Angry Masisi dares Khama to challenge him if he wishes

12 Jul 2018

President Mokgweetsi Masisi has told a meeting of cabinet ministers, ruling party Central Committee and back-benchers that he stands ready to be challenged by anybody next year at the party Special Congress to be held before General Elections.

Masisi has said he is neither afraid nor worried by the possibility of being challenged.

A Member of Parliament who attended the meeting confirmed to The Telegraph that Masisi was visibly livid at what he said were night meetings conducted by some of his cabinet ministers who were plotting against him.

Some of his opponents inside party and cabinet have however accused Masisi of being paranoid.

Former President Ian Khama’s name also featured promptly at the Monday morning meeting.

“Masisi made it clear that he was ready for any eventuality, including a challenge from Khama. Yes he was angry and made it clear that his patience had run out.”

At that meeting he also told the BDP top brass that he did not always agree with policies by Khama, including the alcohol levy, but knew that it was his duty to support the sitting president.

The president’s anger stemmed from the fact that he felt he was not receiving the kind of support and loyalty that ministers had given his predecessor.

There have also been reports that a coalition of the wounded inside the BDP was building up against Masisi, using former President as an anchor.

Relations between Khama and Masisi collapsed badly following Masisi’s takeover.

During Khama’s tenure, Masisi had served loyally and it was Khama’s expectation that the Masisi presidency will be an extension of his.

But once in power Masisi has worked strenuously to assert his political identity, often reversing some of Khama’s signature policy and also sacking and transferring some of Khama’s key lieutenants.

Addressing a press conference later during the day, Masisi confirmed that he has approached his ministers about the allegations that have been swirling against them.

The allegations include plotting against the President and undermining him with the intention to oust him.

He said he has heard of many activities and maneuvers aimed at “derailing and dislodging what we started in April.”

“I have decided to deal with that,” he said. He said he has confronted those whose names keep cropping up.

They have denied any involvement.

“I don’t ask like a novice. I ask them like a politician,” he said.

He said he was neither worried nor afraid. “I appeal to everybody to please stick to our tradition. I stand ready for a political solution. It is all politics.”

He paid tribute to the media for showing its ingenuity in going to the bottom of ongoing machinations inside the ruling party.

“As the media you might be dead spot-on. May be you are embellishing reality,” he said. Other than that, he said he was “terribly ready.”

“Let them stand if they want,” he said.”