Former President Lt Gen Ian Khama has responded to the recent utterances by President Mokgweetsi Masisi calling for his return to the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), saying cabinet ministers are making it impossible due to their continued ‘’attacks and insults” on him and his family.
Masisi had called for Khama to return to the BDP during the Gaborone Bonnington North parliamentary candidate launch last weekend, arguing that the opposition is ‘using him and they do not like him.’ Khama however is not impressed by Masisi’s demeanour, calling it ‘unfortunate and misleading the nation’ because he is contradicting what his Ministers are preaching. Khama is of the view that if at all there was any likelihoods of him returning to BDP and reconciling with President Masisi, then the current cabinet is making it unattainable by their continued attack and insults on his family.
“Ba a mo senyetsa ene Masisi [They are spoiling everything for him],” Khama told WeekendPost. Khama also took a swipe at Masisi for going public at rallies without addressing him first. He said such statements are only aimed at misleading the nation because Masisi refused to meet him several times when Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) Director General Brigadier Peter Magosi tried to mediate and called for the meeting between the two.
According to Khama it is Masisi who refused on all accounts while he was willing to meet him. Khama, who is the Patron of the newly formed Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) said Masisi’s statements came in as a shock and confusing because he cannot be preaching the opposite of his cabinet. According to Khama this is another one of their untruths saying this is not a genuine call from President Masisi.
A few weeks ago both Khama and his young brother Tshekedi Khama lashed at BDP for not reprimanding Member of Parliament for Sefhare-Ramokgonami Dorcas Makgato who allegedly made remarks that were viewed and interpreted as foul language undermining their father and BDP founder, the late Sir Seretse Khama. The former President called on the party to take action against Makgato or else her utterances represent the position of the party but BDP has remained silent on the matter.
Responding to some comments that were uttered by Makgato, Khama said they are angry as a family and disappointed in someone of Makgato’s position to insult their parents. “This goes even beyond the BDP. When you visit other countries my father tend to be held in high esteem and clearly this woman does not feel the same way.”
Khama continued: “She said what she said wearing BDP colours, at a BDP press conference, as a BDP Chairperson of the BDP Women’s Wing and a minister in the BDP government. So she was actually speaking on behalf of the BDP when she said that.” Earlier in an interview with this publication former President Ian Khama had indicated that a return to the ruling BDP is possible in future even though he could not tell the time frames.
Khama said he could not return now because their agenda is to unseat Masisi and his team of untrustworthy Ministers. Khama also made it public that he will in due course undertake his powers and influence as Paramount Chief of Ga- MmaNgwato to cajole his younger brother Tshekedi Khama to join the newly formed party Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF). Tshekedi was among the MPs who were expected to join BPF soon after its formation but Tshekedi has preferred to keep his ministerial position under Mokgweetsi Masisi’s government.
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.