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.
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.