Opposition parties have accused President Mokgweetsi Masisi of divisive tendencies that they believe are teetering on the brink of splitting them along tribal lines.
The accusations leveled against the president, come at a time when all parties are preparing for their respective congresses where central committees will be elected.
According to a source, Masisi wants only members from the southern part of the country to take charge of political parties.
“His target is Alliance for Progressives where he does not want its Vice President, Wynter Mmolotsi while at the Botswana National Front he doesn’t want its president, Duma Boko.”
It is said that Masisi already has influence at Botswana Congress Party (BCP) where some of his associates within the opposition party who had announced that they were not going to defend their central committee positions have since reneged.
In an interview with The Voice, BNF’s Spokesperson, Justin Hunyepa confirmed being aware of Masisi’s alleged dirty tactics.
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“We have heard allegations of Masisi recruiting some of the BNF members and we are not surprised. He has already done so at BCP, BMD and recently at AP. He has also succeeded to recruit from trade unions and the worst thing is that public funds through DIS are being used to recruit these members who are unfortunately deep in poverty traps.”
Hunyepa explained that in some instances, lucrative positions are created but never advertised by the BDP government to buy the members of opposition parties.
He pointed out that some public institutions are also used by giving opposition members loans for recruitment purposes.
“It is on record that the talk of North-South division came with the BDP government under Masisi and if Batswana are not careful, the BDP will succeed in polarizing the nation.”
Hunyepa said that to make matters worse, the BDP sponsored the narrative further after elections by claiming that people from the Southern part of the country voted for BDP, despite what he called ‘massive evidence’ that BDP rigged the elections.
He said the ruling party was “lucky that the judges refused to listen to this matter of national interest under frivolous reasons”.
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“The BNF calls upon all Batswana to defeat this dangerous BDP game of North-South.”
He said that the strategy of dividing members of different parties will backfire in no time when a party in government will have to deal with a divided nation that cannot pull together.
“The BDP may be enjoying this divisive game for now. Some spineless characters are given money and jobs to divide the opposition, we are watching them,” he said.
AP’s Secretary General, Dr Phenyo Butale, agreed with Hunyepa’s sentiments. “To be very honest, there is no way we can stop his recruitment drive. But I can assure you that the AP leadership is united and resolute. He must forget about his tactics.”
Butale said his party may lose members like any party, but added that they have full confidence in their leadership and majority of their members.”