Botswana: BPP Youth Condemn Suspension of Candidates

As drama continues to unfold within Botswana People's Party (BPP), the party's youth league has entered the fray and strongly condemned the suspension of two parliamentary hopefuls being vice president, Mbaakanyi Lenyatso and Mathodi Modisapodi. Lenyatso who is the UDC candidate in Francistown West and Modisapodi who will be contesting for Tati East have been slapped with 45 days suspensions from the BPP. Their greatest sin according to party leader, Motlatsi Molapise was to disregard the central committee's resolutions regarding ward allocations in their respective constituencies.

In an interview with The Patriot on Sunday, Youth League president, Thatayaone Ntwaetsile said they do not recognize the suspension of the duo as it is unconstitutional. Ntwaetsile observes that even though party leader, veteran politician, Molapise has the powers to suspend party members, such a decision has to be endorsed by the central committee but that never happened in the current scenario. "Molapise can only suspend a party activist pending investigations which are carried out by the central commitee and after such investigations are complete the matter has to be referred to the disciplinary committee to take appropriate measures. In the current case, Molapise and secretary general, Venter Galetshabiwe decided to author suspension letters and did not give the central committee the opportunity to endorse such suspensions," Ntwaetsile pointed out.

He opines that some of the central committee members such as party chairman, Richard Gudu were against the move to suspend the two parliamentary candidates which has already caused uproar within the coalition, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) which BPP is part of. Some within the coalition view the move to suspend the two parliamentary hopefuls as a deliberate ploy to cause havoc and instability within the alliance with less than two months to the general elections which promises to be fiercely contested. Others are of the view that a third force might be involved in the current impasse unfolding within the BPP.

Ntwaetsile held that majority of BPP central committee members are shell shocked and disappointed by Molapise's decision to suspend the duo at such a crucial time. The youthful Ntswaetsile explained that some within BPP central committee take decisions for their own selfish interests. "We all know that Galetshabiwe still harbours the ambition of contesting for Tati East parliamentary seat. He lost primary elections to Modisapodi now he is currently trying every trick in the book to eliminate Modisapodi so that he can be chosen to be the party's parliamentary candidate without going through the process of primary elections," he stated. Ntwaetsile highlighted preparations for the launch of Modisapodi and her council candidates which will be held this coming Saturday at Tati Siding are progressing well.

He added that as the youth league and the women's wing they are currently pushing for an extra ordinary congress so that they can pass a motion of no confidence against Molapise and Galetshabiwe because they have failed to uphold the party constitution and are causing divisions within the political formation.

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