A prospective Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Secretary General, Lesang Magang, has dismissed reports that he has fallen out with party President Mokgweetsi Masisi. Magang is expected to contest the position against the incumbent, Minister Mpho Balopi.
Ever since raising his hand to contest for the party’s third most senior position, Magang has been said to be enjoying Masisi’s backing for the position. This, according to reports was because Masisi has a cordial relationship with the Magang family especially Lesang’s father — David Magang.
“President Masisi appears to have not made any undertaking with any of the potential candidates. So it cannot be said that he is on Lesang’s side,” said a source close to the party’s ever changing dynamics. However, amid claims of a fallout Magang has thrown such reports into the dustbin, saying those who are peddling the falsehood are from the other camps that are feeling threatened by his intimidating campaign.
“Some people may wish for that,” he observed in a telephone interview before he continued. “They long wanted that imagined fallout. At one point they said I will be suspended for my countrywide campaigns but it never materialized. Look, this is just a talk from some who are worried about my contention. It is just fear from some who are contesting.”
Asked about his relationship with Masisi and whether he has assured him of his support, Magang said their relationship is “okay” in fact “perfect.” “He cannot have a braai at my place, same as I cannot do that at his. We only meet professionally at official gatherings and whenever people see you with President feel intimated but I am not his blue-eyed boy,” he said.
Magang who is the former BDP Youth Wing leader says he has traversed the width and breath of this country campaigning last year and has now taken a conscious decision to stop the travels to avoid gathering of people in the midst of Covid-19.
“But I now know all the regions and personnel to plot. We are now on the ground doing the work and of course communicating with the people there.”Having served in the party structures before-including the Central Committee during the Presidency of Sir Ketumile Masire and Festus Mogae, Magang believes his experience will be key in helping BDP.
ON IMPLEMENTATION OF BDP MANIFESTO
With the party’s victory in the 2019 general election partly on the basis of its pledges in the manifesto, BDP faces the tough task of delivering its promises, which include among others reviewing the country’s constitution and Citizen Economic Empowerment (CEE).
“The party must govern. We have a very good system in place where we keep a large professional civil service but the BDP is held accountable every five years. So we need the party to hold government accountable,” he told this publication in the past.
“Through the office of the Secretary General, we need to continuously have the party position being made clear such that our pledges are always top of mind.” Magang argued that the party should also support government programmes which in essence are party programmes.
“The party must proudly use its structures to promote uptake of government programmes in order for people to benefit. Many of our people could do with benefiting from government programmes,” he said. “Without being unfair or side-lining the opposition, we must have people in our structures and our members being assisted to enrol in government programmes. Mananeo a puso a tshwanetse a bonelwa mo madomkrageng mme re sa dire botsotsi bope fela, re rotloetsa re bo re rutuntsha botlhe mo pontsheng.”
Magang believes the constitutional review forms a key component of BDP’s transformation pledge and said it is necessary for the party to ensure that it happens. “It is absolutely critical. Our constitution has served us well, but we must review it in order to take the next giant leap for our development and democracy. I am proud that this is a key BDP pledge and one we intend to make happen,” will come in handy to maintain its government grip.
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.