Masisi camp rocked by infighting

18 Jun 2017

Fight over who shall ultimately emerge as Vice president to Mokgweetsi Masisi is said to be rattling the normally serene atmosphere that has so far characterized a campaign mounted by the current VP.

Many of Masisi’s supporters fancy their chances.

These include ministers Slumber Tsogwane, Shaw Kgathi, Tshekedi Khama, Dr Alfred Madigele and also Pelonomi Venson.

A wild card is Sadique Kebonang who also has told friends that he fancies his chances.

Venson is the most senior by service, but her relationship with Masisi has often been impetuous. 

She had until recently announced that she was retiring before changing her mind.

Not too far away, there is Samson Moyo Guma and also Mpho Balopi.

While the two have outside chances, they are both known to be overly ambitious and in permanent campaign modes for the position.

Balopi is vying to become Botswana Democratic Party Secretary General, a position that he has held before, but which he did not attempt to retain after a disastrous showing by the BDP at the 2014 General elections, where together with President Ian Khama he was personally blamed for the party poor performance.

Balopi’s name often crops as a possible BDP candidate for Gaborone North, a strong opposition seat that might prove an apple too high for him.

Masisi is likely to have a stop gap Vice President from 2018/19 as he completes a mandate won for the party under Ian Khama before fighting to gain mandate his own mettle at a Special Congress due early 2019 and also at the General Elections later that same year.

People versed with Masisi camp have said the VP is close to Tsogwane with whom he feels most comfortable around.

But Tsogwane too, like Balopi has a mountain to climb to retain his constituency.

Under the laws of Botswana one can only become a Vice President if they have a constituency to their name.

This provision eliminates all those who enter parliament under the specially nominated dispensation.