Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has unleashed an intimidating electioneering plan which will include touring constituencies with several government departments and parastatals to campaign for the general elections expected later this year.
This publication is reliably informed that party president Mokgweetsi Masisi and chairman Slumber Tsogwane have warmly endorsed the strategy that was pushed by the backbenchers. It is said the plan is aimed at ambushing the opposition and it will be fully implemented next month as the party launches its manifesto and candidates in various constituencies.
The strategy was informed by legislators who have been for a long time lamenting about poor service delivery by government departments. Of most concern has been Water Utilities which saw taps going dry in a number of constituencies which the ruling party desperately wants to win in the coming general elections.
The plan is expected to vary per constituency considering the need and the troubles that besiege different areas. Already the party is yet to formally approach the identified departments so that they can commit their availability in those meetings to give electorates first-hand information. “This is aimed at making Batswana appreciate how much the BDP, which is also the ruling party has done and is doing to ensure that service delivery is met,” said party Secretary General Mpho Balopi in a short interview this week.
Balopi who could not dwell much on the details of the strategy as it is still being orchestrated added: “The plan is to hold town-hall meetings with voters and we will also ensure that we bring all the stakeholders like ministry officials and parastatals to those meetings so that people can appreciate and get answers straight from those who are hands on. As a party we don’t know the challenges they face and it will be opportunity to interact with Batswana and share ideas as to what could be done to ensure how to move Botswana forward.”
The electioneering plan is dominated by lack of consumable water, electricity, human wildlife conflicts, lack of land, unemployment, social welfares and low yield from agriculture output. However it seems water and wildlife conflicts brushes many feathers than other concerns. The party is concerned about the possibilities of power cuts especially as the winter season fast approaches.
This has forced them to engage Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) to set the record straight that there won’t be any electricity cuts as it attracts the public’s wrath on the BDP. The party says it has been among the opposition’s favorite subjects used to discredit BDP even in 2014. BCP representatives will be requested to inform the public that power cuts would be history this winter and that electricity connectivity is fast and efficient. It is also expected that electricity and water charges which voters say are unbearably high and often inconsistent and confusing will be discussed.
From the northern block backbenchers the issue of human/wildlife conflict tops the list. “Elephants are terrorizing people in those areas. Agriculture is suffering with people being killed also. The remedies implemented by the communities have failed and now we have no option but to kill them. By the way elephant population has increased,” party chief whip Liekat Kablay confirmed the contents of strategy when mapped few months ago.
This topic will be addressed by the Department of Wildlife and National Parks (DWNP) who are also expected to inform the public as to what should happen in case wildlife tempers with livestock or agricultural proceeds and compensation thereof. Meanwhile the party has also adopted the plan to give Batswana land. The land boards in areas surrounding cities will update voters as to what could be leading to long waiting queues and what will be done to remedy that. Update on the LAPCAS will also be given to voters.
“People have applied for land and have been waiting and the waiting list keeps on growing long yet we can see we have land. The government should go all out and give Batswana land. We should go back to the old system of giving people land then services like water and electricity will find them,” one MP allegedly told Tsogwane at the drafting of the strategy.
For now Minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services Itumeleng Moipisi told the party that they are still doing maps which will take time. Another question expected to be fielded to the ministry is what happened to P1.5 billion requested from World Bank to avail water to Batswana. With an estimated unemployment rate of 17.6, the party wants the youth to be convinced that acceleration of job creation in Botswana is on track. As is there are no sustainable jobs not Ipelegeng and the locals have pleaded with intensive job creation.
This one will be addressed by Ministry of Youth Empowerment Sport and Culture Development in conjunction with CEDA. It is also requested to increase the monies of Youth Grant from P2million so that a number of them would benefit. Apart from addressing these pertinent topics the party will be launching their candidates and also presenting the manifesto. BDP wants to improve its 47 percent popular in 2014, which was the worst since formation.
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.