A lobby list team purported to have the blessings of both the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) President Mokgweetsi Masisi and Chairman Slumber Tsogwane is gaining momentum behind the scenes with some interesting faces in the mix.
However, there are reports to the effect that President Masisi has made it clear to party members not to campaign using his name. The party is preparing for the elective congress billed for August this year. The congress will be the first one since the controversial 2019 spectacle in which Dr. Pelonomi Venson Moitoi on the eleventh hour decided not to challenge Masisi, citing possible irregularities.
In the past two years (2020/21) the party could not converge owing to the restrictions posed by Covid 19 pandemic. Already the BDP Women League has held their elections, with the Youth League expected to hold their elective congress later this month. Thereafter, it will be a national elective congress.
This year’s congress has been cold with no signs of teams until recently when two former Minsters raised hands for some positions. Nonofo Molefhi will take Tsogwane head on while Shaw Kgathi is interested in the Secretary General position.
This week, Masisi/Tsogwane team has also been revealed at low tones. Masisi will maintain the Presidency position while Tsogwane remains Chairperson. Former Assistant Minister of Education and Skills Development Kavis Kario has been lobbied by the two to become their Secretary General, sources say.
Kario according to sources was initially reluctant for the position as he is eyeing primary elections at Ngami constituency but the party leaders convinced him to take the SG position. “Yes it is true I will be contesting for the position. Since I am BDP member in good standing I decided to contest the position and I am not in any team contrary to what you are saying I am going there to contest and serve the interest of the party,” Kario told this publication in a brief interview.
The BDP SG position is currently held by Mpho Balopi who has revealed to party members that he will not be defending the position without advancing reasons. However, it is said the motion that will be discussed at the party’s National Council for the SG to be full time employee at party office could be the reason why he decided not to contest apart from his fallout with party President.
Kario is expected to be assisted by Foreign Affairs Minister who is also a Kanye South MP Dr. Lemogang Kwape. “If someone is interested for anything including a political position they say it. So you should wait for me to say it and I will share that at the right time not now,” Kwape told Weekendpost.
The position is currently held by Shaw Kgathi who is said to be interested in the SG position. North West Regional Chairman Reaboka Mbulawa was interested in the position but he has since decided otherwise.
The current treasure Satar Dada is on Masisi’s team and he is expected to go unchallenged. He has told this publication that he will be running for the position which will see him the longest serving BDP Central Committee member. For the deputy treasurer position it is said “no name has been advanced except that of the incumbent Jag Dish shah.”
According to sources, the businessman, Shah, who joined the BDP Central Committee in 2015 at the 36th Congress held in Mmadinare may leave the party’s politburo. It is said he long made up his mind not to defend the position last year. A prominent businessman, Shah, when he won the position to assist Satar Dada in 2015 was expected to improve the party’s financial vibrancy. By then the party was under the leadership of Ian Khama.
According to close sources, Shah long decided not to contest because he has fallen out of favour with the party leadership. It is said he took the decision after some prominent businessmen who are BDP members and part of football syndicate decided to push him out and they used their proximity to President Mokgweetsi Masisi and Tsogwane to badmouth him hence the decision.
The Party’s Spokesperson Banks Kentse said as a party they are yet to issue a writ but conceded that they have seen some names on social media expressing interest in some positions.
The Minister of Justice, Machana Shamukuni says the search to appoint the Ombudsman and other critical heads of department is currently ongoing and the process is expected to be completed before end of the year.
The Ombudsman position fell vacant almost five months ago after Augustine Makgonatsotlhe was removed from the office and appointed as Ambassador to Kuwait.
Two Batswana nationals have been arrested in Zimbabwe for illegal trade in mercury. The duo is being held together with a Zimbabwean national who is being questioned by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).
This publication understands that the suspects who are aged between 39 and 56 years hail from Tutume and Selebi-Phikwe. At the time of the arrest, they were found in possession of a pistol, bomb motor and four live rounds. It is understood that the suspects told investigators during interrogation that the deadly substance has a lucrative market in Far East countries, where the demand is high. It is further reported that the suspects claimed that the mercury can be easily accessed in mines through middleman.
The Namibian Lives Matter Movement has weighed in on the looming border dispute between their country and Botswana.
Commenting on reports that the Namibian Parliament has dispatched a committee along the border between the two countries on fact finding mission, the group commended“the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, De-fence and Security that will engage community members living along the Namibia Botswana Border in conducting public hearings into acts of aggression and brutality by Botswana Defence (BDF) Force against innocent and unarmed Namibians.”