‘Comrades’ plan to hijack July conference to elect new president BNF leadership conspire to replace Boko with Otlhogile
A disgruntled faction of the Botswana National Front (BNF) has allegedly hatched a plot to oust president Duma Boko at the July Conference.
Highly placed sources within the BNF have alerted The Voice newspaper to the elaborate plan, which involves recruiting former University of Botswana Chancellor, Bojosi Otlhogile to replace Boko as the BNF president.
Although the party will be heading for a conference and not a congress in Rakops during the President’s holidays, insiders say that members have devised a plot to use their numbers to convene a special congress in order to elect a new President.
It has further emerged that Boko has become so unpopular with the rank and file of the BNF that out of the 18 BNF central committee members, the president only has the support of three.
Reliable sources within the party have indicated that the disgruntled faction’s major gripe with Boko is his dictatorial tendencies demonstrated by his leadership style of taking unilateral decisions without consulting the central committee.
The frustrated central committee also feels that some of the decisions that Boko took when handling Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) matters have hampered progress within the coalition.
One major decision that seems to have sealed Boko’s fate was the refusal to honour the party’s majority’s resolution to kick the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) out of the UDC.
Allegedly prior to UDC Congress in February, the UDC leadership had agreed to remove BMD from the UDC as the contracting partners felt that it did not add any real value to the Umbrella but apparently Boko who enjoys a close relationship with the president of BMD, Sidney Pilane saved the party.
“Members also feel Boko should have called for re-allocation of constituencies but he did not,” said a frustrated member.
“We want a new leader who will work closely with all party structures and not just with his preferred individuals at the expense of party unity. The BNF is totally divided and only a new leader can unite it as members have lost trust in the current one, we risk losing members if we don’t take him out, ” said a Central Committee member who preferred to speak on condition of anonymity for fear of being victimized.
The highly placed source further claimed that another piece of evidence of Boko’s loss of popularity is the collapse of his support base commonly known as, “Fear Fokol.”
“If you see a group like Fear Fokol, which used to defend the president in all platforms dying, then know something is wrong. They know longer trust him too,” the source said.
The concerned member further pointed out that, Otlhogile did ask to be given time to think on the offer placed before him before he could make a decision.
However, one of Otlhogile’s close friends told this publication that the man was seriously considering taking up the BNF Presidency.
“If he does not get intimidated, he will definitely take the offer. He has been a staunch BNF member for decades,” said the friend.
When contacted for a comment, the Chairman of Standard Chartered Bank Board however denied he was given the offer.
“I haven’t been to rallies, so let’s leave it at that. I won’t comment further,” he said before hanging up.
Meanwhile the BNF Spokesperson, Justin Hunyepa said that he was not aware of any plot to pull the rug off Boko’s feet.
“BNF members have a right to have a president of their choice, they just have to follow the constitution to do so and according to the BNF constitution, only the Central Committee and congress have powers to suspend or expel members.” Hunyepa explained.