Vice President, Mokgwetsi Masisi’s camp has decided against teaming up with Jacob Nkate at the upcoming July Congress following his declaration that he may challenge for the party presidency in 2019.
The outspoken former cabinet Minister confirmed to this publication this week that Masisi’s camp was indeed not happy with the remarks which he made in relation to presidential ambitions and he was told that he is now ‘on his own’. Last week Nkate revealed in an exclusive inteview that although he supports Masisi for the chairmanship for the upcoming congress, the two of them did not reach any deal to offer Masisi free passage to the top in exchange for the vice president position in 2019.
“The idea that I have a deal with Masisi and that he will make me vice president is not true. No deal like that exists,’ he denied and added that “Upon arriving in the country from Japan, I thought let me hear what the situation is on the ground and my conclusion was that maybe I should support him so that I do not cause too much disruptions in my party. And then we can take it from there. If between now and 2019, me and Masisi do not agree, my rights are on the table. All the options are on the table,” Nkate had said.
WeekendPost was reliably informed this week that some within Masisi’s camp were uncomfortable teaming up with Nkate after his declaring that he may challenge their man for the presidency in 2019. Although Nkate remains in the race, the dynamics are likely to shift a bit with him unlikely to benefit from people who are rooting for Masisi. Nkate has been absent for a long time in the party, meaning he will have to put more effort than any other contestant if he is to get any better ballots.
Impeccable sources also said some have suggested that Nkate should be replaced with someone in their lobby list while some are of the view that the incumbent, Botsalo Ntuane should be allowed to take the secretary general position since he can be ‘contained’ even if he wins because he ‘does not have presidential ambitions’.
Ntuane has been a lone ranger in the race for central committee, preferring to detach himself from the party factions. In 2015 at the Mmadinare Congress, Ntuane defeated former Barataphathi stalwart, Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri for the secretary general position. Some say Nkate may prove difficult to deal with especially since he has no problem declaring that he still wants Masisi’s throne in 2019 if that need arises. Nkate had also acknowledged that choosing the position of secretary general as opposed to chairman position would have served him better.
“I decided after getting here than I can make better contribution to the party in the position of secretary general as opposed to as chairman,” he had stated and added, “It is because the secretary general is the melting pot of all issues in the BDP; you get to travel around the country to help the structures, form the structures and supervise them. I think that is something I am good at. I have done it before.”
After returning from Japan, where he served as ambassodor, Nkate announced his intentions to challenge for chairmanship and eventually for the presidency. However a ‘deal’was agreed when him and Masisi joined forces with Nkate now opting for the position of secretary general.
It was reported that behind the scenes, Masisi and Nkate had agreed that once Masisi becomes president, and after 2019 general elections, Nkate will be appointed vice presient. However Nkate has insisted that such agreement never took place.
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.