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Masisi, Khama collide at Choppies doors

Choppies Enterprises Ltd, a leading retailer with close ties with the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) will this festive season be stretching its resources to meet requests from Office of the President (OP) and Office of the former President, Lt Gen Dr Ian Khama donating groceries towards emergency services providers.  

As the festive season approach the President Masisi’s Private Office has on the 14th November 2018 written a letter to Choppies Distribution Centre requesting the Chief Executive Officer Ramachandran Ottapathu to donate to emergency service providers. The initiative was first introduced by former President Lt Gen Ian Khama as a way of motivating emergency service providers who will be working during the long holidays.

The letter which was signed by President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s Senior Private Secretary Berzack Maphakwane reads, “I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and your organization for the continued assistance that you continue to render to communities across the country. Choppies (Pty) LTD has been exemplary to the rest of the private sector in carrying out what can be considered a solid corporate social responsibility strategy.

It is on this premise that I kindly request you to assist in providing items that you may deem important in facilitating service provision on Christmas Day by various Government entities.  This assistance will go a long way in ensuring that our service men and women deliver effectively on their mandate during the festive season.”Choppies boss Ramachandran Ottapathu declared that his goal is to assist in needy causes. He said even if the opposition was to win power tomorrow he will extent the same help to them. Ramachandran has close ties with former President Khama.

In the letter, Masisi was asking that Ram avail items such as sunscreen, water and light snack to facilitate the effective delivery of various services such as manning roadblocks and undertaking patrols by security personnel. This include Botswana Police Service, Botswana Defence Force, Council Fire Services personnel, Botswana Prisons Service, Directorate on Intelligence and Security Services, Immigration Officers at boarders as well as Botswana Unified Revenue Service Officers at borders.

In his parting shots Masisi said the initiative will also go a long way in cheering up the less fortunate through provision of Christmas hampers, and treating children to sweets hampers in various areas yet to be determined. “We look forward to your valuable partnership as we endeavor to achieve this noble gesture of donating to our security and other essential services personnel.” With Masisi and Khama courting the same sponsors, this is likely to further strain their relations because after Khama left office, there was a squabble over some of the initiatives initiated by the former President.

There was a debate on whether those initiatives belonged to the Office of the President or to the former president, Khama as an individual. Ever since President Masisi took over the presidency the two men have had a frosty relationship which is believed to have emanated from Masisi reneging on a ‘deal’ that would have seen Khama’s young brother Tshekedi Khama being appointed Vice President. Choppies also contributes to BDP campaigns by donating food hampers and bottled water across the country.

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Khan: Boko, Masisi are fake politicians

18th January 2021
Masisi & Boko

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.

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Ookeditse rejects lobby for BPF top post

18th January 2021
LAWRENCE-OOKEDITSE

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.

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BDP cancels MPs retreat

18th January 2021
President Masisi

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.

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