President Lt Gen Dr Ian Khama Seretse Khama and his central committee have reined on party chairman and Vice President, Mokgweetsi Masisi, together with the party Secretary General, Botsalo Ntuane to normalise their relations for the interest of the party.
The BDP central committee at its meeting a fortnight ago addressed the concern that the Chairman and the Secretary General were not working together. The perception as expressed by some members of the central committee came as a result of Ntuane’s continued and suspicious absence from press conferences addressed by Masisi and his team of handlers, among them, Fish Pabalinga, who chairs the Communication subcommittee.
Central committee members are said to have expressed the concern that the continued absence of the Secretary General from these press conferences seem to suggest bad blood between the two leaders and they opined that it has the potential to give the party a bad name.
At the last BDP Congress in Mmadinare, Ntuane collected the highest number of votes making him the most popular candidate of all those that were elected. He got 724 votes, against Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri’s 124. These numbers suggest to some in the central committee that Ntuane is a very popular figure in the BDP hence influential. Masisi who was elected Chairman got the second highest votes cast among all candidates.
However, it is said that, the BDP “big fish press conferences” that have been addressed by Chairman Masisi to welcome activists defecting to the BDP from opposition have often happened without Ntuane’s knowledge. In some instances there were explanations that Ntuane was outside the country. At the central committee some asked why those press conferences could not be postponed to a date when Ntuane would be present since they bordered only on the agenda of announcing new members.
Some in the BDP central committee were concerned that the press conferences appeared to be a tool engineered to side-line Ntuane and make him look irrelevant. The central committee is said to have made it clear that Masisi and Ntuane should hold press conferences jointly. Observers are convinced that the message has reached home because the latest month end press conference featured both Vice President Masisi and Secretary General Botsalo Ntuane.
One of the press conferences was held during a time when Ntuane was in South Africa attending the African National Congress annual January conference. The press conference was meant to welcome some youthful politicians from the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD). Some within the BDP are adamant that these press conferences are the responsibility of the Secretary General, aside from his portfolio, Ntuane is renowned for his good relations with the media.
Contacted for comment Ntuane could not be drawn into discussing the matter. However some within the party feel that there is a bigger picture to the perceived power struggle.
They are of the view that Masisi and his handlers see Ntuane as a threat and that he has the credentials to be a king maker as the campaign for Presidency heats up.
Both the BDP Women’s Wing and Youth Wing are divided on the way Ntuane was being treated by the chairman and the Communication Subcommittee.
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.