The BNF which was founded in 1965 immediately after the country's self governing elections and just before independence in 1966 will be celebrating its 50the anniversary this year.
This was revealed by Information and Publicity Secretary, Moeti Mohwasa.
He said at the time of its formation the party aimed to unite the opposition which had split in the earlier years and mobilise all the progressive forces under one banner to take over power from the neo-colonial Botswana Democratic Party (BDP). The major force behind this was the late Dr Kenneth Koma. Kgosi Bathoen Gaseitsiwe, a progressive Chief of the Bangwaketse tribe who resigned from his position to join the BNF and lead it.
“The party has been a force in the local political landscape, influencing the development of the trade unionism and influencing the introduction of pro-poor policies. It contested the Elections for the first time in 1969 and has been the second most popular political party since then. In the 2014 General Elections, it contested under the banner of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), The UDC brings together the BNF, Botswana People's Party (BPP) and Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD). The UDC came second after the BDP. One will therefore not be wrong to say that the UDC epitomises the unity of opposition parties that the BNF has always fought for,” he said.
The national event which will be held during the last quarter of this year will be preceded by regional celebrations. Veteran members and those who have sacrificed and made outstanding contributions to the growth of the party will be acknowledged.
The National Committee will be headed by Mohwasa. The Information and Publicity Secretary said details of the celebrations will be shared with the nation after consultations with relevant authorities and structures.