In an effort to lure new members to the party, Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) recently launched an intensify recruitment drive alongside training key party members from the 57 constituencies who will be involved in registering new recruits.
“Recently all the 57 constituency representatives met in Gaborone, and they were given membership forms to register new members” said BPF MP Baratiwa Mathoothe.
In an interview with The Patriot on Sunday, Baratiwa Mathoothe who is BPF Member of Parliement for Serowe North said the recruitment had already gained traction as it is evident in his constituency and around the country where some influential members of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party had already joined them.
The party which split from BDP looks to be going after members of their former party as in the space of two weeks they managed attract attention of its members. According to Mathoothe last week the party welcomed a sitting BDP Topisi ward councillor from his constituency. He further said this week the party also brought to its fort two young leaders in the form of BDP Serowe North branch Vice secretary who also represented the party during 2019 general elections as a council candidate and the constituency Youth chairperson.
“The recruitment is bearing fruit as we are speaking we are welcoming members in large numbers country wide, including high profile BDP members, not long ago the president of the country and the vice president had to intervene in Mochudi when two BDP councillors wanted to cross to BPF, these are some of the developments that shows the intent and the speed at which our party is attracting members” he said
Mathoothe said the recently resignations from the BDP are a clear indication that the people have lost interest in the ruling party which he said had not made good on their 2019 general election manifesto.
He further said that the BDP and its president Eric Masisi on their traverse around the country to ask Batswana for their support they promised them jobs. He said since then the BDP government had not delivered on their promises as a lot of Batswana especially the youth continue to remain unemployed
“Right now they have stopped the Ipelegeng program which had in the past had a great impact on the people’s livelihoods, the current Ipelegeng only employs 10 people who are engaged to clean at schools, but the previous one employed around 100 people in one ward on a rotational basis, that way most of the people were able to benefit” decried Mathoothe.
“Batswana are leaving the BDP to look for other political homes because they have also lost confidence in the current party and country leadership as the decision they had been taking lately have left a lot to be desired” he added.
While some people say that BPF is a project that will only do well in the central district especially in Serowe, and even calling it a Bangwato project and also going to the extent of naming the party Bangwato Patriot Front, Mathoothe said the recent recruitment launch was a clear indication that the party was intending to spread nationally.
“At BPF we are open to everybody, we are saying join us in large numbers, in fact hardly a day after the launch of the recruitment drive we received members in Lerolwane and Mmathethe / Molapowabojwang constituency” he assured.
Mathoothe also expressed confidence on the extent of their recruitment drive. He said in the next six month they intend to have spread the whole of the country.
He said the party which turned one year a few weeks ago is going to be a force to be reckoned with in the coming election.
“During 2024 elections we are going to compete better that we did in the 2019 general elections, we were formed with only 6 months before the elections but we manage to garner 3 parliamentary seats and around 17 councillors country wide...now we have more than three years to prepare for the coming elections, this is plenty of time to do harm to the BDP” said confident Mathoothe.
He additionally said as BPF they wish to work with other opposition political parties in an effort to bolster the chances of defeating the ruling party at the coming general election.
“We are listening to what Batswana want, Batswana want united opposition parties, we should not let BDP fuel tension between opposition parties, we want opposition to go to the next election as a solid force” he said.
Botswana Patriotic Front made history during the last general elections when under the tutelage of its Patron Former President Ian Khama wrestled all the three Parliamentary constituencies in Serowe and in addition managed to beat the ruling party with the numbers of the elected councillors. Traditionally the constituencies had been BDP stronghold which the party had dominated since independence.