Disgruntled faction aim for control of the party
A powerful disgruntled lobby group within Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), is gunning for total control of the party, it has emerged.
If the group, made of backbenchers and primary election losers succeed in their plot to regroup in order to form an anti Masisi faction with the aim of taking control of the central committee.
President Masisi is likely to run a party that he cannot control after next year’s elective congress, in February or March.
On the alleged list is BDP 2019 campaign chairperson, Tebelelo Seretse, defeated former Minister of Transport of Communications, Dorcas Makgato, former MP for Palapye, Boyce Sebetela, former Assistant Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Dikgang Makgalemele, former Mahalapye West MP, Bernard Bolele and former Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Nonofo Molefhi as well as BDP back benchers.
According to a reliable source, some of the MPs who were overlooked for cabinet posts are angry while losers are disappointed that they were not considered for Specially Elected Members of Parliament posts.
“The president offered some of them diplomatic positions but they have turned the offers down in favour of staying at home and taking control of party structures. “You have to be in touch with structures if you want to win elections,” said the source citing a list of former MPs who failed to make a comeback after diplomatic missions such as Jacob Nkate, who was Botswana’s ambassador to Japan, Duke Lefhoko in Namibia and Tebelelo Seretse who served in the United States.
“Never in the history of the BDP has an ambassador returned to win elections, people are marking their territories. Even Masisi, after losing BDP primary elections to Maitshoko Mooka in 2004, he turned down an offer to go to Ethiopia or United Nations,” added the source who went on to explain that if Masisi does not bring the disgruntled democrats to order he will have a lot to deal with next year.
“They are strong and they are likely to defeat all his preferred choices and you can imagine a president with a Central Committee that he did not endorse, they will make his job difficult. He cannot afford to fire them.”
However Makgalemele dismissed the allegations as, “rubbish’ while junior minister, Lelatisitswe said, “Who mentioned my name? I don’t have interest in any position in the central committee whatsoever! That’s pure lies, I am a democrat and exist because of democratic dispensation and support my leadership. Remember I sit in Masisi’s cabinet. So that’s hogwash.”
Seretse too dismissed any involvement in the alleged plot.
BDP Secretary General, Mpho Balopi was not available for a comment at the time of going to press.