In less than ten months, the Botswana National Front (BNF) will be heading for its crucial elective congress. The year 2016 is overloaded in the BNF calendar as the party’s Youth League will also hold its elective congress. This might be the last elective congress for the party ahead of the decisive 2019 general elections. According to the party constitution, an elective congress is held after three years.
Responding to a series of questions from WeekendPost, Dr. Letshwiti Tutwane vehemently denied the reports linking him to the BNF presidency. According to highly placed sources within the party, Dr. Tutwane is one of the top contenders for the party presidency.
However, Tutwane was quick to point out that he is not an impetuous person adding that every office bearer in the party should be given a chance to serve until their time expires. He also maintained that respect and courtesy are very important.
“The elective congress will be held next year and when the time gets nearer, say April next year, I will state my position. I will give consideration to any position that comrades think I may best serve the party occupying. It is not really about me but about the interest of the party as a collective” explained Tutwane.
Contrary to reports that he was against the Umbrella model, Tutwane praised the BNF for being part of what he termed a potent formula.
“The Umbrella model has delivered the desired results and it is getting more and more popular by the day” noted Tutwane who is also a lecturer in media studies at the University of Botswana. He went on to explain that as politics is very eventful, it is what will happen between now and the next general elections that will determine whether the upward mobility of ‘moono’ continues. Tutwane added that performance of the party in parliament is also an important consideration.
Tutwane indicated that he is always striving for most of the things to get better within the party. He also made it loud and clear that he was in good terms with party president Duma Boko.
“Boko and I get along well and we do not have any tiff. I spent my entire youth advancing the interest of the BNF both covertly and overtly but when the aroma of power wafts about, people make all sorts of allegations to endear themselves to the leader in charge” he expounded. Tutwane also rubbished the reports that he had embarked on an underground mission with one, Khumoekae Richard which posed a great threat to the party.
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.