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Boko's millions fix UDC image

SHARE   |   Friday, 06 July 2018   |   By Phillimon Mmeso
Boko's millions fix UDC image

Engages SA PR consultant for 2019

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The 2019 General Elections are increasingly promising to be an expensive exercise for politicians as well resourced candidates are already turning to consultants to craft powerful slogans, appealing personalities and stylish swag to win over an increasingly influential floating voters. 

It is all about the ‘Americanisation’ of political campaigns in  Botswana, a trend hitherto  seen in other countries as politicians recognize that high-priced consultants can fine-tune their message and give them an edge at the ballot box. President of Botswana National Front (BNF) and Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Advocate Duma Boko has stepped up the moneyed ladder after recently boasting that he will sponsor the July BNF conference to the tune of P2 million and the 2019 general elections with P10 million.  

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True to his word, Boko has engaged a South African image company Status Reputation Management Consultancy which has stated that anything to do with UDC president, especially the media, must contact Karabo Molotsi, a senior Account Executive at Status RMC. Although Status RMC claims to have been engaged by UDC, the coalition Publicity Secretary Moeti Mohwasa exercised ignorance over the development referring this publication to Boko who is currently in Angola on Parliamentary business.

The move by Boko to engage reputation managers and image consultants is said to have been motivated by internal bickering within the two organisations he leads, which has dented the reputation not only of the organisations but also his and threaten to spiral out of control. The BNF and their partners Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) are currently fighting for the Lentsweletau/ Mmopane constituency, following another ugly fallout recently over Moshupa/ Manyana. Those internal disagreements led to BNF openly expressing shock to hear that their partners have already found Parliamentary candidates without consulting them. “The Botswana National Front (BNF) would like to correct the picture that is being created that a resolution has been reached regarding the impasse over the allocation of Moshupa/ Manyana and Lentsweletau/ Mmopane constituencies as the reports coming from the recent BMD press conference seem to suggest. While it is not our position to publicly discuss matters that are a subject of discussion with our partners, in the interest of ensuring that the nation and our members are not confused and fed with wrong information, we are compelled to set the record straight,” reads a statement from BNF Secretary General Moeti Mohwasa.

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Currently there is swelling call within the BNF that Boko has failed the party as he doesn’t cooperate with most members of the Central Committee, which has led to some demanding that he step down as the party president. At the UDC he is being accused of being controlled by BMD President Sydney Pilane. Since engaging Status RMC Boko has reduced engaging in social media fights with party members, but rather posts on issues of national interest or those affecting the party.

In their statement Status RMC states that UDC will have a three-day conference to thrash out issues which underlie Botswana’s economic and socio-economic development, in line with what the people need. Boko is quoted in the statement saying: “My leadership and I are unyielding in our commitment that Botswana needs to be a global player on all fronts and not simply be seen as a diamond trader with a few nice lodges.  We will use this time at the conference to discuss how we can shape more effective and inclusive policy, so it allows for the improvement of the education and health systems; infrastructure development; growth of local manufacturing; more support of small businesses and the enticement of a larger contingent of international investors to actively participate in Botswana’s economy. Our discussions will also concentrate on youth development, to ensure Botswana becomes the beneficiary of their talent which we too often lose to other countries. Our youth must never feel the need to leave our borders for greener pastures. We need to create ample opportunities for them at home”.

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Interestingly the press release from Status RMC only mentions Boko and his right hand man MP for Selibe Phikwe West Dithapelo Keorapetse. It quotes Keorapetse, saying he concurs with Duma as follows: “We will be covering all the bases during the event with an eye to presenting real solutions to the problems facing our country today. This will be condensed, refined and included in our manifesto, which will be available to the voters early in 2019, if not sooner. Additionally, we will be scrutinising our skills resource pool to ensure we have the right people, in the right positions to efficiently and successfully contest the election, and thereafter deliver on our campaign promises. It is our contention that a successful government deploys competent individuals to accomplish its mandate. Unfortunately, the current government has institutionalised mediocrity. This has crippled their ability to deliver services to the public and weakened confidence in both local and international investors. We need to strive for exceptionalism and create a meritocracy where all our appointments are based on non-negotiable competence.”    



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