Supporters of the Minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology, Nonofo Molefhi want him to launch his campaign bid for the chairmanship of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) this month. It is highly likely that the adored Minister could oblige.
It is understood that Molefhi has already informed President, Lt Gen Dr Ian Khama of his intention to stand for chairmanship. Although Khama has not formerly reverted, the Minister is confident that he has done what is conventionally expected of him. Sources say he told the President about his intention just before Khama partook on a trip to Morocco last year.
Molefhi is said to have also attempted to inform Vice President, Mokgweetsi Masisi of his intention to bid for chairmanship. He is yet to succeed scoring a meet up with the incumbent chairman of the party, Masisi. Some within the party see the jostling for BDP’s central executive committee positions as a gateway to the ongoing debate over the presidency of the party and ultimately that of the country. Molefhi is one of those who is seen as possible candidates for the presidency.
While Molefhi is seen as having the goodwill within the BDP and across the party divide, those who doubt his readiness question his fighting spirit and his grasp and presence at party structures – but the Selibe Phikwe East Member of Parliament is said to be ready to answer his critics when he launches his campaign this January.
Molefhi’s supporters are aware that there are willing candidates who want to be crowned chairman. There is a willing fighter in Tshekedi Khama, who has made it clear if given an opportunity he wants to be party chairman. There is also Jacob Nkate, who recently returned from his ambassadorial role in Japan.
Molefhi’s supporters are not taking kindly to sentiments that liken him to South Africa and African National Congress (ANC)’s Kgalema Motantlhe, they are of the view that Molefhi waited for the right time before he could make any announcement. Motantlhe’s loss to President Jacob Zuma in the race for ANC presidency was put squarely on the former’s indecisiveness and late declaration of interest.
Reports had suggested that there are those who want Molefhi to throw his weight behind Tshekedi. The anti-Tshekedi battalion has reportedly rushed to Nkate because of the view that Molefhi does not appear to be willing to publicly express his interest. They also feared that his family ties with the Khamas will dissuade him against contesting.
Those who question Molefhi’s confidence to take on Tshekedi also point out that he is a man who believes too much in the ‘order of things’, “he believes that if something is destined to be his, it will come to him. He does not want to fight for anything hence it will be a risk to bank on him,” said one of the BDP seniors at the time. But Molefhi’s supporters say the time has come and he is their man.
While Vice President Masisi had made it clear to his inner circle that he intends to defend his position this year, it is still unclear if he still holds to that position. Masisi’s reasoning at the time oscillated around cementing his stature as the future president, a need to put to bed doubts over his influence in the party, and plain need to demonstrate his character and strength to his detractors.
The Vice President continues to be very active within the BDP structures, recruiting hordes of disgruntled opposition figures and is at the forefront of a campaign to paint a resurgent ruling party after the grueling 2014 general election. He is expected to launch the BDP council candidate in Kgalagadi.
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.