BOT50 divides BNF

SHARE   |   Monday, 05 September 2016   |   By Phillimon Mmeso
Khan Khan

The country's golden jubilee celebration is said to have now divided the leadership and members of Botswana National Front (BNF). Last month Botswana National Front (BNF) announced that it will boycott the BOT50 celebrations as a way of protesting corruption on the spending for the celebration. "We will not be taking part in what we believe robs Batswana of the hard-earned money, which could be used in other deserving projects," said BNF Secretary General Moeti Mohwasa in his statement recently. He said that there was nothing to celebrate as the country has regressed. This position is said to have created uneasiness among some BNF members, especially councillors and Members of Parliament.

Sources within BNF said the position was taken without consulting people, hence most councillors and parliamentarians are reluctant to boycott the BOT50 celebrations. Some argue that they have been involved in the preparations for independence celebrations and have even participated during the roving torch and it will suicidal to pull out now. “The ruling party will have a field day accusing us of failing to attend the celebrations and you know how our people are,” said one councillor who refused to be named. To counter the move, BDP is expected to delegate some of their specially elected MPs and councilors to fill the gap should opposition MPs and councillors boycott the celebrations.

Bathobakae: I will celebrate
The MP for Tlokweng Same Bathobakae said she understands the party position but insisted that she is also a representative of the people of Tlokweng. “I was sent to parliament by Batlokwa and I am answerable to them as such it is them who will give me guidance on the issue but as for now I am part of the preparation for the celebrations,” said Bathobakae. The outspoken MP said she was there when Botswana gained her independence and though she is not happy with certain issues it is time to celebrate the achievements. Member of Parliament for Kanye South Abram Kesupile said that he is not aware of the party position on the independence celebrations.

Khan: Nothing to celebrate
Councilor for Borakalalo ward in Molepolole South Arafat Khan said that he will abide by the party position and won’t participate in the BOT50 celebrations. “Our Village Development Committee (VDC) asked for a donation of P1000 from me and I turned it down because there is totally nothing to celebrate,” said Khan. Asked if he is not afraid that this might backlash on him, Khan said that he abides by the resolution of the party. In response BNF Publicity Secretary Justin Hunyepa said they have never said their members should not celebrate the independence but that there is nothing to celebrate. “It comes at different levels of celebration but as a party we don’t see any need to celebrate when unemployment has escalated and our democratic credentials are taking a nose dive,” said Hunyepa,  adding that they will not stop any of their councilors or MPs from taking part in the celebrations.