Mokgware’s alleged ultimatum to BDP head-hunters
It seems President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s apparent attempts to lure retired Major General, Pius Mokgware back to the ruling party hit a brick wall due to the ex-army man’s explosive ultimatum.
According to sources from within the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), the party’s hierarchy met with Mokgware in secret ‘a few months back’ in an attempt to secure his services.
They claim Mokgware was ready to take a journey to Tsholetsa House on one crucial condition: he demanded Director General, Peter Magosi’s position as Directorate of Intelligence Service (DIS) boss!
When this fell through, Mokgware, who currently serves as the Alliance for Progressives (AP) Chairperson, reportedly said he would settle for being give free reign to represent BDP in Gabane/Mmankgodi.
The former Member of Parliament (MP) lost the constituency to Kagiso Mmusi at the 2019 general elections, crashing to defeat by over 10, 000 votes (12, 204 to 2, 004).
However, with Mmusi, who is also the Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, one of the top performing BDP members in parliament, it was a request Masisi simply could not accept.
“It was almost a done deal but his demands were too much for the party because the current MP, Mmusi is one of the few BDP MPs doing well in Parliament and it will be injustice to throw him out like that. As for the removal of Magosi, the President did not like it at all; he dismissed it as impossible.”
The sources maintain President Masisi was desperate to recruit the former Commander, who he views as extremely capable and someone that can be utilised by government.
As well as strengthening the BDP, the move for Mokgware, which is part of an on-going recruitment drive, was reportedly also motivated by a desire to destabilize the opposition.
“Mokgware was pointed out as a pillar for his party, AP,” explained the source.
Meanwhile, in an apparent effort to hit back at the BDP, Mokgware is said to have used the Retired Soldiers Association to ‘try and get attention’.
“He strongly believes he is the right man to head DIS and that is why he has been holding press conferences on issues of national security,” insist insiders, adding this has not gone down well with Masisi.
When asked about the allegations, the former Botswana Defence Force (BDF) high-flyer, whose army days came to an end in 2010, was unequivocal in his response.
“That is nonsense, it is all lies – such stories are meant to confuse people. I have never met the President in secret and not a single person has ever approached me,” he told The Voice.
For his part, the BDP’s Chairman of Communications Committee, Kagelelo Kentse admitted the party attempted to ‘bag’ Mokgware as part of their ongoing recruitment drive.
Similarly, he rubbished rumours that any offers had been put on the table.
“Every time we get people from the opposition parties, we get accused of buying them with tenders or in exchange of some high positions but we never say the same when it’s them getting our members. We are still after him [Mokgware] and others but when they join they should not expect anything but to help the party to grow,” stated Kentse.