Bangwato traditional leaders who are also advisers to former President Lt Gen Dr Ian Khama and his family have told Tshekedi Khama that blood is thicker than water, and as a matter of urgency, he should defect from Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and join his elder brother at his new political home, Weekendpost has been told.
The tribal leadership comprised of Regent Sediegeng Kgamane, wards leaders and ‘Bo-Rangwanaa-kgosi’ who are all advise-givers to Khama last week unanimously agreed that their Chief (Ian Khama) should leave BDP. This publication’s sources say, the belief in Serowe is, former president has suffered a lot under the current administration and should now find a new home of refugee where he will be free to do his communal work without being accused for interfering with Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi’s presidency.
On top of a series of meetings the tribal leadership have held so far, they also agreed that Ian’s younger brother Tshekedi should come out of the woods and follow his brother. For a long time Tshekedi has been mute on the feud involving his brother and President Masisi and the fed up tribal leadership wants him to show his true colours.
“Blood is thicker than water and the agreement here is he should give support to his brother by leaving the party and follow him. He has been quite for some time which was right since he is serving in Masisi’s cabinet, but it is concerning because SKI needs his support,” a source privy to last week’s meeting told this publication on the sidelines of Khama’s meeting last weekend.
Tshekedi has been reminded that he should show the support he pledged to Ian Khama in the late 90’s when instead of contesting Serowe West he allowed Ian Khama to contest in order to become the country’s Vice President. It is said already Tshekedi who is also the Minister of Youth Empowerment Sports and Culture Development (MYSC) has been contacted to remove the BDP mask. “In short the agreement is TK should join Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) where SKI is a patron,” adds another source this week. “If he can’t then he should be an independent candidate.” Tshekedi who is the MP for Serowe West constituency first won it in 2008 when Ian Khama assumed Presidency.
While Tshekedi could not commit to leaving the BDP as for now, the anticipation according to those who attended the meeting is that there is high possibility that he will eventually leave the party. “For now though Masisi does not trust him in cabinet, he cannot get rid of him. Same thing with TK, he 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.”
The agreement which Serowe old guards agreed amid murmurings is, even if TK 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 to the extent that the traditional leadership has already hatched a grand plan to eradicate the party in the village.
“BDP is no longer wanted in Serowe. Magosana are going to be mobilized 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 draining 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.
After wards leaders address their subjects it will be followed by regent’s address who will occasionally be accompanied by other Khama advisors to audit as to whether the script has been followed to the letter. Other constituencies like Serowe North under BDP’s Kgotla Autlwetse will also be visited by Bogosi delegation to ensure that Bangwato ‘vote wisely.’ The crusade will not only end in Serowe but will spill to other Central District constituencies where the paramount chief of the area (SKI) will hold Kgotla meetings to address and canvass votes for those aligned to him.
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.