President Mokgweetsi Masisi is feeling the heat as he is unable to put off the fire resulting from the controversial party primary elections and the subsequent appeals decisions made by the party. With his Presidency also questioned in court President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has even warned against taking the party to court.
Factionalism, favouritism, and elections rigging have become the hallmark of the party which is also fighting instability caused by the fallout between the current president and his predecessor Lt Gen Ian Khama. Junior minister in Masisi’s cabinet, Biggie Butale has taken the legal route after his appeal through party structures failed to bore fruits. Nonofo Molefhi, Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration may follow suit next week.
The two, who feel hard done belong to a faction which contested against Masisi’s faction at last year’s Tonota elective congress. Masisi’s camp won all the central committee positions to take control of the party’s highest governing structure in between congress. Molefhi contested the chairmanship against Masisi in Tonota, while Butale battled with Shaw Kgathi for the Deputy Secretary General position.
However, both Butale and Molefhi lost their bid in the primary elections, their two rivals Simon Moabi and Amogelang Mojuta respectively, scrapping through with small margins. Meanwhile Kgathi, who had lost with huge margin to newcomer, Francisco Kgoboko, in Bobonong, had his appeal ruled in his favour. The perceived inconsistencies by the party politburo in decision making regarding re-runs, had led to other contestants breaking ranks with the party leadership.
WeekendPost is in possession of a letter authored by Kgoboko, addressed to President Mokgweetsi Masisi appealing the decision to grant Kgathi, his rival, a re-run. In his letter Kgoboko argued that Kgathi did not lodge his appeal within the stipulated time and therefore failed to satisfy requirements. Kogboko stated that he never received a copy of the minister’s grounds of appeal.
“On the 29th October 2018 I informed the appeal board that I never received a copy of minister Kgathi’s grounds of appeal, a fact he did not deny,” said Kgoboko. Moreover, Kgoboko emphasized that they cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that the same appeal board on the same day it delivered the verdict in Minister Kgathi’s appeal, dismissed Kefentse Mzwinila’s appeal because of non-compliance with the same regulations.
The BDP parliamentary candidate writes that he has suffered great injustice as a result of irregularities and is in no position to accept a re-run and points that a re-run would be a travesty of justice to democrats of the country. Kgoboko won against Minister Kgathi during the primary elections on the 25th August 2018. The results of the elections were as follows (1) Kgathi 2593 and I (2) Kgoboko 4865.
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.