The Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Tshekedi Khama who is also a younger brother to former President Lt Gen Ian Khama, has allegedly told his uncles not to rush their nerves by foreseeing him joining the newly formed Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) anytime soon.
Tshekedi has been asked by his uncles that blood is thicker than water, and as a matter of urgency, he should defect from Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and join his older brother at his new political home, BPF. However after that request, TK has never came back to the elders to give them a decisive action plan as to whether he will leave the BDP and join BPF until recently when he told them that he is still a BDP member in good standing.
According to sources, Tshekedi told the tribal leadership comprised of Regent Sediegeng Kgamane, wards leaders and ‘Bo-Rangwanaa-kgosi’ [uncles to the royal house] who are all advise-givers to the Khama family that they should not rush him to do anything including his political future. Part of the reasons why the minister could not commit as of now in following his elder brother is because of association he has with some people. Samson Guma Moyo who is expected to join the BPF upon his return next month is one person that Tshekedi does not want to share the same party colours with, though they did in BDP.
“Number one, the minister does not want anything to do with Guma. They had squabbles in the past and it appears he is still holding those. He is so serious such that this has compromised his relation with the older Khama,” highlights a seemingly cagey informant. According to the source, Tshekedi has not forgotten a man who kicked him when he was down. In 2016, Tshekedi in heated exchanges, publicly accused Guma of conniving to hurt his political ambitions.
Guma, who was chairing the Parliamentary Committee on Statutory Bodies and Enterprises (PCSBE), had summoned minister Tshekedi twice to appear before the committee to answer for his alleged maladministration at the Ministry. This was on the back of developing events at the beleaguered Botswana Tourism Board (BTO where Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Brian Dithebe was instructed to cut his stay at the organisation short without any reasonable explanation. Dithebe’s work contract was abruptly terminated, allegedly at the instruction of the Minister.
“We know here it may look like the committee is doing its job, which I do not have a problem with. But me and you [Guma] know beyond the parameters of this wall there is politics behind it,” Tshekedi levelled the accusation then. His point was that, in as much as he admitted that his Ministry wasted huge sums of tax payers’ money, other Ministries had done the same and squandered billions of government money and yet they were not being grilled as his Ministry was.
It is believed that Tshekedi still hold grudge about that moment and believes that he [Guma] played in part in ensuring that he does not become Vice President as initially agreed by BDP power brokers when Masisi was made president. “Secondly TK, has always been against Kgosi [Isaac]. Yes Kgosi is not part of the party but he says he could at least stay in BDP pending the dynamics because he cannot join a party that has two of his arch-rivals. This he said even before his brother that he should get rid of the two, but SKI couldn’t, because Kgosi is his all-time personal friend,” added a source.
Not only are the two reasons but the giant minister is also eyeing his cabinet benefits. “The thing is he will definitely leave but then another point that I nearly forgot is he told his uncles that the is still a minister and they should know that at the end of the term he will get something and if he leaves now he will go home empty handed. This is the situation that the elders had to listen to. They did so because they understood and saw that it is not like he is entirely refusing, but there are other considerations,” revealed a Serowe based source on Wednesday morning.
With all these reasons the tribal leadership are said to have listened and assured him that they will not pressurize him to do anything, but he will do at his own time. “Bangwato ba ile ba reetsa rra, so they said they will play wait and see game because they don’t want to upset him which could push him to remain with the BDP,” said the informant.
The agreement which Serowe old guards agreed amid murmurings is, even if Tshekedi does not leave the BDP now, he can still leave after elections in October. This however is not the ideal move as the leaders want to de-campaign the BDP before elections. Reports say the mood in Serowe main Kgotla is so volatile such that the traditional leadership has already hatched a grand plan to cleanse the party in the village.
“BDP is no longer wanted in Serowe. Magosana are going to be mobilised to influence other tribesmen not to vote the BDP in the three Serowe constituencies because the party leadership has humiliated Kgosi Kgolo. It will be a taxing exercise but the traditionalists are upbeat that at the end of the day the plan will pass,” says a source very close to the dynamics.
BDP WILL NOT FIRE TSHEKEDI
A letter by Serowe West constituency chairman has pleaded with the party to get rid of members who are not showing loyalty to the party including Tshekedi Khama. The letter which was seen by this publications requested the party leadership to take necessary measures including expelling the members who comprise councillors.
“The members are behaving in a grossly disorderly and unruly manner that might put the party name in disrepute. They are also sowing seeds of discord in the party, using regionalism, tribalism or factionalism,” states the letter. However this week the BDP leadership is said to have decided to go against the letter saying doing so might further cripple them. “It will be suicidal if we can reprimand them in whatever way possible. They might leave who knows,” party member who serves in the disciplinary committee said briefly.
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.