Following former President Lt Gen Ian Khama’s much anticipated Serowe meeting today (Saturday), former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) presidential candidate Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi will also host another meeting in Serowe.
The nitty-gritty and the agenda of the anticipated Venson-Moitoi meeting remains secret but sources indicate that Vice President Slumber Tsogwane, who is also party chairman is expected to officiate at the event. Even though the events are still sketchy, reports reaching this publication have it that Venson- Moitoi gave Slumber Tsogwane an ultimatum to attend and officiate at her meeting in Serowe. A source close to the development said Venson-Moitoi is putting Tsogwane’s character at test to see if indeed President Masisi mean his words about uniting the party.
However Tsogwane is believed to have remained mum on the issue and is playing his cards safe. The Vice President who is known to be a Masisi loyalist is now caught in between a hard rock. Tsogwane is expect to discuss Venson-Moitoi’s invitation with Masisi before making a commitment. It is not yet clear whether Tsogwane will attend as he is yet to respond to the invite from Venson-Moitoi.
Venson-Moitoi a party stalwart who is viewed as Masisi’s rival and former President Ian Khama’s close associate is seen as a messiah who can unite the party particularly in the Central region where Venson-Moitoi enjoyed massive support in the build up to contentious Kang Special Congress last month. The BDP fears that Khama’s influence in the region will plunge the party in further crisis, as the former party leader continues his hostility with the incumbent.
Khama, after emerging as Masisi nemesis declared her support for Venson-Moitoi ahead of Kang and has helped hype the latter’s presidential campaigns. Venson-Moitoi later withdrew from the race on the eleventh hour citing her displeasure at how the whole process was conduct and how she was harassed and abused together with the entire campaign. Upon declaring her presidential bid Venson-Moitoi was then dropped from cabinet and her campaign was marred by clandestine and mysterious de-campaigning by the pro-Masisi faction.
In his victory speech at Kang President Masisi promised democrats that he will call Venson- Moitoi to his office because he needs her support to unite the party. However, the fruit of the meeting is yet to be realised, with the two parties remaining mum on the outcomes of their discussions. It is understood that Masisi failed to meet some of Venson-Moitoi’s demands. One of the demands was a request to have all the disciplinary hearings which were scheduled for some councillors who attended the Serowe elders meeting dropped.
The end result of the disciplinary hearing have seen two party legisaltors, who were associated with Venson-Moitoi’s campaign Samson Moyo Guma and Prince Maele being expelled from the party. Today (Saturday) former President Khama will address Bangwato in Serowe where it is expected that his future in politics will be decided. “The meeting will resolve in a number of issues including among others the current state of the party, what have been happening and what I have been going through”, said Khama on Thursday.
The former President continued to say everyone is invited but his intension was not to have President Masisi or party members but everyone is welcome. However, Khama said the meeting is not about reconciliation because prospects of reconciliation are unsubstantiated.
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.