Boatile (pictured) says Tshotego has no chance of winning
The canvas is just about to be bloodied as sparring Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) candidates enter the final lap of campaigns for the central committee positions. This week, an aspiring chairman, Dithapelo Tshotego accused Youth Wing chairman, Andy Boatile of failing to support his peers or his constituency.
He faults him for “running after elders” when young people are hot on heels in the campaign trail. Tshotego, whose agenda is to become the chairman and instil reform ahead of the 2019 general election, told WeekendPost that he is shocked by the conduct of the Youth Wing chairman.
“Naturally, he should be seen to be backing young people. They are the first to cry out that young people are not being supported when they seek positions of influence in the party, but where is their allegiance now, they are all running after elders,” he said.
According to Tshotego, Boatile has a moral obligation to offer support to young people who are aspiring to be part of the BDP’s governing structure. Tshotego, who is a former BDP Youth Wing chairman, is fuming following Boatile’s declaration that he supports Vice President, Mokgweetsi Masisi for the position of chairman. He reasons that they have been long on the race and the Youth Wing chairman was cold on who he supports. “As soon as the Vice President was said to be a candidate, Boatile rushed to Facebook to tell the whole world that he supports him,” he said.
Tshotego is concerned that the BDP needs new leadership who will renew it and prepare it for challenges ahead. He is of the view that times have changed and those leading the BDP central committee should bring new ideas that could energise dormant party members and reawaken structures. He believes he has the panacea.
BOATILE HITS BACK
But the BDP Youth Wing chairman is unfazed by Tshotego’s accusations and is unapologetic for his support for the Vice President. “Being a young person on its own would never be a ticket enough for one to be elevated to positions of influence or authority. We must note that we support young people of substance who are capable in whatever endeavour they wish to partake,” observed Boatile.
He pointed out that he has sat down with Tshotego before Masisi declared his intentions to stand and he informed him all young people who aspire for central committee positions will be gauged on merit.
“There are a number of young people who have shown interest in becoming part of the central committee at the upcoming congress. I am aware of others like Metlha Mokwena who wants support for the position of deputy secretary general; Thabang Dikae, Boikhutso Nshakashogwe-Masunga; who all want to be additional members, and I have told them that they will be supported on merit,” pointed out Boatile.
Boatile said he has been very frank with Tshotego and told him that although he has been a central committee member before by virtue of being Youth Wing chairman, he is of the view that the position he is aspiring for will overwhelm him. “I even pointed out to him that he lost the Morupule ward in Palapye in the just ended general elections. We cannot bestow the responsibility of chairing a party on someone who could not even win a ward,” Boatile said. The BDP Youth Wing chairman told this publication that they have advised Tshotego to drop to the additional member positions because that is where he could make an impact but he refused.
Meanwhile this publication has established claims that some of those who flooded the race for chairmanship mistakenly thought there would be a compromise. They had anticipated that they will be called to a table and be allocated slots in the envisaged central committee. Tshotego is going shoulder to shoulder with Vice President, Mokgweetsi Masisi; former Cabinet Minister, Ramadeluka Seretse; Former diplomat and Cabinet Minister, Tebelelo Seretse; and Member of Parliament for Tati West, Biggie Butale in the race for chairman.
MORWAENG PULLS OUT
As the D-Day fast approaches the dust is starting to settle in some corners. Kabo Morwaeng has made it clear this week that he will not be contesting for any position at the July congress. Earlier reports had identified him as a potential candidate for the position of deputy secretary general. “I am not contesting for any position. I am currently the branch chairman in Molepolole South; I will also not be seeking re-election into this position. I want to focus on businesses,” he said. Seteng Motalaote who was vying for chairman has also pulled out of the race.
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.