Suspect possible money laundering at BNF conference
Boko failed to keep his promises: No buses for delegates
Some NEC members want Boko to resign
BNF on the brink of another split
A recent announcement by Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) president Duma Boko that he will sponsor 2019 campaigns with over P10 million and subsequent speculation that he is a hired gun for some ruling party politicians has attracted the attention of Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) and the Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA).
Graft busters are reportedly snooping around opposition Botswana National Front (BNF) and its leader. Highly placed sources within the two organisations have confirmed that they are investigating possible money laundering involving the BNF and its leader Boko. “During the BNF conference held in Rakops recently, most if not all service providers were paid cash which fuelled our suspicion,” a source revealed.
Highly placed sources close to both Boko and former President Ian Khama have alleged that the latter sponsored the BNF conference. But in an interview with this publication recently Boko vehemently denied that they were funded by former President Khama and that he (Khama) sponsored the motion of no confidence against President Mokgweetsi Masisi, which was tabled by Boko in Parliament.
In an interview BNF Treasurer Noah Salakae revealed that indeed Boko informed them that he will fund the conference but the money was not deposited into the party’s account. “He informed us that the money was given to him personally and in his business account as such he was the one paying the bills,” he said.
One of the people alleged to have been paying the service providers during the conference is Boko’s close ally Elliot Moshoke. In a written response, Moshoke declined to comment on his involvement in the controversy surrounding funds disbursed at the Rakops conference.
“As a disciplined member of the BNF I cannot engage with newspapers directly on matters about the party as I am not the spokesperson of the party. I respect all my leaders and all the procedures and processes of the BNF. If any leader has said such gross allegations, it would be very unfortunate,” he said the two met after the conference.
Efforts to get comment from advocate Boko were futile at the time of going to press while DCEC promised to respond to a questionnaire sent to them but did not do so at the time of going to press.
Things fall apart at BNF
Things are falling apart in the country’s leading opposition party, Botswana National Front (BNF) and the centre can no longer hold. Highly placed sources within the BNF National Executive Committee have revealed that the party, especially leadership, has lost trust in their President Duma Boko who also doubles up as president of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).
The August NEC meeting, which is expected to discuss the conference, is set to produce fireworks as there is suspicion by some BNF members that there is a plan to set aside resolution 7 which read thus; “Noting that after several and consistent requests BNF made to have a bilateral with BMD to address the representation issues, BMD has consistently not been responsive. We therefore resolve that there should be joint primary elections under the UDC in all the parliamentary and council seats allocated to the BMD in 2014, except where it holds incumbency. If this fails, then the BNF should assume the leadership of these constituencies and wards. The UDC would be the final arbiter if the above two do not succeed.”
The Boko camp commonly known as Fear fokol is said to be against the motion as they have a soft spot for BMD while a faction led by BNF vice president Rev. Dr Prince Dibeela prefer partnership with the Alliance for Progressives (AP) and want BMD expelled from the UDC. The group, which is believed to prefer an alliance with the Ndaba Gaolathe led Alliance for Progressives, is said to be ready to walk out should the resolution be set aside. “Our aim is to force Boko to resign if he cannot reign in Pilane. If he doesn’t we will force him to do so, that’s why we convinced Noah Salakae to withdraw his resignation because we need numbers at the NEC meeting,” confided a source.
Ahead of the BNF National Conference in Rakops, Boko promised that he would personally fund the conference with P2 million which will mostly cater for buses, meals and other logistics. The buses were expected to be branded with BNF colours but this came only as a dream as only five buses were sourced.
In an interview BNF Publicity Secretary Justin Hunyepa confirmed that they could not source the buses because regions brought the names very late. “We know where those allegations come from but President Boko explained to the delegates that he has desired to hire buses for them but due to failure to submit names on time this did not happen,” he said, adding that people must understand that it was during public holidays where buses were on high demand.
Hunyepa hailed the conference saying it was one of the best organised as they even put WIFI in the main tent to ease communication. “Those who are peddling those rumours we know their agenda and won't entertain them,” he said. He said most of people who are peddling the rumours are those who expressed aversion on the membership of BMD within the UDC and called for coalition with Alliance for Progressives (AP).
Those who are against Boko have said that his absent leadership has created a vacuum and left the party without cohesion and direction. They accuse him of running a party with his friends and leaving NEC outside. “The P2 million that he talked about was not given to the party treasurer but the money was held by his close friends,” another source alleged.