Outgoing Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Youth Wing president Andy Boatile is reportedly considering withdrawing his presidential candidature from early next month’s election, The Patriot on Sunday has learnt.
A BDP National Youth Wing congress is expected to kickoff the ruling party’s busy year from February 6 – 8 2014. Members of the BDP Youth Wing are expected to meet in Masunga for the congress.
Boatile, Thabo Autlwetse and Mpho Setuke are expected to square it off during the congress.
The expectation was that Boatile would retain the position without any hassles since he is the incumbent.
However, sources close the ruling party have hinted that Boatile is facing an uphill task to reclaim the position he assumed during a congress held in Sefhare village a couple of years ago.
Information reaching The Patriot in Sunday is that the BDP youth are not happy with the incumbent youth president.
Boatile, who was last year nominated as a specially elected councilor, is said to be finding the going tough. Informed youthful BDP sources have hinted that Boatile has lost ground as most young members of the ruling party are deserting him.
It is said Boatile is being deserted because he made empty promises to the youth. He allegedly promised to advocate for young democrats such that the leadership of the ruling party will make them specially elected councilors, sources said.
“It was never to be. Instead he advocated for himself to be nominated as a specially elected councilor,” said our source that refused to be named in fear of victimization from the BDP top brass.
Sources said it is against this backdrop that most youths are deserting him. According to sources some of the candidates who were on his lobby list are withdrawing their candidature.
Contacted for a comment, Boatile admitted learning the allegations that he is contemplating quitting the race. However, he was quick to dismiss the suggestion as mere propaganda being spread by his opponents.
“I am standing. And I am going to win,” said Boatile. He added: “My opponents should channel their energies towards complaining and selling themselves to the electorate rather than concentrating on dragging my good name through the mud.”
He dismissed suggestions that at least three members from his camp have dumped him as hogwash. Boatile said only one person; Chomi Letlole has been dropped because he is working in the constituency office for Member of Parliament for Letsweletau-Mmopane Vincent Seretse.
Boatile encouraged his supporters not to follow the rumours doing rounds saying the allegations are meant to hoodwink “those within my camp.”
For his part, Autlwetse denied that he is the one spreading the rumour but was quick to point out that the possibility (of Boatile contemplating to quit the race) is high.
“I would not be surprised. We are a juggernaut,” explained Autlwetse.
Efforts to get a comment from Setuke could not bear any fruit as his mobile phone rang unanswered.