The race for Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) chairmanship has taken a new twist following Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s announcement that he is availing himself for the position of Chairman at the upcoming July congress.
Masisi told a party gathering this week that he will launch his campaign as the battle for the party’s soul thickens. It was expected that Masisis’s decision to run for chairmanship will see other candidates pulling out of the race to make way for him, but that is not the case as other contestants have vowed to continue with the campaign at least for now.
The Vice President’s decision is said to be informed by the development that Tshekedi Khama will not be contesting. It is understood that Masisi had indicated that he will not compete with Tshekedi.
Masisi’s decision comes barely a week after party veteran Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri declared his aspiration to run for the position of Secretary General against Botsalo Ntuane, who had for long time looked like unchallenged.
Matlhabaphiri was initially Ntuane’s campaign manager but tables have turned as he is challenging him and has aligned himself to Masisi’s camp.
This publication learns that some members of cabinet have told the Vice President that they will support his bid for chairman, but they are rooting for Ntuane in the secretary general race. Many BDP insiders say Masisi should fight to win because losing will negatively impact on his future ambitions.
One of the front runners for chairmanship, Tebelelo Seretse has dismissed any chances of her pulling out of the race as her campaign has long kicked-off and has gained momentum. “I cannot withdraw from the race because of those reasons because I have my own ambitions and intentions,” she said. “I am very far with my campaign.”
Youthful Dithapelo Tshotego has also remained resolute and insisted that his campaign will go ahead despite the new development. The same sentiments are shared by Seteng Motalaote who told this publication that the race for Chairmanship has never been about individuals but the cause which he is rooting for in the party.
Biggie Butale also shot down the possibility of him making way for the Vice President in the race for chairmanship. The MP for Tati West said his resolve to run for the chairmanship is based on introducing reforms in the party and that has never changed. “Mine is a principle and I am not campaigning for chairmanship because so and so is not contesting,” he said.
This publication was not able to solicit a comment from one of the front runners, former Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Ramadeluka Seretse.
Should Masisi contest and lose the race, the aftermath would come back to haunt him and the party as many will view him as a weaker vice president. According to sources close the vice president, his decision to join the race was motivated by Tshekedi Khama’s decision not to run for the position. Initially Khama had expressed his desire to run for the party’s chairmanship, which is generally viewed as a position equivalent to Vice Presidency in the BDP.
The position of party chairmanship has been traditionally been associated with the vice presidency ever the since the days of Peter Mmusi, the late former vice president.
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.