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Masisi: a true statesman

Publishing Date : 16 May, 2017



That President Lit Gen Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama is leaving office on March 31 next year is in no doubt. As per the Constitution of Botswana, the incumbent Vice President automatically takes over as the next president.

The current VP, Mokgweetsi Masisi, is in line to assume the reigns on April 1, 2018. I have no doubt in my mind that he will be at the Office of the President on that day. On the sidelines there is talk that President Khama may remove Masisi from the VP post as we build up to the end of his (Khama) contract. President Khama has declared his support for Masisi for the chairmanship of the party. In July democrats will congregate in Tonota to elect a new central committee. VP Masisi will be up against cabinet minister Nonofo Molefhi.

The campaign for the Tonota elective congress is in motion and VP Masisi seems on course to retain the party chairmanship. The argument that Masisi should not contest the chairmanship of the party because he is taking over as president next year does not hold water. It is imperative that Masisi as the VP should be at the helm of the party.


This has always been the BDP tradition and it has worked well for so many years, so why change now. This will also enable him to be directly involved with the goings-on of the party. It will be awkward for him to be an ‘outsider’ in a party that he will be leading as the president of the country. VP Masisi has also been the most active Chairman of the BDP in recent years, dissipating the opposition with his recruitment drive.

I have been impressed by the fact that Masisi seems to advocate a clean campaign as we gear up for the Tonota congress. That is a good trait of a true leader who does not want to antagonise his detractors. I urge the other democrats to borrow from this leave and be humble and civil as they campaign for their candidates.

Better still, these are people from the same party that I hope will work together for the bigger cause once the dust settles after the elective congress. The big challenge still awaits the BDP in 2019. Though I have a strong feeling that the BDP will cruise to victory in 2019, we should not rest on our laurels and forget about the combined forces of the opposition.

I have faith in VP Masisi that he will take the opposition head on and relegate them to the backbench where they have been since independence. With so much hype within the opposition about them winning the 2019 elections, I don’t see them winning but rather they will continue to be in opposition albeit in reduced numbers.

Karios Majwe writes from Gaborone



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