Home » News » Politics » Masisi’s prophecy: Ex-BDP members will re-join

Masisi’s prophecy: Ex-BDP members will re-join

Publishing Date : 27 February, 2018


Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi, who is also the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Chairman, has promised party faithful that former party members who left to join the opposition will soon retrace their steps to the ruling party.

Masisi, who was speaking at the memorial of the slain Mochudi East legislator, Isaac Davids, was perhaps living up to the words of outgoing President Lt Gen Ian Khama who said said, “Go tsile go nna monate” during the leadership of his successor.
“They are troubled on the other side [opposition]. It is always nice to be home. Fa o sa utlwe dikgang tse o tla salwa morago ke dikgaba,” he said. “Many like Davids [Isaac] are coming back home. It is not a matter of why or how. It is a matter of when.”

When narrating how, the late Mochudi East MP ended up at BDP, Masisi said it all began with when he visited Letsibogo la Phalane in Mochudi to appreciate the effort of the community after they built a foot bridge that crosses Notwane River at Phalane in collaboration with DeWet Drilling Company.

At that encounter, where he met among others chieftainship in Kgatleng; senior government officials as well as other members of the polity, he came in contact with Davids where they had a hearty discussion over various issues. Since that day, Davids started drifting towards Masisi until he decided to re-join. Tati East legislator, Samson Moyo Guma, an influential member in the Masisi circle, who facilitated Davids’ comeback said he “received a call from Davids who informed him of his desire to return to the party.”

“He told me that he was impressed by the leadership of Masisi and that he wanted to help him in 2019,” said Guma. Davids was also remembered as a staunch factionist who always stuck to his gun wherever he believed in something.
The outspoken legislator was a staunch member of Barataphathi faction in his first stint in the BDP , and the founding member of Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), a BDP splinter party formed in 2010 at the height of factional tension in the ruling party.

He first became a member of parliament in 1999, when he dethroned Isaac Mabiletsa of the opposition Botswana Congress Party (BCP). Mabiletsa had initially won the constituency in 1994 under the Botswana National Front (BNF) but defected to the splinter party in 1998. In 2004, Mabiletsa back with BNF, reclaimed the constituency from Davids. The two will battle it out again in 2009, with Mabiletsa again coming on top. However, in 2014 Davids bounced back to parliament this time under the ticket of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).

Because of his association with Barataphathi, Davids became close to Tshelang Masisi, the late elder brother to Mokgweetsi Masisi. Tshelang, who was a long time MP for Francistown West was a member of Barataphathi faction. “On his death bed, during his final days, my brother [Tshelang] advised me to keep in touch with Davids. He told me that he is a good man and I should keep him within my reach,” said Masisi poignantly.

Masisi said he has always wished Davids would re-join BDP and he is happy that he dies a member of BDP. “I urge you to be like Davids. He was a brand that all of us wanted to associate with. Even when he was in the opposition, we used to salivate at him,” said Masisi.

Both Masisi and Guma regret that Davids departed without being officially welcomed into the BDP fold as he had wished. Guma said a day before Davids met his untimely death, he called him inquiring about his pending official welcome. One thing that cropped out at the memorial service was Davids’ love for his tribe’s chieftainship, and he was troubled by the way things turned out between government and Bakgatla.

In 2016, when debating a motion tabled by Francistown West Member of Parliament, Ignatius Moswaane on improvement of Dikgosi’s conditions of service, Davids called on Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Slumber Tsogwane to apologise to Bakgatla over the ill-treatment of Kgosi Kgafela Kgafela II.

Davids contended that the two previous Ministers of Local Government and Rural Development had disrespected Bakgatla when they derecognized their chief. He then said, until Tsogwane found the courtesy to visit Bakgatla to make amends, the dust will never settle and the animosity between government and Bakgatla will continue unabated.

According to Masisi, there was assurance on his part to Davids that the rift would be dealt with sooner or later. Part of the reconciliation efforts saw Mmusi Kgafela, the younger brother to the BaKgatla chief Kgafela Kgafela II being welcomed into the BDP and today he is battling Batlhalefi Leagajang in the BDP primaries for Kgatleng West parliamentary seat.

As part of the process to settle the dust, Tsogwane has even re-instated Bana Sekai as Bakgatla Deputy Chief as Kgosi Kgafela has directed. Tsogwane had also hinted that Kgosi Kgafela and President Khama are having secret talks to resolve some of the outstanding disputes. Davids died on the 14th of January, after being stabbed by two of his farmer in an affray. He will be laid to rest today (Saturday) in his home village of Mochudi.



Do you think the courts will help put the UDC, BMD impasse within reasonable time ahead of the 2019 General Election?