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BDP rejects ministers’ protests

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) ministers who lost in the party primary elections and appealed result are teetering on the cliff as the party contemplates ruling against re-runs no matter the circumstances.

The party leadership is reported to be steadfast and insistent on the thought of not having re-runs from primary elections as the appeals committee is warding-off the 138 registered pleas. The decision to entertain a thought which has always been on the lips of the headship has once again came up at the party’s Central Committee (CC) meeting held this week at Tsholetsa House.

 The Monday gathering which was also attended by both the party President Mokgweetsi Masisi and Chairman Slumber Tsogwane, sources say, was primarily to assess the progress of the Appeals Committee with regard to resolving the 138 registered appeals from candidates after the party conducted the primary elections in September.

Going to the primary elections the party saw 1247 candidates registering for the council seats with 140 eyeing the parliamentary candidature. It is after the elections that the party registered 171 protests from council candidates and 42 from parliamentary contenders, making them to be 213 in total. After the regions assessed all the protests and determined which claims carried more weight, those that have been forwarded to the Appeals Committee were 138.

The constitution demands that any appeal lodged shall be attended to within seven days of their being tendered, and a decision be reached within 30 days. Apart from the decision by the Electoral board helmed by Peter Siele to have a re-run at Boteti East constituency and other wards across the country, there was nothing significant coming out of the meeting. The appeals committee shared with the party echelons that they have finished with 77 cases with the remaining expected to be concluded by Monday.

It said the party’s committee is unanimously agreeing that clock has ticked and cannot afford to stage yet any other re-runs emanating from the primaries no matter the outcome. The party ponders this amid carefulness as it has always reiterated that each individual case should be given necessary audience to make judgement without any subjectivity. The agreement, this publication informer says the BDP is focused on the next year’s general elections and it does not want to score an own goal by re-runs.

 “There is a very high likelihood of not holding re-runs no matter the reason of a case. That would affect the whole campaign and as you know whoever loses becomes a party enemy, so losers will be called by the party president and give them therapy [to accept] the party is bigger than an individual and then life goes on,” a source from Tsholetsa house said on Wednesday morning. A source further added: “There was never re-run despite appeals in the first batch of primaries, so what would be different this time?”

Among those that have lost in the Bulela Ditswe are the 10 ministers who are still banking on the re-run possibilities to salvage their political ambitions. MP for Phikwe East and Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration Nonofo Molefhi, Sadique Kebonang, Tshenolo Mabeo, MP for Bobirwa and Minister of Defence, Justice and Security Shaw Kgathi.  Others who fell include Mmadinare MP Kefentse Mzwinila, Kgalagadi North MP Itumeleng Moipisi, and Kgalagadi South MP France Van der Westhuizen

“The process is still ongoing and it is being addressed by an independent committee of appeals. When they are finished that is when they will give us a report and we will duly assess it and take necessary actions. We expect them to be done with all the appeals anytime soon,” BDP Secretary General Mpho Balopi said.The hatched plan not to have re-runs could open a can of worms if not handled with care.

Further it would mean the ministers who are still pondering to return to cabinet post next year’s polls are vanishing into thin air. The party under the guidance of Masisi wants nothing but a convincing victory in the general elections. In the past elections, BDP won government with a paltry 47% popular vote and the belief is with the opposition on “sick bed” time is now.

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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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