Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) secretary general, Botsalo Ntuane has used P6000 in total to lure Thato Osupile, Viginia Masole, Oganne Mazwigwila and others into the ruling party. The money was classified as transport money to cover fuel and communication because the group had pledged to mobilise across the country, especially in Francistown, to recruit Botswana Congress Party (BCP) members to the BDP.
Political experts agree that Ntuane and his partner in the BCP invasion, Mephato Reatile are well within their rights to raid the opposition Dumelang Saleshando led party and other opposition parties like the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) is their pursuit to quench their thirst for more opposition ranks at the ruling party. But some within the ruling party express discomfort at the ‘recklessness’ demonstrated in the leaked tapes.
BDP commentators who have listened to the leaked audio featuring Ntuane, former chairman of the BDP Political Education subcommittee, Reatile are worried that the new secretary general is bordering on recklessness because of the statements he is making to lure the frustrated opposition members. First he indicates that politics has nothing to do with principle, it is about the belly and self, period.
Ntuane is describing the BDP as a desperate party that used to be arrogant. He states that the BDP is no longer arrogant because of the changing political climate and the poor election performance of 2014. He uses himself as a case study to pick at the BDP desperation, “You see they voted for me to be the secretary general despite the fact that I have just arrived from the BMD. It shows that the arrogance is gone,” he says.
“The beauty of the BDP of today is that there is no arrogance because of the party’s dismal performance in the just ended 2014 elections. They just want new ideas to rescue the party’s sinking ship. They are now open minded, they are no longer selfish,” he says in the leaked tape.
Ntuane is using his circumstances to lure the opposition ranks into the BDP. He is clearly stating that changing political homes is not a problem. “I know some people always find it difficult to change political homes after staying for some many years at a particular party, for us, this is not a problem, life goes on. I used to be at BMD, a party I founded, and now I am with the BDP and I am its secretary general,” he preaches.
“If it was that old party known of arrogance, they would have not even voted for me in Mmadinare, they would have easily snubbed me saying I divided the party and formed the very splinter party that has undoubtedly affected the party’s electoral fortunes. But they voted for me because they thought I could be of assistance to the party and bring in some new people for the party. So basically, the party is at the moment on survival mode. At this stage of survival, everyone should benefit.”
While Ntuane has had his own personal wars with the BCP when he was still with the BMD, some feel that his current excursions into the BCP is more about asserting himself as a worthy secretary general for the BDP. He wants to prove that he can recruit for the party despite the many doubts expressed by the group that did not support him at the Mmadinare congress.
Further in the tape Ntuane had encouraged the renegade BCP members not to write any resignation letters. He had wanted them to do an act of surprise on the BCP leadership. “We want you to be paraded at the Phitshane-Molopo rally, so that you surprise them.
Even if they are to plan a disciplinary hearing, there is no way that they will discipline a member of a different party. That is what we did to the BDP when we formed the BMD. How could they institute disciplinary proceedings against a leader of another party,” said Ntuane selling his story to the bemused former BCP members.
To explain the P6000 given to the disgruntled former BCP members, the leaked audio tape captures a conversation below:
“Comrade, we were given the money which we were told it was for fuel, and other expenses, and there were 5 of us while the amount was P 6 000. Florah then said she was not jumping ship, and we agreed that her P 1000 will be included in the fuel expenses, and then her One grand was put aside, XXL got his P 1000, and XXT got his as well, including XXV. And we were left with P 2 000.”
The conversation continues:
“In the first meeting we were told that, as Domkrag were no longer dishing out money to buy politicians even though they used to. But they are now finding themselves in situations where by a lot of people who jump ship also want that money, but since the money is no longer there, they assured us that there were opportunities that came with joining the party.
We were given an example that XXXXX was awarded a P7 million loan from a parastatal with all the procedures intentionally flouted and manipulated to favour him to start a company. But unfortunately due to poor management he failed to pay back the loan agency – but again the party broke the law and protected him so that his asserts were not repossessed and impounded – you see that’s an opportunity.
The other example was that of KN who never contested for the past elections but he was given a specially elected seat. If you look at it closely you will see that in opposition there is nothing for us, if you lose primary of general elections there is basically nothing in store for you whereas with the BDP you can get special nomination.
Also, we were told that with BDP, controlling the economy there was much in store for us. For example, if you are running a supplies business and we are given a tender, we can allocate it to Minister X and if we gave it to her we would have given to around 20 BDP members since we will instruct her to longer purchase from South Africa. The other good thing about the BDP is that if you make an assignment using your costs you are catered for.”
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.