Former President Ian Khama has denied that his aggressive recruitment drive was not only targeting Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) but the BPF political ally, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) too.
The allegations surfaced after the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) welcomed into its fold a UDC Councillor for Khurumela Ward, George Makhura this month.
News then spread that the BPF patron was now targeting UDC Members of Parliament for Sefhare/Ramokgonami, Kesitegile Gobotswang, and Aubrey Lesaso of Shoshong constituency.
Khama is said to have given Lesaso an ultimatum to join the BPF from UDC or face a BPF candidate in the 2024 elections.
He is also alleged to have issued Gobotswang with a similar ultimatum to decide before the looming floor-crossing motion is tabled in parliament.
However, the two MPs have also denied being approached by the former president.
“I have never met Khama and BPF team to discuss anything of that sort. Even when the former President came to lend support during my campaign, we never had any discussion on the choice between BPF and UDC,” said Lesaso, adding that he couldn’t be given an ultimatum by a party he does not belong to.
“I have no intention of jumping ship to join the BPF. I am a member of the UDC in good standing. Whoever is peddling these lies must come out and show his/her filthy face.”
Lesaso’s words were echoed by Gobotswang who also vehemently denied allegations of secret meetings with Khama.
“The last time I spoke to Khama was in December 2019 when I and other opposition MPs from Central District had honored his invitation to a Christmas lunch at the main Serowe kgotla. At the time we talked about matters unrelated to politics,” said Lesaso.
He further explained that UDC has a cordial relationship with BPF nationally and they hope to continue to strengthen the friendship.
“We are aware that the enemy is peddling manufactured stories with the whole intention of causing mistrust within and between opposition parties. They will fail dismally,” he added.