Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Vice President Dumelang Saleshando has challenged President Mokgweetsi Masisi to investigate his predecessor Lt Gen Ian Khama if at all he is serious about sanitizing corruption in this country.
Saleshando who is also a leader of Botswana Congress Party (BCP) revealed this at the party’s breakfast engagement with the media on Thursday. In his remarks, he is clear that BCP has no appetite for corruption, naming and shaming high ranking officials he would like to see hauled before the courts of law for looting the country. BCP is disappointed on the way President Masisi is addressing corruption which has milked this country a lot of billions. Borrowing from a South African politician, Saleshando said Botswana need a new bus altogether not a new driver.
“Masisi and his predecessor Lt Gen Ian Khama are the Siamese twins who are tied together by the BDP corrupt activities and therefore there is no reason to herald him as a messiah,” Saleshando said in a cloudy morning at Falcon Crest suites. He said Masisi is aiding and abating corruption, challenging him to investigate the Khama family on the billions of pula tenders they benefitted from through their company Seleka Springs at BDF. "I want former president Ian Khama charged for corruption and I want him charged for Mosu.
A lot of this corruption that took place was under his watch. I want him to answer gore ditshweetso tse dingwe o ne a di tsaa a lebile eng (How he took some decision). Who didn’t know in this country that Isaac Kgosi was ill equipped to lead any institution?" The BCP president said. Masisi’s maiden State of the Nation Address (SONA) last year was not committal and very mild on dealing with corruption, BCP leader who is also candidate for Maun West constituency said.
“It is because he is also implicated in corruption activities including the National Petroleum Funds (NPF). P3 million was transferred to Masisi, and there is no hope of turning a leaf under this leadership. We have moved from worse but now we want to glorify the bad.” Saleshando said Masisi’s inner circle is also on the red. He cites the examples of his Permanent Secretary Carter Morupisi who was highly involved in trail of the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) missing P 200 million.
“Masisi should come clear and tell us. Like he said in some media outlets he should waive his presidential immunity and account. But we know he won’t because he is protecting his interest,” the former Gaborone Central legislator added. Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Vice President Dumelang Saleshando has come out clear that the law should take its course if it is proven that his President Duma Boko has committed any transgression over his ‘tax evasion’ allegations.
“The Ketla-swaepa [I will swipe] Range-Rover remarks I thought was made in jest, Boko is a human being and he was throwing a joke. I have engaged him on the matter and it is not tax evasion,” he said. “But if it is a tax evasion let him be charged because we are tired of these shows. I hope President Mokgweetsi Masisi is not using public institutions to fight political wars, there are more serious issues than this.” He said this referring to Boko’s remarks that he will swipe a brand-new Range Rover after it was compounded by the tax authorities amid reports that he has evaded tax.
BCP CALLS FOR DIS AUDIT
As a party consistent with zero patience to corruption, BCP calls for a forensic audit of the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS). They say they are tired of ‘shows’ and now want former Spy Chief Isaac Kgosi to appear and answer for his actions at the courts of law. “It is not enough to have Isaac Kgosi investigated, we need to see him being prosecuted. It is long overdue and investigations have been going on for too long. Action needs to be taken,” he said.
The issue of Kgosi BCP takes seriously such that they want government to outsource capable legal minds to assist. “We are dealing with a complex money laundering case and we expect government to bring those legal representatives like they normally do with other cases they desperately want to win. But the desire for conviction is very low on this one,” Saleshando added.
CONCERNED BY MASISI-CHINESE RELATIONS
The decision by the Masisi led government to extend a loan to Botswana for rail and road infrastructure as well as agreeing with China to write off some debt, has BCP concerned over the consequences. In addition to the loan and a debt cancellation of P80 million, China has also offered a 340 million pula ($31 million) grant. “There seems to be a secretive transaction. Chinese shackle from Beijing and Tsholetsa House and we know this deal come with behind the scene dealings. We should do a democracy alert on Chinese loans. We are tied on poverty by this leadership,” Saleshando posits.
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.