The ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) central committee recently addressed the hot topic of selection of the Republic’s Vice President. This follows a debate within the party which led to some senior figures challenging the system through which the Vice President of the country is selected.
It has emerged that some within the BDP are not comfortable with the current process where the President comes up with a name of his preferred Vice President and presents it to Parliament for endorsement. They are said to be demanding that the party should have a more pronounced say in the selection of the Vice President. They want the position of Vice President to be linked to the party as is the case with the Presidency.
They want an arrangement similar to that of the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa. They want the President’s running mate to be selected by delegates through a “much thorough process”.
“You know in the case of the President the constitution of the BDP gives party members an opportunity to vote for a president at a congress. At the moment the BDP does not have a position of Vice President in its governing structure, this is where we invited the problem coupled with the automatic succession plan,” said an insider who preferred anonymity.
He indicated that he was a Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi sympathiser and he was worried that the debate comes at a time when he is supposed to take over as President, “and it would appear we are undermining him.
But the severity of the debate is epitomised by the central committee’s recent meeting where Minister Nonofo Molefhi was interrogated for his comments during the Vice President Selection debate. It was alleged that he had implied that the system used to select the Vice President was not ideal. However sources indicate that Molefhi was quoted out of context when the matter was reported to the central committee and he managed to prove his case. It was evident that those who see Molefhi as a potential challenger to Masisi twisted the facts to get Molefhi is trouble. The Minister of Infrastructure and Housing Development has never said a word in relation to challenging Masisi.
Those who sell the idea that the party is excluded from the selection process argue that the President is voted by the party members; hence his Vice President should be subjected to the same vote. However those who support the status quo indicate that the President by coming up with a name and subjecting it to a vote in Parliament is doing enough because he is invoking the input of people’s representatives. The assumption is that the members of parliament are representing the interests of their constituents when they express approval or disapproval of the Vice President choice.
The debate comes at a time when Masisi is poised to automatically succeed President Lt Gen Ian Khama in 2018 and subject a Vice President nominee to a vote in Parliament.
After the 2014 general election President Khama had to demand that his vice president be elected by a show of hands, a process opposition parties said undermined the powers of parliament. However other observers indicated that the move was a sign that the ruling party was divided on the mode of selecting a Vice President.
President Khama’s lawyers approached the Attorney General to petition the court to change the voting process from a secret ballot to a show of hands. The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) said Khama’s request was a form of intimidation. It remains to be seen where this debate is heading as some well-known ruling party figures have openly said they will challenge Vice President, Mokgweetsi Masisi for the Presidency of the party and that of the Republic.
Contacted for comment, BDP secretary general, Botsalo Ntuane declined to comment on the matter.
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.