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BDP, BPF fight for Molefhi

Former Minister in the presidency and Member of Parliament for Selibe Phikwe East, Nonofho Molefhi’s deadline to have given the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) a solid answer on a request made to him to come and lead the party long elapsed about three months ago, but the former Selebi Phikwe legislator says the BPF should not worry because he will soon revert and close the matter.

Molefhi has of late been a subject linked to the future of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and its offspring, BPF-which is in a dire and desperate hunt for a not only credible but acceptable president.

WeekendPostcan, however, reveal that Molefhi will not be joining the BPF because “certain powerful forces within the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) have finally convinced him to stay and be part of the future of the party which may soon need him more than ever in the not so distant future.”

In a brief interview with this publication, Molefhi said he will close the BPF issue soon. “It is true that I have kept the BPF for a long time in waiting. But I will soon inform them of my decision which I hope will close the matter,” he said.

Asked to confirm the news that some BDP strongmen have been persuading him to stay in the party, Molefhi said: “Of course many people including senior members of the party, whom I assume had picked up the news of my recruitment in other political formations, have been in discussions with me to stay and help grow the BDP. You will also need to be reminded that I am still a bonafide member of the BDP,” he said.

Molefhi has been the BPF’s last hope of the BDP former Ministers who have rejected the BPF, and his yet undeclared decision will be a big blow to the BPF family. Many in BPF have been praying for his arrival to close the cancerous presidential issue threatening to rip the two-year-old party apart.

Lawrence Ookeditse, the spokesperson of the BPF, says that although there was nothing written to Molefhi, he was an integral part of the party’s recruitment strategy. “We all know what an absolute gem he is. Any serious party will want him in their politburo,” he says.

It is unknown why Molefhi has taken so long to revert to the BPF, but suspicions are that he may not be ready for the stress associated with a new political formation. That may not be all; speaking to this publication recently, Political scientist Professor Zibani Maundeni said the Ian Khama factor remains the BPF’s most significant challenge because he remains the party’s de facto leader at a distance under the guise of a patron.

“Khama still wields so much power, and I don’t think any president will enjoy his presidency while Khama’s shadow is still around,” Maundeni said. “Molefhi’s recruitment by the BPF was initially meant to avert a calamity of a Tshekedi Khama presidency. Khama does not think Tshekedi is an ideal candidate, but the latter thinks highly of his political aptitude. Khama has never really trusted his brother as a political animal, as you may be aware,” an anti-Tshekedi Khama source said.

Fears from the BPF well-wishers are that while it is every member’s democratic right to contest for power within the party, the candidacy and possible victory of Tshekedi will only serve to confirm or vindicate those who say the BPF is a Khama family project. “You can’t have a Tshekedi as a president and his brother as a party patron. In that case, power will be centralised within the family,” states the anti-Khama bloc.

The rising tensions seem to have been sparked by Tshekedi’s maturing presidential ambition. It looks like Tshekedi’s team is gaining ground in some areas hence fears by some who have hinted that Tshekedi has already recruited the party MPs to his team.

It looks like the return of former Tati east MP Samson Moyo Guma is the only hope for the anti-Tshekedi bloc. They posit that with Molefhi unpromising, their only bet is Guma, whom political observers describe as a basket in which one cannot put all his eggs. Tshekedi was not available for comment at the time of going for press.


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Raiz Ahmed Tayub, a British fugitive sought by Interpol for his involvement in human trafficking and slave trade crimes, was captured by the Botswana Police Service (BPS) earlier this year.

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Malawi appeals for help over Cyclone Freddy at PAP

17th March 2023

As of yesterday evening, the death toll from the Cyclone in Malawi had risen from the initially reported 190 to 225 in a short period of time, over 20 000 people have been displaced, and the worst of fears are yet to come as the fatalities continue to mount. This was reported by a Malawi Member of Parliament attending the Pan African Parliament session in Midrand, South Africa, Hon Steven Mikiya.

Mikiya was giving a statement on behalf of Malawi as the ongoing Pan African Parliament in South Africa.

Mikiya said the Cyclone has wreaked the most havoc in our country’s Southern Region. “The Southern Region, has been hardest hit with widespread heavy rains and strong winds. This caused a rapid rise in water levels and subsequent flooding. Meanwhile, power supply has been disrupted, roads blocked off and rendered impassable and mudslides have also been widely reported,” he said.

He made a special appeal to the PAP:  “Where I come from, there is a parable which I would like to share with you which says, “mzako weniweni umamudziwa panthawi ya mavuto.” Simply put, a friend in need is a friend indeed or put loosely, a person who helps at a difficult time is a friend you can rely on.”

Mikiya continued: “Yes! Misfortune has knocked on our door and left in its wake a trail of death and destruction that may take years to fully recover from. However, amidst these difficulties, I have every reason to believe that sometimes when you are in a dark place and think you have been buried, you have actually been planted. My belief, Mr. President, arises out of my faith in this gathering and out of the conviction that it is not coincidental that Cyclone Freddy hit Malawi and Mozambique while the delegations of both countries are here.”

According to Mikiya, the level of destruction, the loss of life, property and the decimation of the entire fabric of established communities has been unprecedented. He noted that all this, is coming at a time when Malawi was starting to show signs of recovery from the deadly COVID-19 pandemic that also came hard on the heels of Cyclone Ana and Cyclone Gombe that left a similar trail of devastation and destruction in Malawi and neighbouring countries.

As of Sunday, this week, from the 12th of March, Malawi and Mozambique have been facing the devastating effects of Cyclone Freddy that made a landfall over Mozambique on Saturday the 11th and reached Malawi by Sunday the 12th of March.

The Malawi legislator said he has absolute faith in the Pan African Parliament, which he described as “a league of nations brought together by a shared ancestry, history, identity as well as our beloved continent which we inhabit”.

Meanwhile, Malawi President, Lazarus Chakwera, has declared a State of Disaster in the affected areas effectively appealing for local and international support for the affected families.

Mikiya appealed to the Pan African Parliament drawing “positive” inspiration from Europe which rallied around Turkey after the destructive earthquakes to bring the much-needed relief and humanitarian aid to the people of Turkey.

He said Africa should demonstrate to the world that the African Union and its Organs are not mere talk shows, but effective institutions which stand up when it matters most.

“Alone, it may take us a lifetime to fully recover, but together, in the Pan-Africanist spirit of Ubuntu, our lives and livelihoods will return to a semblance of normality in record time. This is the time to live by our operative mantra, “One Africa, One Voice.” Mikiya concluded.

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