Former President, Lt Gen Seretse Khama Ian Khama has received requests from scores of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary candidates who want him to launch them ahead of next year’s general elections.
Because of the former President’s ongoing acrimonious relationship with the BDP hierarchy, he says he can only help launch individuals within the party. Khama said he has agreed with those that have won their primary elections and have no pending appeals. However Khama says he will not agree to be officially part of the BDP general election campaign in 2019.
Before he vacated the position of President of the Republic, Khama was scheduled to be the chief campaigner for the BDP next year but things took a twist as soon as his estranged relationship with State President, Mokgweetsi Masisi played out. “So far five Parliamentary candidates would want me to launch them and I have agreed. I must make it clear that I will be working with individuals who want my help,” he said.
The list of candidates that could possibly be launched by the former President can be deduced from his ongoing visits to constituencies since retiring from the Presidency. Just this week, he was at Ignatius Moswaane’s backyard; before the primary elections he effectively launched Buti Billy and Francisco Kgoboko among others. He has also visited Ministers Thapelo Olopeng and Dorcas Makgato constituencies as part of his charitable work, which he has pledged to continue doing after retiring from the presidency.
BDP parliamentary candidates’ launches can be done by senior figures in the party who can influence crowds such as the President of the party, the Vice President, and other party elders. From the former President’s statement it is apparent that he is going to be busy with launching BDP parliamentary candidates in the last quarter of 2019.
KHAMA BLASTS MPHO BALOPI
For the very first time, Khama has openly spoken out about his former Secretary General, Mpho Balopi who he has joined forces to undermine him. According to the former President, he helped campaign for Balopi to be secretary general of the party, “I am surprised by his attitude towards me,” he said. Khama pointed out that Balopi is probably trying to ingratiate himself to the President at “my expense”.
“During my time we had a very good relationship but I don’t know why things changed after 1st April 2018. My view is that even if I am not in the structures anymore we could still continue enjoying the good relationship.” Balopi is one of the early birds in the 2019 general election campaigns after he was nominated to represent the BDP in the Gaborone North constituency. He is on ground making donations, supporting courses in the constituency, and has bought six vehicles to help push the voter registration exercise in the constituency.
As Balopi is on a win at all costs strategy, Khama has made it clear that he will not support him in his bid to win the constituency. There are reports that Mpho Balopi is eyeing the position of Vice President after next year’s general election hence his inspired push in Gaborone north constituency. However former President Khama is very skeptical that as to whether the BDP secretary general will make it to the finishing line in that constituency which is currently held by the opposition Alliance for Progressives’ Haskins Nkaigwa.
The former President also commented on Mpho Balopi’s chances in the Vice Presidency race, “Even if he is eyeing the vice presidency, he still needs to work hard because he needs people to follow him. We know that the President nominates a name and that name must have the support of Members of Parliament. If they reject the name it becomes something else. If that [becoming Vice President] is his objective it is going to be a hard thing, it will be difficult for him.”
KHAMA COMMENTS ON CONGRESS POSTPONEMENT
The former President has also expressed concern that there are some in the BDP who are working towards postponing the elective congress slated for next year. “But they can’t do that because that will be unconstitutional,” he said. Khama said: “What interests me is that some of them [those linked to the postponement of the congress] are the same people who were commending me for abiding by the constitution and not trying to extend my term in office. In the past they have said I am a soldier and will not vacate the office but these are the same people who are said to be the ones who want to change the BDP constitution so it can accommodate them”.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.