The leadership of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC)) has sharpened their blades to gash the Botswana Movement for Democratic (BMD) apart as the battle for the soul of the coalition project intensifies, Weekendpost has established.
Sources told this publication this week that the UDC intelligence team has been reading plans by the BMD which was ejected from the umbrella project last week. The UDC leader Duma Boko said this when officially throwing out BMD: “We took the decision after careful examination of the BMD response that they failed to address the accusations levelled against them. That the totality of those accusations indicates that they acted against the interest of the UDC and in violation of the UDC constitution.”
This now means the UDC is responsible for the 14 BMD constituencies and already candidates for these constituencies have been identified. Lt. Gen Gaolathe Galebotswe, immediate former commander of the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) has been roped in by the UDC to represent them at the Mogoditshane constituency. Galebotswe takes a constituency which is under the BMD and was to be contested by Bruce Nkgakile.
UDC when fielding the former BDF commander in the area is banking on the probabilities that more soldiers are likely to vote for their former boss who still commands respect from the force. Just last week, Galebotswe was roped into the UDC national safety, security committee. UDC has once again seized Dr Tlamelo Mmatli’s Molepolole South constituency and handed it to Kabo Sebele. Sebele who resigned from BDP two years ago is from the Bakwena royal family and nephew to BNF stalwart Kgosikwena Sebele.
He is said to be very close ally to Bakwena paramount chief Kgosi Kgari Sechele as they are peers. In Gabane-Mmankgodi Moreetsi Gomang who is a lieutenant to incumbent MP Major Gen Pius Mokgware has been given the constituency. The UDC, it is said, wants Billy Sekgororoane for Gaborone Central, while Motsei Rapelana is expected to contest Gaborone North. Moeti Mohwasa has been asked to contest Gaborone Bonnington South with Vain Mamela expected to wrestle Francistown South.
All these constituencies are under BMD. It is said Tona Mooketsi or any BOFEPUSO representative will contest Mochudi West currently held by BMD Secretary General, Gilbert Mangole. Digga Kakoma has been given the mandate to win the Lobatse constituency. When pronouncing the expulsion of the BMD Boko has said in relation to BMD legislators, Mangole representing Mochudi West and Molepolole South’s Mmatli, Boko said the first category is that the two sitting MP’s remain BMD and UDC until they themselves pronounce whether they are still on UDC ticket or another. “Their situations don’t change until they change it themselves or the UDC doing it if it has to because it still can.” But that has since changed as candidates have already been fielded.
FIVE LAWYERS TO FACE PILANE IN COURT REVEALED
Following the expulsion from the UDC, BMD has been given 30 days to appeal the decision and already the party has made their case clear that they will seek court redress as the decision was ‘ill-conceived’. The UDC in reaction to this has lined a strong team of lawyers to argue the matter on their behalf. Two of South African renowned advocates Dali Mpofu and Tembeka Ngcukaitobi have been roped in to be standbys in case the matter gets complicated. Dick Bayford, Boingotlo Toteng and Dutch Leburu are the main attorneys that are given task to argue the matter on behalf of the UDC.
“After the 30 days, if they don’t appeal, the constituencies will now be looked at by the UDC as they are held by the constituent party for and on behalf of the UDC. After then we will find the candidates regardless of where they come from, and we will deploy them and facilitate that they represent the UDC,” Boko said.
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.