Former President Lt Gen Ian Khama and Permanent Secretary to the President Carter Morupisi on Wednesday morning engaged in a heated exchange of words, in what supposed to be a meeting to iron their differences, resulting in the meeting being aborted.
The long standing feud between Khama and Morupisi is now an open secret, and with the latter continuing with the onslaught on his former boss. Khama did not take it kindly this week, telling Morupisi to take his staff it he wants before escorting him outside his office. Following a successful meeting with Elias Magosi who is the Deputy Permanent Secretary to the President a week ago, Khama felt positive because Magosi said he was sent by President Mokgweetsi Masisi to continue the reconciliation exercise.
Khama said they agreed on a number of things which were even asserted by the president in his apology to his predecessor a few weeks ago. One of the few things discussed was to reinstate some staff members who were re-deployed at Khama’s office and official residence. When he learnt that his junior went on to meet with Khama, Morupisi called the former president’s office requesting for an urgent meeting. According to a close source Khama agreed with Morupisi’s request hoping that he is continuing with the reconciliation and way forward.
Morupisi was on the pretext that he was sent by President Mokgweetsi Masisi but it was later uncovered that indeed he went on his personal capacity. A heated argument erupted when Morupisi ordered Khama to make formal application to his office requesting that his employees be reinstated. It is reported that this is where Khama stormed out and told Morupisi blank that he can go on and take his staff if he so wishes. PSP’s argument was that the staff members we only deployed for a period of 12 months but it does not show anywhere in their contract of work.
The fuming Khama assured Morupisi that he can do as he wish but they will meet in court. Learning that he made a mistake on the letters Morupisi then told Khama that he did not have the authority to write those letters in fact it was the duty of the president. “It is not my fault that is ridiculous. Le santse le tshameka”, said Khama. The meeting was concluded halfway with Khama escorting Morupisi outside his office. Khama swore he will never see Morupisi again and if Office of the President wishes to continue with the negotiations they will have to use other people not Morupisi.
Magosi told WeekenkPost that he was sent by President Masisi to address some complaints raised by former president and indeed he did exactly that. However, Magosi could not share the contents of the meeting saying he was sent by elders thus whatever they agreed is between them. “I was just a messenger,” he said before going into a meeting. A month ago we published a story that Morupisi humiliated Khama in Palapye but Morupisi wrote long rebuttal that was also read live in state media, Botswana Television (Btv) and Radio Botswana news bulletin.
Morupisi distanced himself from the reporting but all the evidence was there that he tried in all vein to humiliate Khama in front a fully packed Palapye Kgotla in Serorome Ward. Tshepang Mabaila, an ally of former President Khama and Mogoditshane Member of Parliament aspirant wrote to both President Masisi and former president Khama to reconcile. Mabaila and Director General of DIS Peter Magosi met with Khama on Tuesday where they both convinced Khama to meet with Masisi and reconcile.
In his letter to the two men Mabaila wrote “I have requested a suggestion of a date, venue and the time from his excellency the president so that a meeting can be arranged with you, your Excellency the former President and his Excellency the President of the Republic of Botswana. Furthermore I humbly request that you avail yourself Sir,” reads the letter.
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.