Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) MP for Serowe West, Tshekedi Khama who is also the younger brother to former President and Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) patron Lt Gen Ian Khama, has revealed that there is a high possibility of him joining his brother’s new political home (BPF) anytime soon.
Tshekedi who for long time has been cagey on speaking about possibilities of joining BPF opened up in an exclusive but rather short interview this week. “To be honest this matter has made my life very difficult and at times I prefer to have a no comment but it is difficult,” he told WeekendPost. He added that he cannot predict what tomorrow holds for him and everything is possible as the situation on the ground is very “fluid”. His older brother Ian Khama has told BPF multitudes last weekend that he will lure Tshekedi to the new party.
“From here, I said it this week that I will be going to Serowe West. You will see someone who looks like me. He is my younger brother [Tshekedi] and secondly I will tell him that I am a Kgosi Kgolo. I will ask the voters in the constituency to lure him to join BPF. If they still want him in BDP it will be complicated. But it is time for Tshekedi to leave BDP,” Khama said.
Responding to his brother’s remarks in an interview on Tuesday, TK who is also the Minister of Youth Empowerment Sports and Culture Development said: “Monnamogolo, like I said it very difficult for me but I will hear what he says and or what the constituents in my area say. I guess that is when I will make a decision. As is, the situation is very fluid politically even within the BDP or BPF and the UDC. You will hear them saying this today and tomorrow they have changed. So I wouldn’t really say what tomorrow has for me,” he said.
Bangwato traditional leaders who are also advisers to former President Ian Khama and his family have in the past told Tshekedi Khama that blood is thicker than water, and as a matter of urgency, he should defect from BDP and join his elder brother at his new political home. While Tshekedi could not commit on leaving the BDP then, the anticipation according to the regents has always been that there is high possibility that he will eventually leave the party somewhere latest being after the elections in October.
“TK, does not want to create any loophole that could be used against him. That is why he never attends SKI’s meetings or make any public statements, because he wants to be trusted in the cabinet but he will leave at the end of the day if that pressure is something to go by,” one of them told this publication then.
Tshekedi responds to Makgato, says she will lose elections
Meanwhile Tshekedi has attacked the Minister of Transport and Communication who is also contesting for Sefhare-Ramokgonami constituency Dorcas Makgato. The two have in the past days exchanged blows over the remarks the latter made at a political rally in Chadibe allegedly attributing the death of Seretse Khama—founding president and father to Khama and Tshekedi—to being alcoholic.
“To me Dorcas [Malesu] is very disgusting to say whatever she could have said at that rally. She is a drunkard too after all, so what example could she be setting to young people out there? I will definitely confront her. This is absolute rubbish. I do not believe what she is saying that she was not referring to my father. If you are say the former president imposed restrictions on alcohol and that his father died because of it [alcohol] it is clear who she was referring to. It is so disappointing to have gone that level. But we will respond either next week or this Thursday. The BPF may do that and I might also do. There are many ways we could respond”.
He continued; “From what I gather on the ground is that she is going to lose elections (He said this showing this reporter some pictures) because people are fed up with her. Monnamogolo this is not yet finished, you know there is a quote that says, ‘You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time. You will see ka elections’. Another thing she says is we do not like black people but she must remember that our father was black and our mother was white so I do not know why she is making such a racist statement.”
Tshekedi was following up on Makgato’s words at the BDP monthly press conference in which Makgato said Ian Khama prioritises white people and wild animals. He says he has postponed his launch to the 14th of next month though he was given a date by the party (BDP).
The Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP)’s decision to reject and appeal the High Court’s verdict on a case involving High Court Judge, Dr Zein Kebonang has frustrated the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) and Judge Kebonang’s back to work discussions.
JSC and Kebonang have been in constant discussions over the latter’s return to work following a ruling by a High Court panel of judges clearing him of any wrong doing in the National Petroleum Fund criminal case filed by the DPP. However the finalization of the matter has been hanged on whether the DPP will appeal the matter or not – the prosecution body has since appealed.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) top brass has declined a request by Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) to negotiate the legal fees occasioned by 2019 general elections petition in which the latter disputed in court the outcome of the elections.
This publication is made aware that UDC Vice President Dumelang Saleshando was left with an egg on his face after the BDP big wigs, comprising of party Chairman Slumber Tsogwane and Secretary General Mpho Balopi rejected his plea.
“He was told that this is a legal matter and therefore their (UDC) lawyer should engage ours (BDP) for negotiations because it is way far from our jurisdiction,” BDP Head of Communications, Kagelelo Kentse, told this publication.
This spelt doom for the main opposition party and Saleshando who seems not to have confidence and that the UDC lawyers have the dexterity to negotiate these kind of matters. It is not clear whether Saleshando requested UDC lawyer Boingotlo Toteng to sit at the table with Bogopa Manewe, Tobedza and Co, who are representing the BDP to strike a deal as per the BDP top echelons suggested.
“From my understanding, the matter is dealt with politically as the two parties are negotiating how to resolve it, but by far nothing has come to me on the matter. So I believe they are still substantively engaging each other,” Toteng said briefly in an interview on Thursday.
UDC petitioners saddled with costs after mounting an unprecedented legal suit before the court to try and overturn BDP’s October 2019 victory. The participants in the legal matter involves 15 parliamentary candidates’ and nine councillors. The UDC petitioned the court and contested the outcome of the elections citing “irregularities in some of the constituencies”.
In a brief ruling in January 2020, Judge President Ian Kirby on behalf of a five-member panel said: “We have no jurisdiction to entertain these appeals. These appeals must be struck out each with costs including costs of counsel”. This was a second blow to the UDC in about a month after their 2019 appeals were dismissed by the High Court a day before Christmas Day.
This week BDP attorneys decided to attach UDC petitioners’ property in a bid to settle the debts. UDC President Duma Boko is among those that will see their property being attached with 14 of his party members. “We have attached some and we are on course. So far, Dr. Mpho Pheko (who contested Gaborone Central) and that of Dr, Micus Chimbombi (who contested Kgalagadi South) will have their assets being sold on the 5th of February 2021,” BDP attorney Basimane Bogopa said.
Asked whether they met with UDC lawyers to try solve the matter, Bogopa said no and added. “Remember we are trying to raise the client’s funds, so after these two others will follow. Right now we are just prioritising those from Court of Appeal, as soon as the high court is done with taxation we will attach.”
Saleshando, when contacted about the outcomes of the meeting with the BDP, told WeekendPost that: “It would not be proper and procedural for me to tell you about the meeting outcomes before I share with UDC National Executive Committee (NEC), so I will have to brief them first.”
UDC NEC will meet on the 20th of next month to deal with a number of thorny issues including settling the legal fees. Negotiations with other opposition parties- Alliance for Progressives and Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) are also on the agenda.
Currently, UDC has raised P44 238 of the P565 000 needed to cover bills from the Court of Appeal (CoA). This is the amount in a UDC trust account which is paltry funds equating 7.8 per cent of the overall required money. In the past despite the petitioners maintaining that there was promise to assist them to settle legal fees, UDC Spokesperson, Moeti Mohwasa then said the party has never agreed in no way to help them.
“We have just been put in debt by someone,” one of the petitioners told this publication in the past. “President’s (Duma Boko) message was clear at the beginning that money has been sourced somewhere to help with the whole process but now we are here there is nothing and we are just running around trying to make ends meet and pay,” added the petitioner in an interview UDC NEC has in December last year directed all the 57 constituencies to each raise a minimum of P10, 000. The funds will be used to settle debts that are currently engulfing the petitioners with Sheriffs, who are already hovering around ready to attach their assets.
The petitioners, despite the party intervention, have every right to worry. “This is so because ‘the deadline for this initiative (P10, 000 per constituency) is the end of the first quarter of this year (2021),” a period in which the sheriffs would have long auctioned the properties.
President of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Duma Boko’s alliance with former President Lt Gen Ian Khama continues to unsettle some quarters within the opposition collective, who believe the duo, if not managed, will once again result in an unsuccessful bid for government in 2024.
While Khama has denied that he has undeclared preference to have Boko remaining as leader of UDC, many believe that the two have a common programme, while other opposition leaders remain on the side-lines.