BNF on the verge of collapse?

Daniel Chida

CC hasn’t met in months

It appears things are falling apart at the once mighty opposition party, Botswana National Front (BNF)

Members have reportedly lost respect for each other, leaving the Duma Boko-led party polarised.

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To add to the disarray, the BNF’s Central Committee have allegedly not met in months.

Fed-up with the situation, disgruntled members took to The Voice to condemn the organisation’s leadership for their ‘chaotic’ running of the party.

“We cannot tell the last time our Central Committee met. Unlike at the Botswana Democratic Party where they meet every first Monday of the month, ours is different. We don’t meet at all! Botswana Congress Party too has better coordination than us,” claimed the highly placed member.

The insider further maintained that major decisions were taken without consultation.

“As leaders we can’t account to party members as we have no clue!” exclaimed the source, listing last weekend’s demonstration and the recent court cases as two high-profile incidents that the Central Committee did not deliberate over.

“We never discussed if it was the right path to take. We cannot discuss party finances because some funds are being dispensed by people who are not party members. We just see them giving out money, how do we account in such situations?” demanded the concerned member.

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To support his claims of unrest within the party, the source leaked messages from a BNF members’ WhatsApp Group. The conversation dates from 30 October 2019 to 22 January this year.

“Comrades if we do not change our tact and mindset by 2024 there will be no BNF. We should copy from BCP. They discuss problems collectively even if they have disagreements. They ensure that BCP comes first before individuals. But with us, we want sporadic resolution to complex matters. Right now most BCP are calling for a merger of parties. They are going for leadership forum to get mandate on the merger which was adopted by their July 2019 conference at Ba Isago. But at BNF, no position on the matter and our members are in the dark because Central Committee wants to meet during working hours. Are we planning to fail?” reads one of the posts.

Another comment likens the Central Committee to a ‘Kitchen Committee’.

“The first constitutional obligation is running the party constitutionally, democratically with duly elected Central Committee not a kitchen committee, if you fail to pick that you are not existing. What is wrong with you comrade leadership, you are not talking like leaders, why?”

During the ill-tempered discussion, the party’s Publicity Secretary, Justin Hunyepa tried to cool matters but met a hot response.

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“My assignment to intervene in the Bofepuso/Bopeu issues was amended by Exco to include President and Secretary General and died a natural death. There was a press statement that we don’t need Bofepuso to get workers votes that was done without my opinion. I can go on and on monna lopela sentle semata ke wena. You expect results under a myriad of arbitrary decisions akin to law and order during war. You lack a third eye or sixth sense, I don’t blame you,” blasted back one member.

When The Voice contacted Hunyepa on Wednesday to find out when the Central Committee last met, the BNF man admitted he could not remember.

“We had challenges and members kept on apologizing for not making it even when our President had shown his availability,” was the Publicity Secretary’s response.

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