Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) top echelons have given former President Lt Gen Ian Khama’s intentions of leaving the party thumbs up. This, they say will reduce the internal squabbles that have been ongoing for long, citing that this will restore unity in the party as general elections fast approaches.
Former President Khama’s close associates have revealed his long kept secret to walk out of the BDP which his father founded in 1961 following a series of battle with his successor President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi which have been elongated since April last year. A BDP high ranking official has shared with this publication that they were aware of Khama’s intent to leave the party and they couldn’t be happier. “We cannot take the fights anymore; Khama has been a burden to the party. He is the main reason why the party is in the state it is in today.
Khama demanded a lot of things from Masisi which he could not provide; all his demands were against our constitution. Let him go.” The BDP member who seats with Masisi and other party’s big wigs in the meetings, could not disclose to Weekendpost particular demands Khama wanted from Masisi. It is further disclosed by BDP sources that on many occasions Masisi tried to reach out to Khama for reconciliation but to no avail.
“Masisi tried several times to reconcile with Khama but failed. Let Khama go and do whatever he wants, endorse UDC, endorse independent candidates etc. He will not go far; he failed dismally in Kang so we will not be shaken by his sudden move to endorse all the people I have mentioned. He will ditch them last minute just like he ditched Venson Moitoi. We are not shaken,” said a source.
According to a study compiled by South African firm, the two presidents have reached a point where reconciliation is close to impossible and “attempts to bring them together to reach a truce have failed and they seem to be heading to the cliff edge.” With that, Khama was advised that he should try by all means to meet Masisi personally or through emissaries. “This is for a truce to be negotiated in the interest of both men and for the sake of the party,” highlights the report.
In the past Khama had made it clear that he would like to meet Masisi privately. This was after many attempts by Masisi to engage his predecessor through the BDP elders committee which the former leader blatantly rejected. The research also added that with Masisi having registered a ‘hollow’ victory in Kang, achieved through the price of manipulation, intimidation and abuse of state resource and assets, he may be amenable to a settlement in order to turn his attention to the general elections.
“A big question mark is would Masisi’s conciliatory stance be genuine or only meant to buy him peace for purpose of the election after which he will return to haunt Khama. Our analysis is that for Masisi’s project to become a success, Khama and his associates must continuously be vilified and portrayed in the eyes of the nation as the perennial enemies of the nation,” study observed.
In an exclusive interview with Khama this week he made it clear that he will not divulge anything centered on his departure, as everything will be said in Serowe. Former president has invited Bangwato to a meeting this Saturday at Serowe Show Grounds. He says that is where he will discuss his future role in politics and also his communal service to the people of Gammangwato and Batswana as a whole. Khama pointed out that this is going to be a consultative meeting with the tribe, discussing broadly on the BDP and where it is today. He will also intensively consult on what has been happening to him in the BDP.
He however mentioned that he has not invited anyone except for the Bangwato tribe. When asked if he has made an effort to invite the President, Khama asked, “A ke Mongwato? I wish for this to be a consultative meeting between me and the tribe.” When asked if he was convinced that reconciliation between him and President Mokgweetsi Masisi is impossible Khama said, “what I intend to present in Serowe won’t touch on reconciliation, but all I can say is the opportunities to reconcile are growing harder and harder by the day because of the actions they are taking towards me regularly and others.”
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.