With the date for the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) primary elections where the party holds incumbency fast approaching, Councillors in the Bobirwa Sub Council have started to show their colours – taking the silly season of primary elections to new heights.
Eight councilors from the Sub Council have written a letter to the party headquarters calling for disciplinary action against four other councilors of the BDP. The Secretary General of the party, Mpho Balopi received a letter from the eight councillors on 13 December 2017 accusing the four councillors of sabotage and discrediting Members of Parliament, Shaw Kgathi and Kefentse Mzwinila. The four accused councilors are Kgomotso Mmereki, Sylvester Masweu, Thatayaone Segona and Victor Mphee.
“On the 22nd November 2017 in a Full Councill meeting held at Bobonong, a nominated Councillor, Kgomotso Mmereki stated that the Member of Parliament for Bobirwa, Honourable Shaw Kgathi and Member of Parliament for Mmadinare, Honourable Kefentse Mzwinila are in the habit of instructing a certain Education Official to tell School Heads to stop inviting certain inndividuals with political ambitions in the area to school prize giving ceremonies,” reads the letter.
The aggrieved councilors who are said to be pro-Kgathi and Mzwinila are concverned that the statement was made in the presence of civil servants and members of the public. It is said that the issue, at the instruction of Vice Chairman of the day of the deliberations, Victor Mphee was taken to the All Party Caucus on the 23rd November 2017.
At the All Party Caucus the two MPs were publicly criticized for the allegations against them. “…the debate was carried in an unprofessional and biased manner with clear indication that the motive was to discredit the two MPs and score cheap political points on behalf of their alleged political opponents,” further reads the letter of complaint to Balopi.
The communique further allege that the discussion was “spearheaded and facilitated by the four councilors in a malicious manner, aimed at discrediting and removing the incumbent BDP MPs.” The complainants allege that the four councillors contravened the party constitution and Disciplinary Ruules of the party by uttering defamatory and untrue statements against the MPs, facilitated defamatory discussions, and further put the name of the party into disrepute.
Kgathi is expected to be challenged in the BDP primaries by Francisco Kgoboko, hence the four councilors are seen as pro Kgathi’s challenger. On the other hand Mzwinila is expected to be challenged by former Debswana employee, Barulaganye Mogotsi. Agrrieved councilors include N Moribame of Molaltau ward; MT Marole of Kobojango; Semololale and Mabolwe wards; B Malemenyane, a nominated councillor; E Basinyi of Moletemane ward; M Tshebedi of Mathathane; D Sebuseng, a nominated;Moses Seeletso of Mmadinare South; and D Mosweunyana of Tobane/Tshokwe.
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.