Botswana Patriotic front (BPF) Deputy Secretary General Vuyo Yane says his party is proving to be a force to reckon with, and is posing serious threat to the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).
Yane was responding to what he says is in denial Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) members who publicly went on social media platforms to dismiss the ongoing recruitment by his party as a fluke which will amount to nothing, and some even labeling the party as "desperate propagandists whose numbers are nowhere close to real".
“What I can tell you is, you cannot be losing members every week and not be worried; those who are leading the party are worried,” said Yane, adding that denial of BPF resurgent is a public relations stunt which has no place in politics. “They have to go out and defend their party and play down the impact of BPF, that is only PR, this is politics and a political problem and can’t be solved by PR,” added Yane.
He said people who dismiss BPF should come to terms with the reality that it is here and it is sweeping across, receiving more numbers every week especially members of the ruling party. “To welcome a sitting Councillor every week has never been done before in the history of Botswana politics, but we see it with the BPF, which to me is making the BPF a force to be reckoned with,” he said.
“Remember we had four months before the elections last year, now we have four years, the damage done in four months was big, now imagine the damage we are going to do in four years,” he added.
Yane said the party had gained momentum which they don’t wish to let fade away anytime soon. “We are not about to stop, we are not about to slow down, we are continuing with the recruitment drive,”
However, Botswana Patriotic Front deputy secretary general said they are not only focusing in pursuing the so called ‘big fish.’ He said even if they fail to get a big fish they will get the people. “Our recruitment drive is not based on councilors, our interest is the people the councilors come as a cherry on top, when we get the people we are happy,” he said
Yane said as the BPF they hope to have an agreement with other opposition parties going forward. “We can only defeat BDP in unison as opposition,” he said.
While there are mixed feelings regarding the presence of BPF patron in the opposition politics because some opposition members view him as an ally, and while to others he is a hindrance to opposition parties opportunity to defeat the BDP in 2024.
Nevertheless the deputy secretary general emphasized the importance of BPF patron Ian Khama. He said Khama is essential part of opposition success going forward and he proved it in the previous general elections.
He said Khama played an important role by helping the Umbrella for Democratic Change win some of the parliamentary seats.
“If someone can turnaround the BDP stronghold and introduce the opposition where it has never traded and you say you cannot work with that person, you are not sober in your utterances,” said Yane.
Motshegaletau ward councilor Malau Gabaipone who recently resigned from the BDP to join BDP said the change in the political landscape in his ward and the central district influenced him to jump ship. “As a politician you have to be alert to the new developments in politics, I realized that most of the people in my ward had deserted the BDP to join the BPF, people are the ones that put us in these seats and when they leave you have to listen to them, hence why I joined the BPF,” he said.
The former BDP councilor also said he was further influenced by the support that the patron of the BPF has on the central region. Malau said Khama’s influence is irrefutable. “The truth has to be said, Khama has big influence especially in central region, he came to my ward to recruit and by the time he left everyone had resolved to join his party,” said Gabaipone.
In an effort to lure the members to their movement, the BPF have embarked on a membership registration and recruitment drive and they have explicitly vowed to make the Botswana Democratic Party its hunting ground. The recruitment had proved to be fruitful especially in Serowe sub district where they are now level on numbers of councilors with the Botswana Democratic Party.