The Botswana National Front (BNF) leadership and all its other structures are at peace, despite the recent speculation from some quarters that the party is deeply divided and on the verge of collapse. The BNF is a sophisticated and awe inspiring machinery, which never cease to surprise bystanders. It is in the nature and character of the BNF to promote constructive free speech, criticism and self-criticism at its various platforms. This is the spirit entrenched in its well revered and popular catchphrase, Puo Phaa (free speech). It should, therefore, be understood that when comrades at BNF engage in robust constructive debates and differ in viewpoints, this does not mean that the party is divided as it is done in good spirit and mutual respect. This, however, does not give licence to abuse the freedom by resorting to indiscipline and other abusive conduct. On 14th November 2017, the BNF Central Committee (CC) held its meeting at the party headquarters in Gaborone. This followed a request for the meeting by some Central Committee members after the initial one was postponed due to the President’s official engagement outside the country. It was further delayed because on his arrival the president was seized by equally pressing party issues as well as Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) programme. Although some quarters portrayed the request negatively, at BNF it was just democracy in action. Amidst the unprecedented propaganda of mass resignations of both BNF and UDC members, the President of the two organisations, Cde Duma Boko had to traverse the nation to restore order, confidence and dispel the rumours of ‘war’. He addressed the Youth in Gaborone, the Women’s League in Kanye, and the UDC star rally in Molepolole. The following week the President proceeded to Selibe-Phikwe, Francistown, Gantsi and New Xade for both indoor and public rallies. It was the same schedule the following week when he proceeded for another mega rally in Maun and returned to deliver a response to State of the Nation Address as the Leader of Opposition (LOO). Over the weekend, he then addressed yet another successful public rally in Mochudi. The President has had one of the busiest schedules recently and the results of his indoor meetings and public rallies have been profound and phenomenal as he and other leaders have put the UDC project back on track as demonstrated by the thousands who attend the meetings.
The President convened BNF CC meeting this week, where he also welcomed Honourable Shawn Nthaile, the Jwaneng/Mabutsane legislator, into the CC as Secretary for Political Education, replacing the late Cde Elmon Tafa. In the other matter, the CC also resolved to step up the anti-Electronic Voting Machine campaign as the ruling Botswana Democratic Party intends to use it to rig the 2019 general elections. The BNF will therefore mobilise opposition parties and other stakeholders to step up the campaign against this rigging machine and a team has been set up to coordinate this activity. A comprehensive update on the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) issue, especially on the then two warring factions and later the remaining BMD following the formation of Alliance for Progressives (AP) was given. It was also explained that AP has not approached UDC yet, for admission into the UDC, despite the UDC’s desire to accommodate all opposition parties with the common objective to remove the BDP from power. The meeting also agreed to hold the BNF Leadership Forum in the first quarter of 2018. This is a broad consultative and communication forum. Another CC meeting resolution was that the BNF wants to see a united work force in both private and public sector and it is also committed to resolving the BOPEU and BOFEPUSU issues. The party is concerned with the general poor labour relations between government and workers. The BNF , through UDC, will strive to win the 2019 general elections so as to improve the general poor working and living conditions of Botswana workers, in both private and public sectors as it has a long standing relationship with the workforce and clear labour policies. The BNF still upholds the working class as the mainstay of Botswana’s economy and that they must be supported at all costs. The BNF leadership is committed to improving its communication efforts, and in addition to meetings, there will be regular updates by the leadership on official party social media platforms. Finally, the BNF still uphold its 2016 congress theme: “Ensuring Unity Now and UDC Victory in 2019” and members are called upon to ensure its success.
BNF Information and Publicity Secretary