After failing to convince court to have Kang Congress postponed on the eve of the congress, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi few hours before elections withdrew her candidature, alleging that elections were a scam. In the process leaving the party wondering why it had to spend over P5 million for a processes that was bound to be aborted last minute.
This publication has gathered that the ruling party spent over P5 million since the campaigns and preparations for the Special Congress ensued. “Yes a lot of money was injected to prepare for this election, it is unfortunate that it did not happen. But we are happy that our President now has a full mandate from the party members,” shared a party official who preferred anonymity.
President Masisi was nominated by all 14 BDP regions to become the ruling party leader hence getting a fresh mandate from members. Although Venson-Moitoi’s name was temporarily put up for election despite her announcement to the media that she was withdrawing, Secretary General Mpho Balopi later received a message asking him to pull down Venson-Moitoi’s name.
Venson-Moitoi, who has been on campaign trail since December 2018 told the media yesterday that she was withdrawing her candidacy because participating in the elections would have given credence to the flawed election process conducted by the party. Venson-Moitoi last minute decision left Masisi as the only presidential candidate, a development which is likely to polarise the party further beyond the congress. Masisi was subsequently elected President of the party unopposed.
Few days before the congress, there have been reports of intention to withdraw from the race after most of Venson-Moitoi’s demands were not met. She however opted for the court route which however was not helpful either. Venson-Moitoi did not appeal the verdict though she was not happy with the judgement of the three judges who presided over the matter. “I am not going back to court, I have other important things to do with my life. Why would I appeal, se se sa arabiwang (what was not answered). I went there to get answers I could not,“ Venson-Moitoi told the media.
“It would be a waste of money. I have already spent much, all the things I have done in Kang, Balopi [Mpho] made me pay twice.” Reports have become rife that the disgruntled BDP members belonging to a faction called New Jerusalem, which supported Venson-Moitoi’s presidency, will form a new political party. At least 12 Member of Parliament are expected to resign from the ruling party, a decision which is mostly likely to collapse Masisi’s government.
“I will not be going back to a new party, I am closing this and moving on with a clear mind. I am impatient old woman, I need answers. God will answer those,” affirmed Venson-Moitoi. “I have heard of faction Jerusalem I do not know who they are; and I hear they have been supporting me. I appreciate it.” Venson-Moitoi said on Thursday, when court adjourned to allow the two parties to meet and talk with the viewing of meeting each other halfway, she had hoped the matter would be settled out of court.
“Unfortunately that route did not work. I always try to look for a peaceful solution to situations,” she said. Few moments after announcing her withdrawal from the race, Venson-Moitoi was seen in the company of intelligence chief, Brigadier Peter Magosi having a conversation but Venson-Moitioi was cagey on revealing what was discussed between the two.
Venson-Moitoi at the press briefing confirmed the absence of her chief campaigners, Khama and Member of Parliament for Tati East Samson Guma, who were in Mosu and Johannesburg (South Africa) respectively. There are reports that Guma Moyo may be expelled from the party following his invitation for a disciplinary hearing. Guma who is subject of investigation by security organs flew the country few weeks ago, alleging that his life was in danger. Venson-Moitoi took swipe at the media, accusing it of abusing former president Khama.
Venson-Moitoi in quotes
‘’The Central Committee ke yone e re lotlhanynag. Gompieno party ha e ka thubega tla bo ele Central Committee.’’ “The media has abused the Former President it’s enough. I am going to talk on his behalf today. Stop meddling into issues you do not know about. Masisi o ntlodisitse matlho ka dintwa tsa gagwe le Khama. Ga ke itse gore ba lwela eng. A re o kganelwa go busa, ago tshela soup ko Mankgodi ke go kgoreletsa?’
“I am not mad, it take a whole lot to get me there. I am a full member of the BDP.”
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.