and Hon Shaw Kgathi) about the constituency tournaments? Where was Mr. Boatile when BDP Youth campaigned for primary elections? Where was Mr. Boatile when the Youth Development Fund (YDF), Ipelegeng, Tirelo Sechaba, Youth Empowerment Scheme (YES) just to mention a few were torn to pieces by the opposition? He should invest his energies in activating structures at the University of Botswana. GS26 needs a lot of attention from our youth leader.
Mr. Boatile should focus on assisting the party win the upcoming National elections and come up with ways on how to best sell the party to electorates. If this is the sort of representation you give us at the Central Committee, we are lost as the youth. You should promote our Party Manifesto and continuously conduct workshops and seminars to educate BDP youth about government programs and the BDP Manifesto. Surely if you concentrated on matters that concern your position you would not find the time to insult elders. Please leave Dikgang tsa Bagolo for Bagolo to deal with. We have the Party President, the Chairman, the Secretary General, the Executive Secretary who are best suited to deal with such matters.
Please do not get me wrong, i personally feel that Bagolo should have raised their concerns about the current regime internally. Scolding your child out in the open for all to see has never achieved any meaningful results. But this does not justify Mr. Boatile’s remarks about our elders.
If indeed he directed such shameful words towards Rre Masire and Rre Mogae i urge him to apologise. His sentiments do not reflect our Setswana values and what we stand for as BDP members. He should also not disgrace BDP youth by claiming that his comments represents our views as BDP youth.
NB. Please note that the views expressed above represent my personal reflections and beliefs.