The late Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) leader, Gomolemo Motswaledi
The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) caucus led By President Lt Gen lan Khama secretely decided against a motion of their own Member of Parliament, Biggie Butale to name a major government facility in honour of the late Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) leader Gomolemo Motswaledi.
The party caucus debated the motion for three hours with varying views on it from diffrent members.A cabinet member told this publication that most of the members were in support of the motion but the party leadership decided that the move will be politically suicidal.Khama was instrumetal in making sure that the motion was withdrawn and the party was left with no other choice but to follow his instruction.
The party took a resolution to shoot down the motion on the basis that it will give credence to the flourishing Umbrella For Democratic Change (UDC) and hurt the ailing BDP. In parliment yesterday (Friday) after been given the oppotunity to table his motion the mover of the Motion, Butale rose up to and said “Madam Speaker it is with deep sorow and regret that i have to withdraw the motion.” He declined to field further questions from WeekendPost.
The BDP leadership including President Lt Gen Ian Khama and Vice President, Mokgweetsi Masisi had tried to advise Butale against the motion. However, he chose to proceed with it.
The BDP discussed the issue to avoid confusion in parliament as some members did not know whether to go with or against the motion.This was evident in the genesis part of the debates as Cabinet ministers started filing out of parliament buildings as soon as Butale presented the controversial motion.
Before debate was to begin, confusion reigned over whether the motion should be directed at the Ministry of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration or the Transport and Communications one. This was after Minister of Lands and Housing Prince Maele interrupted the presentation seeking clarification about which ministry will be responsible for responding to the motion.
The motion was however deferred when National Assembly deputy speaker Kagiso Molatlhegi ruled that the motion could not be relevant as ministers were absent from Parliament.
Butale as sources said was also warned to watch his steps and avoid appearing to be speaking from the opposition corner.Butale, a pastor however is said to have said that his motion was clean and in good faith.
“The BDP Caucus is of the view that the UDC cannot and should not be allowed any space to breath following their humiliation of the BDP in the just-ended elections.They posit that aceeding to Butale ‘s motion will promote the UDC and may appear to be a victory in parliament for the arrogant UDC,” a member who attended the caucus shared.
The party’s worry was that the BDP is already losing support as evidenced by its razor thin margin of 46.7 % and is not in a position to take any further risks of legitimising or promoting the pompous opposition. The party that has ruled this country since independence, the BDP member said is wary of its declining popularity and will be hatching a comeback strategy for the future.
The party’s fortunes have been waning election after election since managing 80 percent of the votes in 1965. Things worsened from 1999 to 2009. In 1999 the party managed 57.15 and in 2004 it amassed 51.73 while in 2009 it could only manage 53 percent before 46.7 percent in highly contested last year’s elections.
Motswaledi was a committed member of the BDP since childhood up until his fallout with the BDP president, Lt Gen Ian Khama in 2010.The fall-out led to his dismissal from the party prompting him, along with his sympathisers to form a BDP splinter party, the BMD. He died last year in a controversial car accident. Butale is of the view that Motswaledi needs to be honoured for the indelible mark he has left in this country for his immense contribution in the field of politics and music.
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.