The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) President, Lt Gen Ian Khama has suspended nine members of the party’s National Youth Executive Committee following the unsuccessful attempt to dethrone the Youth Wing chairperson, Simon Mavange.
The nine members have been suspended for 60 days pending disciplinary hearing. The suspended members are Thabo Autlwetse, Bruce Nkgakile, Kabo Ketshogile, Bonang Morapedi, Thatayaone Serema, Kisto Mabedi, Sekano Bodo, Patience Kaelo and Onneile Segwai. They have been suspended for misconduct and bringing the party into disrepute. Thapelo Fish Pabalinga of the BDP communications and international relations subcommittee confirmed the suspensions and expressed that the young leaders will answer to a charge of misconduct.
A fortnight ago the nine members sat in a meeting that decided to suspend the chairperson, Simon Mavange and replaced him with Thabo Autlwetse. A press release circulated had indicated that Mavange was in breach of party rules and regulations and further insinuated that the Youth Wing chairman was using the party for personal gain.
Before the purported suspension of Mavange, there was another release which claimed to have suspended Youth Wing Treasurer, Bruce Nkgakile. Nkgakile was to later take to social media to dismiss the reports and affirm that he was still the BDPYL treasurer. However, President Khama has now suspended Nkgakile and the eight others for a charge of misconduct and bringing the party name to disrepute.
BDP insiders have pointed to a possible expulsion for some of the suspended youth members because of ‘previous records’ and manner in which they had “attempted to disrupt the Youth Wing”. The current BDP Youth Wing was assembled in Tsabong compromise style because there were more than three camps vying for positions. The suspension of the nine Youth Wing members follows the suspension of Councillors in the North West District Council who were accused of disregarding caucus decisions in the lead to the election of Council chairman and his deputy. Two have since been kicked out of the party.
President Khama, who is only a few months away from handing power to Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi is said to have indicated that he wants to leave behind a united party hence his determined move against the nine Youth Wing members. Mavange is seen as a favorite of Vice President Masisi, and by attempting to dethrone him, the nine youth leaders pressed the wrong button.
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.