Eric Molale (pictured) and Motsaathebe headline wish list
Four candidates of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) who submitted their names for the Goodhope-Mabule constituency primary election attempted to nail a final minute deal to have only one of them taking on cabinet Minister, Eric Molale in the party primaries scheduled for July 11th but failed.
The four, Kenaleone Motsaathebe, Topo Mononi, Mogatle and Phillip Sebakile met at the Phakalane Gold Resort to try and agree on a consensus candidate among themselves but failed. The talks were doomed to fail because the four candidates met after paying the P5000 application fee to earn a right to contest the primaries.
Another indication that the talks were nullity was the fact that the BDP political education sub-committee held talks with all candidates to try and rally around one person but the talks also collapsed as the candidates could not agree. The four candidates have since agreed to disagree and go for the jugular.
The candidates have been notified that the primaries will be held on July 11th, this will be immediately after the party’s elective congress in Mmadinare.
The party central committee has taken a decision that no time should be wasted after the central committee and all members of the new central committee will be expected to descend in Borolong to activate the campaign which is expected to be challenging because the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) will be fielding the paramount chief of Barolong, Kgosi Lotlamoreng II.
The 11th July date makes the situation very tricky for primary election candidates because it makes the campaign time very short. Some have even decided not to go to the Mmadinare congress because of time constraints as they want to canvass votes. They have only one week to do that. Given the vastness of the constituency, the contestants will need resources to be able to cover it in a short space of time.
The other candidates seem to be riled by Molale’s decision to contest, veterans within the BDP point to the issue of resources as the most pain for them. Molale may present a formidable challenge because of his access to resources despite his less colourful political experience.
Motsaathebe was seen as the heir apparent to former Member of Parliament for Borolong, Kitso Mokaila. But as fate will have it, Molale was drawn into politics by way of special nomination and this changed prospects for Motsaathebe altogether. He hopes to win the primaries though since he has been through the structures.
Motsaathebe has a colourful political curriculum vitae – he has served the BDP at various structures. He has been the national chairperson of the BDP Youth Wing between 2008 and 2010, a position that put him straight into the ruling party’s central committee.
He also served in the same structure from 2006 to 2008 under the leadership of Kefentse Mzwinila. Motsaathebe was a member of the BDP national disciplinary committee between 2007 and 2009.
At one stage he was at the helm of Tshekedi Khama’s bid to come to Parliament, replacing his brother, Lt Gen Ian Khama. He has also helped the course of BDP’s fraternal relations with the African National Congress (ANC) during his days as Youth Wing chairman by engaging them on various issues and inviting them to Botswana. Today most of those he fraternised with are elevated in the ANC or outside the ANC.
Pule Mabe is a member of the ANC executive and also a Member of Parliament; while Julius Malema has formed his own party, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and is also in Parliament. Motsaathebe now wants to emulate his peers and go to Parliament, but first he must win BDP primary elections.
He is said to be against primaries being held on the 11th because the campaign time is very short. He has tried to make himself relevant in the constituency by registering the Barolong Development Trust at the behest of former MP, Mokaila. He has also provided his legal services pro-bono to residents of the constituency.
BLOCK MOLALE PETITION FOILED Molale is the Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration – he came to Parliament by way of Special election by the President. He is also a former Permanent Secretary to the President, a career civil servant who cultivated friends and foes during his career. He is the most senior of the candidates, and is well resourced.
At a meeting of the PEEC of the BDP, he denied allegations raised by his opponents that he was flouting regulations by campaigning before time. He also put to bed, talk that he is running because he wants to be Vice President in 2018; he denied such reports as they were put before him by other candidates. He made it clear that he only wants to serve the people of Morolong by direct appointment.
Molale appears however, to be having the support of the majority of BDP councillors in the constituency. The Khama card may also work for him, his campaign troops on the ground are citing the fact that he is trusted by the President as a wild card for him.
Molale is not moved by the issues raised by his opponents that he is already in Parliament hence he should not be contesting. They state that Borolong already has two representatives in Parliament and Molale wants to reduce the number.
Molale will have to resign his Parliament seat should he win the primaries so that he contests Goodhope-Mabule. On the other hand Molale seems to have crossed the bridge in regard to a would-be protest from the four other candidates which alleged that he submitted his application to contest the primaries late.
They alleged that he submitted his papers well after the cut off time of 12 noon. But indications are that Molale’s name has been accepted by the branch in Goodhope and indeed by the central committee which sat in Mmadinare on Thursday.
Mononi has tried his luck on a number of occasions. He has always been unlucky with elections. In the last general election he tied with a UDC candidate for the Goodhope ward but went on to lose the re-run. In 2008 he lost the BDP primary elections for Goodhope ward to Seleha Ditshwane.
On the 23rd of May this year, Mononi lost branch chairmanship elections to Kago Kamodi in Rakhuna. However he is confident that despite his unimpressive record with elections, he may pull a surprise in the constituency primary election this time around.
Phillip Sebakile is from Mabule, and he expects to play the wild card of being the loner from the other side. He solely banks on Mabule residents to help him cross the bridge. He has no leadership track record in the BDP, safe to being a member.
Mogatle, a former police officer is from Pitsane and will help nurture democracy in the BDP primaries.
In a classic and shocking case of disgrace and dishonour to this country, the law enforcement agencies are currently struggling to cover up a damaging and humiliating scandal of having conspired to forge the signature of a Palapye Chief Magistrate, Rebecca Motsamai in an unlawful acquisition of the much-publicised 2019 warrant of arrest against Isaac Kgosi, the former director of the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS).
The cloak-and-dagger arrest was led by the DIS director, Brigadier Peter Magosi supported by the Botswana Police, Botswana Defence Force (BDF), with the Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) which accused Kgosi of tax evasion, in the backseat.
Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) constituent members are struggling to reach an agreement over the allocation of wards for the imminent ward by-elections across the country.
Despite a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) and Alliance for Progressives (AP) are said to be active, but the nitty-gritties are far from being settled.
The eight bye-elections will be a precursor of a somewhat delayed finalisation of the brittle MoU. The three parties want to draw a plan on how and who will contest in each of the available wards.
This publication has gathered that the negotiations will not be a run off the mill because there is already an impasse between the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) which is a UDC constituent and AP (currently negotiating to join umbrella).
The by-elections joint committee met last week at Cresta President Hotel in a bid to finalise allocation but nothing tangible came out of the gathering, sources say.
The cause of the stalemate according to those close to events, is the Metsimotlhabe Ward which the two parties have set their eyes on.
In 2019, he ward was won by Botswana Democratic Party’s (BDP) Andrew Sebobi who unfortunately died in a tragic accident in February last year.
Sebobi had convincingly won by 1 109 votes in the last elections; and was trailed by Sephuthi Thelo of the UDC trailed him with 631 votes; while Alliance for Progressives’ Innocent Moamogwe got 371 votes.
Thelo is a BCP candidate and as per UDC norm, incumbency prevails meaning that the BCP will contest since they were runners up. On the other hand, AP has also raised its hand for the same.
“AP asked for it on the basis that they have a good candidate but BCP did not agree to that request also arguing they have a better contestant,” one UDC member confided to this publication.
Notwithstanding Metsimotlhabe Ward squabble, it is said the by-election talks are almost a done deal, with Botswana National Front (BNF) tipped to take Boseja South ward in Mochudi East constituency. Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) will be awarded Tamasane Ward in Lerala/Maunatlala constituency, sources say.
“But the agreement has to be closed by National Executive Committee (NEC),” emphasized the informant.
The NEC is said to have been cautioned not to back the wrong horse but rather rate with reason and facts.
UDC President, Duma Boko has told this publication that, “allocation is complete with two wards already awarded but with only one yet to be finalized,” he could not dwell into much details as to which party got what and the reasons for the delay in finalisation.
Chairperson of the by-elections committee, Dr. Phenyo Butale responded to this publication regarding the matter: “As AP we contested and as you may be aware we signed the MoU with UDC and BPF to collaborate on bye-elections. The opposition candidate for all bye-elections will be agreed by these parties and that process is still ongoing,” he said when asked if AP is interested on the ward and how far with the talks on bye-elections.
Butale, a former Gaborone Central Member of Parliament, who is also AP Secretary General continued to say, “As the chairperson of the bye-elections committee we are still seized with that matter. We should also do some consultations with the local structures. Once the process is complete we will issue a notice for now we cannot talk about the other two while the other is still pending the other one”.
Butale further clarified: “There is no such thing as AP and BCP not in agreement. It is an issue of signatories discussing and determining the opposition candidates across the three wards.”
Apart from the three wards, there are five more council wards that UDC is yet to allocate to cooperating partners.
FROM PALAPYE MEET: BPP CAUTION NEC MEMBERS
With the UDC cheerful from last weekend’s meeting in Palapye, the meeting however was very tense on the side of both BCP and BNF, with only BPP flexing its muscle and even lashing out.
BCP going into the meeting, had promised to ask difficult questions to the UDC NEC.
BCP VP and also acting Secretary General, Dr. Kesitegile Gobotswang, presented their qualms which were addressed by UDC Chairperson Motlatsi Molapisi, informants say.
It is said Molapisi is fed up and concerned by some UDC members especially those in the NEC who ‘wash party’s dirty linen in public’.
Insiders say the veteran politician cautioned the NEC members that they “will not expel any party but individuals who tarnish the image of the UDC.”
It is not the first time BPP play a paternalistic role as it once expressed its discontent with BCP in 2020, saying it should never wash UDC linen in public.
At first it is said, BPP, the oldest political formation in Botswana, claims disappointment on BCP stance that UDC should be democratised especially by sharing their stand with the media. Again, BPP was not happy with BCP leader Dumelang Saleshando’s decision to air his personal views on social media regarding the merger of UDC party.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) Commissioner, Keabetswe Makgophe, has of late been dousing raging fires from various quarters of society following the infiltration of the police fingerprint system by the Directorate on Intelligence and Security (DIS), WeekendPost has learnt.
Fresh information gleaned from a number of impeccable sources, points to a pitiable working relationship between the two state organs. Cause of concern is the DIS continuous big brother role to an extent that it is now interfering with other institutions’ established mandates.
BPS which works closely with the DIS has been left exasperated by the works of the institution formed in 2008. It is said, the DIS through its Information Technology (IT) experts in collusion with some at BPS forensics department managed to infiltrate the Fingerprint system.
The infiltration, according to those in the know, was for the DIS to “teach a lesson” to some who are on their radar. It is said the DIS is playing and fighting dirty to win the fights they have lost before.
By managing to hack the police finger print system, a number of renowned businessmen and other politically exposed persons found their fingers in the system. What surprised the victims is the fact that they have never been charged of any wrongdoing by the police and they were left reeling in shock to learn that their fingers are on the data-base of criminals.
In fact, some of those who their fingerprints were falsely included in the records of those on the wrong side of law learnt later when other errands demanded their fingerprints.
“We learnt later when we had to submit and buy some documents and we were very shocked,” one politician who is also a businessman confided to this publication this week.
“We then learn that there are some fabricated criminality recorded for us, as to when did we commit those remained secret to the police, but then we had to engage our lawyers on the matter and that is when we were cleared,” said the politician-cum- tenderpreneur.
The lawyers have confirmed engaging the police and that the matters were settled in a gentlemen’s agreement and concluded.
All these happened behind the scenes with the police top brass oblivious only to be confronted by the irked lot, police sources also add. The victimized group who most of them have been fighting lengthy battles with the DIS read malice and did not blink when it was revealed that these were done by the DIS.
“And it was clear that they (DIS) are the ones in this dirty war which we don’t understand. Remember when we sue, it will be the Police at the courts not the DIS and that is why we agreed to a ceasefire more so they also requested that be kept under carpet,” said the victim.
Nonetheless, the Police through its spokesperson Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, briefly said: “we do not have any system that has been hacked.” On the other hand DIS mouthpiece Edward Robert was not in office this week to comment on the matter.
Reports however say DIS boss, Peter Magosi, who most of the victims accuse of the job, is said to have met his police counterpart Makgophe to put the matter to bed.
COVID-19 RAVAGES POLICE
As frontline workers, Police have not escaped the wrath of Covid-19. Already the numbers of those infected has reached the highest of high and they suggest that they be priorities on vaccine rollout.
“Our job is complicated, firstly we arrest including those who are non-compliant to Covid protocols and we go to accidents and many more. These put us at risk and it seems our superiors are not bothered,” said one police officer this week.
The cops further complain about that working spaces are small, as such expose them to contact the virus.
“Some tests positive and go for quarantine while the rest of the unit will be left without even test carried out. If at all the bosses are serious all the police officers should every now and then be subjected to testing or else we will be no more because of the virus,” added another officer based in Gaborone.
The government has since placed teachers on the priority list for the vaccines, it remains to be seen whether the police, who also man road blocks, will be considered.
“But our bosses should convince the country leadership about this, if not then we are doomed,” concluded a more senior officer.