Former President Lt Gen Seretse Khama Ian Khama has finally cut ties with his long-time ally, Tshepang Mabaila who is contesting Mogoditshane parliamentary constituency as an independent candidate.
In a new development, Khama will now back Bruce Nkgakile who announced his defection from the beleaguered Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) last week to join the Khama linked Botswana Patriot Front (BPF). Khama left Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), the party founded by his father and regrouped with his close associates as they facilitated the formation BPF, believed to be his brainchild.
Since the formation of the new party expectations were high that some of Khama’s close associates, including Khama’s brother Tshekedi, Mabaila and Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi will be the first to join. However, with only two months left before the general elections Mabaila has made his mind to contest the constituency as an independent candidate. Khama’s unsuccessful bid to coax Mabaila to join BPF has seen the party recruiting Nkgakile from the BMD. Nkgakile was first spotted at BPF launch last month, raising suspicion that he has closed ranks with the new party.
Nkgaile will now under BPF colours face, Mabaila, Alliance for Progressives (AP)’s Sedirwa Kgoroba, Botswana Democratic Party (BDP)’s Tumiso Chillyboy Rakgare as well as Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC)’s Mozambia Dibe. Reports indicate that Khama is scheduled to launch Nkgakile as BPF’s Mogoditshane preferred candidate. Khama has however said, he has not made any pronouncement with regard to who he will launch and support in Mogoditshane.
“The decision on who to launch and not, rests with the interim leadership of the party [BPF]. So far, nothing has been decided with relation to that constituency. I do not want to pre-empt anything and make assumption on who are I am going to launch,” Khama told WeekendPost this week. “It has been resolved that, in a scenario where the party is not contesting, we will support opposition candidate.”
While officially bidding Bangwato farewell at a consultation meeting in Serowe on 25 May 2019, the former President told tribesmen that he will no longer support the party that has backtracked as a result of its new policies under the current leadership. Khama assured Bangwato that he will instead join hands and vote with the opposition in helping remove the BDP from power.
At the recent inaugural BPF press briefing Khama assured members of the media that he will be working with the newly formed party and shall be launching their candidates at some constituencies where they have decided to contest. While addressing multitudes who thronged Kanye at their launch, Khama said their intention is to remove BDP from power thus in some constituencies where they are contesting they will support the UDC. That technical meant the former President will not be launching some independent candidates leaving them with only one option, to join the newly formed BPF or face competition.
“Khama has been advised against some hypocrites who are trying to use him to win elections but will later remain members of BDP or will re-join at a later stage. People like Mabaila have been clear that after serving his suspension he will re-unite with the BDP, thus there is no use supporting him,” said a source close to the development. Last year, in purging of candidates supposedly linked to Khama, President Mokgweetsi Masisi slapped Mabaila with a five-year suspension from the party.
Prior to five-year suspension, Mabaila served a two months suspension pending disciplinary hearing for allegedly committing offences against the rules and regulations and General Code of Conduct of the ruling party. He was also accused of ‘behaving in a grossly disorderly and unruly manner that might put the party’s name into disrepute contrary to General Code of Conduct number 11 and sowing seeds of discord in the party, using regionalism, tribalism or factionalism contrary to General Code of Conduct number 6’.
Mabaila was alleged to have conspired and tried to persuade MPs; Dr Alfred Madigele and Sethomo Lelatisitswe, to support Leader of Opposition, Duma Boko’s motion of no confidence against Masisi. Mabaila an ally of Khama since his military days dating to 2003, says he has made his mind to contest Mogoditshane as an independent candidate. “I will not be joining the new party, that is what the people of Mogoditshane wants,” said Mabaila.
Asked about his current relationship with Khama, Mabaila said he is not aware of any development, implying that Khama is fully behind him. “We are always talking and he never mentioned anything to that effect,” he said.Mabaila who will be launching at Mogoditshane on 7th September said he has invited Khama at the event. Observation shows recently Mabaila has come out on social media praising President Masisi and attacking his former master in what observers outlined as a cry for sympathy by the youthful politician.
A source within the BPF said Mabaila is not the only candidate on Khama’s target, another Khama’s favourite Kamal Jacobs who is contesting Lobatse as an independent candidate will face BPF’s Patrick Kebailele whose roots can be linked to Bangwato royalty. Khama’s decision not to support independent candidates, is a setback for Lerala-Maunatlala legislator, Prince Maele who was suspended from BDP and will be contesting the constituency as an independent candidate. Ironically, Maele was suspended for declaring his support for Khama at a Kgotla meeting, but Khama will not support him for refusing to join BPF.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) Tymon Katholo has revealed why he took a decision to engage private lawyers against the State. The DCEC boss engaged Monthe and Marumo Attorneys in his application to interdict the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) from accessing files and dockets in the custody of the corruption busting agency.
In his affidavit, Katholo says that by virtue of my appointment as the Director General of the DCEC, he is obliged to defend the administration and operational activities of the DCEC. He added that, “I have however been advised about a provision in the State Proceedings Act which grants the authority of public institution to undertake legal proceedings to the Attorney General.” Katholo contends that the provision is not absolute and the High Court may in the exercise of its original jurisdiction permit such, like in this circumstance authorise such proceedings to be instituted by the DCEC or its Director General.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has gone through transformation over the years, with new faces coming and going, but some figures have become part and parcel of the furniture at Tsholetsa House. From founding in 1962, BDP has seen five leaders changing the baton during the party’s 60 years of existence. The party has successfully contested 12 general elections, albeit the outcome of the last polls were disputed in court.
While party splits were not synonymous with the BDP for the better part of its existence, the party suffered two splits in the last 12 years; the first in 2010 when a Barataphathi faction broke ranks to found the now defunct Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD). The Barataphathi faction was in the main protesting the ill-treatment of then recently elected party secretary general, Gomolemo Motswaledi, who had been suspended ostensibly for challenging the authority of then president, Ian Khama.
Mr Abdoola has known Mr. Uzair Razi for many years from the time he was a young boy. Uzair’s father, Mr Razi Ahmed, was the head of BCCI Bank in Botswana and “a very good man,” his close associates say.
Uzair and his wife went to settle in Dubai, the latter’s birthplace. He stayed in touch and was working for a real estate company owned by Mr. Sameer Lakhani. “Our understanding is that Uzair approached Mr. Abdoola to utilize their services for any property-related interests in Dubai. He did some work for Mr.Abdoola and others in the Botswana business community,” narrates a friend of Mr Abdoola.