Former President Lt Gen Ian Khama and leader of the main opposition party Duma Boko, yesterday [Friday] failed to show-up at the inauguration of newly elected President Mokgweetsi Masisi.
The duo were expected to grace the event by the virtue of the positions they hold. Former President, Festus Mogae graced the event, receiving a standing ovation from the 5000 crowd during his arrival. Another prominent figure, Ponatshego Kedikilwe, who served as Vice President from 2012-2014, also attended the inauguration. He was joined by among others former MPs and former cabinet ministers.
Boko who served as Leader of Opposition from 2014-2019, was nowhere to be seen yesterday. However, other leaders of opposition parties; Ndaba Gaolathe of the Alliance for Progressives (AP), as well as Advocate Sidney Pilane of the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), were in attendance. After an intense campaign, UDC failed to dislodge BDP from power, garnering only 15 seats in the process, two less than in the past general elections. If that is not enough, Boko also lost his parliamentary seat to Anna Mokgethi of the ruling party.
The Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) leader, Biggie Butale also snubbed the inauguration. BPF yesterday released a statement indicating reasons behind the decision to snub the inauguration of Botswana 5th president. "The BPF and its Patron, former President Khama will not be attending the event as we believe grand election fraud took place in this election,” said a statement authored by party spokesperson, Justice Motlhabani.
The party which is a splinter of the ruling party, claimed that government used the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) to mobilise people to attend as well as the extravagant nature of the event “which is not in line with our known modesty for all past presidential inaugurations.” “We are also against aggressive efforts being put into trying to get people to attend the inauguration never before done , to give the impression of a popular President for the benefit of visitors, hence the use of the BDF to try to draw people and live screening,” Motlhabani.
Khama, who left office at the end of his term in March 2018, has had an acrimonious relationship with his successor soon after leaving office. The fallout, emanating from various factors lead to the formation of BPF, which Khama founded. Prior to elections, Khama was optimistic that the BDP under the leadership of Masisi will succumb to defeat at the hands of UDC/BPF axis. The loose relationship between BPF and UDC has helped the opposition to win a significant number of seats in Central District, with BDP losing Serowe, Bobonong, Mahalapye and Tswapong constituencies for the first time since 1965.
In the Southern part of Botswana however, it was a different story. In unexpected turn of events, BDP eroded UDC support in the traditional Botswana National Front (BNF) strongholds, including winning the entire Gaborone constituencies for the first time since 1979. The BNF poor showing is already causing a rift between the party and its partner, the Botswana Congress Party (BCP), which saw its fortunes rising considerably. Of the 15 UDC seats, BCP contributed 11 seats, while BNF only brought home four constituencies.
BNF has since rejected the result fraudulent, while BCP has accepted the result. While Boko snubbed the inauguration, his deputy and the leader of BCP, Dumelang Saleshando graced Masisi’s inauguration, and like a score of political figures, he was received to a thundering cheer by the crowd. Elected MPs from the opposition also attended the inauguration, save the three MPs from BPF, who did not show up.
The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee (CC) meeting, chaired by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi late last month, resolved that the party’s next Secretary-General (SG) should be a full-time employee based at Tsholetsa House and not active in politics.
The resolution by the CC, which Masisi proposed, is viewed as a ploy to deflate the incumbent, Mpho Balopi’s political ambitions and send him into political obscurity. The two have not been on good terms since the 2019 elections, and the fallout has been widening despite attempts to reconcile them. In essence, the BDP says that Balopi, who is currently a Member of Parliament, Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development, and a businessman, is overwhelmed by the role.
The Botswana Defence Force (BDF)-Namibians fatal shooting tragedy Inquest has revealed through autopsy report that the BDF carried over 800 bullets for the mission, 32 of which were discharged towards the targets, and 19 of which hit the targets.
This would mean that 13 bullets missed the targets-in what would be a 60 percent precision rate for the BDF operation target shooting. The Autopsy report shows that Martin Nchindo was shot with five (4) bullets, Ernst Nchindo five (5) bullets, Tommy Nchindo five (5) bullets and Sinvula Munyeme five (5) bullets. From the seven (7) BDF soldiers that left the BDF camp in two boats, four (4) fired the shots that killed the Namibians.
The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s decision to apply for the positions of United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and their deputies (DSRSG), has left the government confused over whether to lend her support or not, WeekendPost has established.
Moitoi’s application follows the Secretary-General’s launch of the third edition of the Global Call for Heads and Deputy Heads of United Nations Field Missions, which aims to expand the pool of candidates for the positions of SRSG) and their deputies to advance gender parity and geographical diversity at the most senior leadership level in the field. These mission leadership positions are graded at the Under-Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary-General levels.