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Ntuane will overhaul BDP tenderboys mentality

Publishing Date : 01 June, 2015

Author : TEFO PHEAGE

Ntuane will declare business interests, undertake in writing to Khama


There seems to be a strong difference of opinion among the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) leadership incumbents and hopefuls, over who can and cannot be eligible to do business with the party.


This hot potato subject came to life following a vow made by Botsalo Ntuane, a candidate for the position of secretary general, that he will not do any business with the BDP once elected to the party’s high position. The party’s elective congress is scheduled for Mmadinare in July.


Ntuane has set tongues wagging with his 22 points BDP reform agenda which is essentially a response to BDP’s longstanding problems. Ntuane’s reform agenda is a careful, strategic and well thought out  plan to counter the cancer that is eating away the BDP.


Foremost among his election promises is that once elected, he will not do any business with the party as has been the case with the past holders of the postion who earned the infamous tag name, ‘BDP tenderpreneurs.’ When the reigning party central committee was voted in, many commentators observed that the party had fallen into to hands of money men.

This was not helped by comments attributted to the party Secretary General Mpho Balopi, that: “It was our turn to eat”, a remark that angered many BDP diehards. There was widespread acrimony about the direction which the party would take under such a leadership of personal interests and the party’s dismal perfomance at the 2014 general elections proved the complainants right.


Ntuane’s decision comes in response to a discussion document his campaign team has circulated to party members where he outlines 22 issues which they think should form part of the BDP’s reform agenda if the ruling party is to reverse the gains made by the main opposition, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) in the last general elections.


The BDP is expected to face stiff competition in the 2019 elections with the opposition confident that the increasingly unpopular BDP which delivered its worst perfomance since its formation, will finally bite the dust and lose power.


In the Team Botsalo Ntuane discussion document, party members are invited to give feedback and other suggestions for inclusion in the document which is Ntuane’s vehicle for the BDP congress. Part of the feedback is that Ntuane should be an ethical and fair Secretary general.

A handler confirmed to this publication that it is for this reason that Ntuane has undertaken to “not to do any business with the BDP but rather facilitate opportunities for other party members, especially the youth and women, who seriously need empowerment.”


A Team Botsalo Ntuane member has confirmed that although it is not a requirement, their candidate will upon election, voluntarily register his business interests with the Secretariat and make and undertaking in writing to the president, that he will not transact business or compete for tenders with other democrats.


It is believed that this move is meant to demonstrate that Ntuane is going into office to serve and help the party and not to enrich himself through its resources. Ntuane is facing competition from a Gaborone based activist, Olebeng Ngwakwena, and his former campaign manager, Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri, who ditched his principal a few weeks ago.

It was recently reported that the BDP spent multi millions in the last general elections with most of the money going into the pockets of a few selected democrats for providing  services and goods. Some democrats have complained that certain officials serving in key positions in the Central Committee lined their pockets during the elections by monopolising party tenders and closing out other party members.


WeekendPost sought the views of the party secretary general, Mpho Balopi, regarding this matter, who said: “Our view is that as long as everything is done in a transparent manner, anybody can benefit from the party’s tenders, irrespective of his position in the party,” he said.


Balopi who won a few tenders from the party, says, “We are Batswana first and we are equally eligible to benefit from the party.”  “I cannot be excluded or discriminated on because of my priviledge to have been elected to the party’s leadership positions. If all processes and prcedures have been followed, I think we all have to qualify,” he said.


Former cabinet Minister, Ramadeluka Seretse, who is vying for the Chairmanship of the party, however differs, saying the BDP should as a party in power, align its guiding documents to societal ethics as well as the cardinal principles espoused in various national legislations. However, his contender for the chairmanship, Tebelopele Seretse sits on the fence, on this particular matter.


 “I have not been around and I am still learning about what has been happening within the party. But I have obviously heard a lot of things pertaining to that. My view is that such should be open to all BDP members. But transparency and strict measures should be put in place to guard against any form of abuse of office or cases of conflict of interest that may arise,” she said.

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