President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi invited his rival Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi on Monday to a meeting in an attempt to bury the hatchet from the just ended Kang Congress and the aftermath of the High Court case in which Venson-Moitoi lost with costs.
Masisi offered an olive branch to Venson-Moitoi, and wants her to join part of his national elections campaign team, according to reports gathered by this publication. “The beginning of the meeting is thought to have been cordial with the president outlining his vision for the party and the country, and how Venson-Moitoi could be involved. The president had said to Venson-Moitoi that he saw a big role for her in driving the campaign in the north of the country, where former President Ian Khama is thought to have a lot of influence,” said a source close to the events.
Venson-Moitoi is said to have in reply thanked the president for the meeting and said she only honoured the meeting out of respect of the office which Masisi occupies. “Things then took a nasty turn when Venson-Moitoi registered her displeasure with the conduct of the president and his team since her announcement of running for the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) presidency. Venson-Moitoi felt that the president takes her for granted, after all she had subjected that she can be easily told to forgive and forget the treatment she received from the president and his team.’
It is further understood that Venson-Moitoi told the president on his face that he was a repeat cheat and he is using anything at his disposal to terrorise political opponents. “Venson-Moitoi then made a veil threat that she will be approaching the court of appeal to review the decision taken by the lower court. She questioned the integrity of the judges who presided over the matter and was short of saying that they are doing the bid for Masisi,” narrated the source.
Party faithful and political analysts are said to have called on the president to now unite the party after Kang. They are of the view that a lot of damage was done leading to Kang. “And it is now the sole responsibility of the president to bring people together. A lot was said, some of it outright irresponsible. North-South politics came to play, tribalism came to play and derogative language was the order of the day,” said the source.
“Some dictatorial decisions were taken, like the one not to have a voting congress in July. I have always said it is easy to win Kang, but the real problems come after the Kang congress. Does the president have the temperature and humility to get democrats together to win the national elections? Things have to change, his tone has to change, and so should be the tone of all democrats. Magnanimity should rule, and BDP members have to find each other, that is if they want to win elections.”
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.