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?
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.