President Mokgweetsi Masisi, is reportedly drawing up his own succession plan on who could be his substantive assistant and ultimately President in 2028, and the name of Gabane-Mmankgodi, Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary candidate Kagiso Mmusi, is leading the pack, Weekendpost has been informed.
Mmusi is the son to former Vice President, Peter Mmusi and he is said to be in the President’s good books. In fact, it is said, Masisi and Mmusi have always been ‘buddies’, something which the parliamentary hopeful vehemently denies. “He is my boss not my friend,” Mmusi stressed in an interview with this publication.’
Reports from highly placed sources say, Masisi is drawing up his own plan and wants to eliminate all the ‘has-beens’ with his new crop of leaders, hence why the name of Mmusi is leading. Furthermore, it is said that within the BDP, the mood is not that optimistic on the prospects of the current VP Slumber Tsogwane, winning his constituency back. This has motivated Masisi to come up with an alternate name to fill the shoes, should he lose. The same person is expected to be substantive VP who will lead this country in 2028, when Masisi vacates office.
Early last year, Tsogwane had no plans to contest the 2019 General Elections, until he was cajoled to, fueling speculation of a transitional Vice President. Those in the know say this shows that he was just a makeshift VP, who even if he could win this year will not occupy the high office in nine years to come. While the matter is still a confidential matter even within the party except for a select few, reports say the two men (Masisi and Mmusi), have met more than once in South Africa regarding the issue.
The results of the private meetings are also a secret. Initially it was expected that Masisi wanted party Secretary General Mpho Balopi, to succeed him. Again Minister of Transport and Communications Dorcas Makgato’s name, was in the mix to succeed Masisi. Masisi is facing the same predicament as former president Ian Khama regarding the post of VP. The President has lost some of his most senior cabinet ministers in the primaries.
With Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, Botlogile Tshireletso, and Unity Dow out, Masisi’s pool of Ministerial choices cannot get any shallower. Most of his senior ministers lost in Bulela Ditswe. All his Ministers including Shaw Kgathi, Tshenolo Mabeo, Nonofho Molefhi, Vincent Seretse, Alfred Madigele, Kefentse Mzwinila, Patrick Ralotsia, all lost. This has left Masisi with nothing except to look for a successor.
Talking to this publication on Thursday this week, Mmusi said he is ready to serve this country in any portfolio. “That one I can’t say much about it,” he said before laughing the matter off. “I am ready to serve in any position, be it either cabinet and or VP like you say. If my boss (Masisi), gives me a vote of confidence to serve in any portfolio, I will definitely do so. All these for me show how much people believe in me and its motivation,” he said in a telephone interview.
Mmusi who is a businessman, is said to be very close with Masisi, hence he is being identified as a possible president for this country. “He is my boss not friend, I get instructions from him. We do meet here and there, mostly on party occasions. But I wouldn’t say we have a relaxed relationship. Maybe after winning elections the relation would be better,” he maintained, as he seemingly laughed the matter off yet again.
Mmusi will be trying to wrestle the constituency from Alliance for Progressives (AP) Major General Pius Mokgware, who won it by 7155. He was then followed by BDP’s Lesedi Mmusi, who garnered 6833, with BCP’s Mzambiya Dibe on third by 3056. This year once again, the constituency is still unpredictable. Should Mmusi lose, Masisi may possibly find himself facing the same predicament as that of his immediate predecessor, Khama.
Ironically, it was the same predicament that worked in Masisi’s favor, leaving him the only preferred choice for Khama’s VP at the time. Khama’s succession plans had initially suffered a blow when his then possible candidate for VP Ramadeluka Seretse, then Minister of Defense, fell out with the President’s blue eyed boy, then Director of the Directorate of Intelligence Security Services (DISS), Isaac Kgosi. Seretse would later suffer a humiliating defeat to the now incumbent Serowe North MP Kgotla Autlwetse, in the BDP primary elections leading up to the 2014 General Elections.
With Seretse out of the picture, Khama pinned his hopes on his next choice, the then Goodhope-Mabule MP Kitso Mokaila. As fate would have it, Mokaila also suffered a devastating loss to the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) candidate James Mathokgwane, in the 2014 General Elections.
Khama pinned his hopes on former Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP), Eric Molale. Again, things did not go according to plan as Molale lost the Goodhope-Mabule Parliamentary by-election to another UDC candidate, Barolong Paramount Chief, Kgosi Lotlaamoreng. Khama was now left with the almost impossible choice of handing down the baton to his younger brother Tshekedi Khama, replacing Masisi. It was a risk he was not prepared to take. He was stuck with Masisi.
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.