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BDP Young Turk challenges Dada’s hegemony

Publishing Date : 22 May, 2017


Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) young activist Sk Boss Jerry is challenging party veteran Satar Dada for the party Treasurer position at the upcoming July Tonota Congress.

Jerry, a party activist who has served in lower party structures thinks he has what it takes to run for the position given the fact that over the years, nobody has thought about challenging for it. Dada has been at the helm of the BDP treasury for more than two decades now.
In 1995 at the height of BDP factional wars, Dada profited from Ponatshego Kedikilwe’s decision to contest the party chairmanship against Mompati Merafhe.


Kedikilwe had been party treasurer for some time until the chairmanship post became available owing to the death of then party chairman Peter Mmusi. Ever since his election in 1995, the BDP treasury has been synonymous with the name Dada, a motor magnate who is also BDP’s chief financier. The Young Turk, currently under the employ of Mineral Services Botswana said he does not understand why the position of the treasurer is always being associated with an individual’s wealth.

“It not about how much money Dada is making. It is about managing the finances of BDP,” he told this publication in an exclusive interview this week. He said being a treasurer of a party of BDP’s stature would be a walk in the park as there is no how he can struggle to attract financers for the BDP. Jerry is confident that he will continue to source funds from various individuals to fund the party but noted that his main worry is the way in which party activities have been financed over the years.

Jerry told this publication that in him coming on board, he will need to introduce some reforms to the BDP treasury. He is of the view that the party should develop other sources of funding models which are sustainable and will also empower lower party structures.
“Back in the days the party used to have activities like choir competitions and Miss BDP. We used to raise a lot of funds for lower party structures, but we do not have that now,” he said.

One financial policy which Jerry is determined to implement once in the position of party treasurer is to consider a special funding model for councillors, whom he believes are a vital cog in keeping the party in power. “I am of the view that councillors need more money to campaign than MPs. These are also individuals who work with the people at grassroots level,” he said.

Jerry contended that currently, parliamentary candidates receive better funding than councillors, yet it is councillors who are doing the work for them and the party. Every general elections Dada’s motor centre sponsors the party with 57 vehicles, used to help the party coordinate its campaign activities. Jerry said it is necessary that those vehicles used during elections should remain within the constituency for daily use.

“If it means every constituency buying those vehicles let it be, because it is necessary that party structures always have resources,” he remarked.  Jerry said what the party has also been overlooking is the fact that different constituencies have different financial needs. He said this is something which he will give priority once in charge of the treasury.

The youthful activist also criticised the party for sidelining youth in leadership positions. He said he wishes BDP would take a radical step and ensure that the Specially Elected MP positions and councillorships should strictly be the preserve of the youth. He said this will benefit the party in the long run because such practice will ensure that the party grooms credible future party and national leaders. He said BDP is being outdone by UDC which has elected young people such as Phenyo Segokgo and Kagiso Thutlwe to lead councils.

“Young people also believe in what they see. Having young people in leadership positions will also help BDP to attract young voters to its ranks,” he noted. “Already majority of councillors are elderly people, so there is no need in bringing more old people through specially elected dispensation. We need the voice of young people to keep the opposition on their toes. BDP should be setting the tone on that, not the opposition,” he asserted.



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