Longtime Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) lawyer, Parks Tafa’s invisible hand has come to surface this week, with revelations indicating the former party advisor is playing in key role in ensuring that Kamal Jacobs triumphs against President Mokgweetsi Masisi.
This publication has it in good authority that Tafa is the engineer behind Tamocha’s filing affidavits. Tamocha made a slippery of the tongue when he told court that Tafa who is Khama’s attorney had called him the previous night when asked about the affidavit. Tafa has been part of the integral BDP set-up since the 1990s, and played a key role in the process which led to the review of BDP constitution and national constitution from 1995-1997. He is believed to savvy with the BDP constitution, adding credence to Kamal’s case.
Tafa is a close ally of former Presidnet, Lt Gen Ian Khama, who has since fell out with his successor, a war that continues to play itself out in public. Tafa could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press regarding his role in the Kamal case against Masisi. High Court Judge Michael Mothobi is expected to make a ruling on the matter of urgency next week.
Appearing before Judge Mothobi of Gaborone High Court this week, the attorney representing Kamal Jacobs in President Mokgweetsi Masisi, Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and others, Kagisano Tamocha argued that Presidential Immunity as instituted by the Attorney General is not applicable because the case deals with the BDP constitution and not that of the country.
While they presented their heads of arguments the AG who are cited as the Amicus curiae or friend of the court argued that it is common course that President Masisi has colloquially immunity according to Section 41 of the Constitution of Botswana. The Attorney General represented by Otlaadisa Kwape said Masisi should have never been cited as a respondent in the case. “The constitution provides that no civil proceedings should be instituted against his/ her official or private capacity as stated in section 41.
The Attorney General continues to argue that the 2009 Gomolemo Motswaledi versus the Botswana Democratic (BDP) which ruled in favor of Presidential Immunity is not distinguishable in the case. It is said in the Motswaledi case the court refused to allow the 3rd new category of representation whilst the constitution only talks of two. The president can only be sued in his official and private capacity, there is nothing like ‘representation’. “In this case the president is sued in his private capacity therefore immune”, they argued.
While debating his arguments Tamocha said the orders sort against Masisi in his private capacity as a member of the 1st respondent (BDP). Tamocha argued that Former President Lt Gen Seretse Khama Ian Khama who is cited as the 3rd respondent in the matter, is the substantive and lawful President of the BDP. Tamocha asked the court to make a finding as whether Masisi holding the office of the presidency of the BDP in accordance with the constitution of the BDP.
Through an affidavit Former president Khama is expected to testify to court on whether he did resign as BDP president and therefore opening a vacancy to be filled by his then Vice president Mokgweetsi Masisi or not. Masisi has since became the state president and it is still not clear whether he became the party leader too. According to Tamocha, they also believed that Masisi would either have to withdraw his immunity under section 41 of the country’s constitution to allow for a proper determination of the question brought forth in relation to the presidency of the BDP.
He said this bearing in mind that one of their prayers to court were seeking that the sitting of Committees of the Central Committee including the Committee headed by the 4th respondent (Peter Siele) in terms of article 33 of the constitution of the 1st respondent (BDP), and the appeals committee is not proper because they have not been appointed by a substantive president, whom they believe it should have been Khama and not Masisi.
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.