Not many are raising their hand to financially support Nonofo Molefhi’s bid to become the next chairman of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) in July this year when the party goes for its elective congress.
While he appears to have troops on the ground who is vowing to vote him, the moneyed businessmen are taking opposite directions when they see him coming from a distance. Molefhi’s bid to challenge Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi for chairmanship is seen as provocation towards those holding power especially after President Lt Gen Dr Ian Khama declared that he supports his Vice President for chairmanship. Insiders in the Molefhi camp say they are finding it difficult to attract money people like their colleagues in the Masisi camp, “but we are going to demonstrate that it is not always about the money,” said a staunch Molefhi supporter.
Molefhi opened a command centre in Gaborone this week which will be manned by four fulltime staff members until congress date. The command centre is to help mobilise and coordinate for the campaign. Weekend Post learns that a couple of good local Samaritans have pledged to pay the salaries of the four employees.
Reliable sources within the Molefhi camp told this publication that attempts to solicit sponsorships from well-known Indian business people hit a snag recently. The businessmen are said to asked a number of questions. They demanded to know why Molefhi is challenging the Vice President while it is clear that President Khama wants him to continue as chairman. Molefhi is also accused of posturing for the Presidency by the Indian businessmen.
Incumbent treasurer, Satar Dada who is a known financier of the BDP and a well networked businessman is funding the Masisi camp and it expected that he will influence his associates to go in his direction. Samson Guma Moyo, who is at times accused of throwing money around at congresses is a staunch Masisi supporter and he is fingered in the money game. Molefhi only boasts of Jagdish Shah at the moment, his team says most of their funds come from hard working party members who want to see democracy at work in the party.
The money competition is getting tough for the Molefhi camp, in Kweneng District Council; councillors are now being offered loans. According to sources they only pay the interest for the loans until they are given their packages at the end of their terms and that’s when they will settle the loans. To further solidify the arrangement, plans are under way to register a micro lending company to create debt for the Councillors.
Allegations that the Directorate on intelligence Security is also purging those linked to the Molefhi camp are said to be contributing to the cold reception the camp is getting when it knocks doors asking for money. BDP insiders posit that the DIS will definitely be pushing the pro-Masisi agenda because he assures continuity.
Further indications are that the DIS played a major role in the appointment of Masisi as Vice President by the President Khama. DIS boss, Isaac Kgosi would not allow a situation where his boss, President Khama, selects a successor who could become disloyal in an instant. Vice President Masisi is seen as someone who will be independent but still continue the legacy of President Khama.
As for Molefhi he has not been a man of many words, he is just about a closed book to the intelligence community, they do not have his plans. There are fears that allowing him to be chairman will put him closer to presidency, which will be a predicament for the administration whose term expires on 1st April 2018.
Molefhi has to contend with the fact that some of the Ministers associated with the Masisi camp have close links with big businesses in Gaborone and they are said to be soliciting financial support for the Vice President. It is understood that very soon the Vice President will be touring the whole country side by side Minister Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi to state his case for the chairmanship. Venson-Moitoi could be rewarded with Vice Presidency in April next year. As for the entire campaign, BDP insiders argue that money is going to be a factor in this race; the Masisi camp has it, where will the Molefhi camp get it?
The Minister of Justice, Machana Shamukuni says the search to appoint the Ombudsman and other critical heads of department is currently ongoing and the process is expected to be completed before end of the year.
The Ombudsman position fell vacant almost five months ago after Augustine Makgonatsotlhe was removed from the office and appointed as Ambassador to Kuwait.
Two Batswana nationals have been arrested in Zimbabwe for illegal trade in mercury. The duo is being held together with a Zimbabwean national who is being questioned by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).
This publication understands that the suspects who are aged between 39 and 56 years hail from Tutume and Selebi-Phikwe. At the time of the arrest, they were found in possession of a pistol, bomb motor and four live rounds. It is understood that the suspects told investigators during interrogation that the deadly substance has a lucrative market in Far East countries, where the demand is high. It is further reported that the suspects claimed that the mercury can be easily accessed in mines through middleman.
The Namibian Lives Matter Movement has weighed in on the looming border dispute between their country and Botswana.
Commenting on reports that the Namibian Parliament has dispatched a committee along the border between the two countries on fact finding mission, the group commended“the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, De-fence and Security that will engage community members living along the Namibia Botswana Border in conducting public hearings into acts of aggression and brutality by Botswana Defence (BDF) Force against innocent and unarmed Namibians.”