Serowe becomes battleground of BDP woes

15 Mar 2019

By Calistus Bosaletswe

The Serowe Administrative Authority is embroiled in yet another controversy.

The Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Frans Van Der Weisthuizen, has rescinded the removal of the chairman of the Serowe Administration Authority (SAA) and reinstated him.

The reinstatement of the SAA chairman, Mpho Kooreme, comes a week after councillors who were believed to be supporting Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi for Presidential election dethroned him through a motion of no confidence.

Kooreme was dethroned following a meeting of elders that was graced by former President Ian Khama, Pelomomi Venson-Moitoi, Samson Moyo Guma and a number of BDP members in Serowe where a plan to dethrone him was allegedly hatched.   

Following a meeting dubbed “meeting of elders” the chairman was removed through a motion of no confidence on him something that he suspected to have been triggered by consensus at a meeting of elders.

Kooreme was concerned that a motion of no confidence at the time was sponsored to sabotage those who had endorsed President Mokgweetsi Masisi for the presidential elections.

He had suspicions that those who were pro former President Ian Khama and Venson Moitoi devised a move to dethrone him after they endorsed Masisi in the Serowe region.

He was accused of supporting President Mokgweetsi Masisi who faces a challenge from Venson-Moitoi.

Kooreme’s suspicion was motivated by the fact that the five members who were supporting Masisi had not supported the motion of no confidence on him hence he suspected factional wars.

He said he was surprised that there were no valid reasons that were advanced when such a motion was passed in the council.

Westhuizen’s letter said the decision to remove him was not in the national interest hence using his power vested on him to reject the decision to remove him.

The councillors were warned  prior to the announcement that the directive was not to be debated. Kooreme was deposed  following a meeting of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) members who were pro  Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi .

A number of BDP councillors who supported the motion against the removal of  Kooreme are facing possible expulsion after the party though the Secretary General, Mpho Balopi warned that the democrats who attended the meeting were displaying unbecoming conduct  and  indiscipline.

Balopi letters have however ignited division within the BDP in Serowe where some of the concerned groups that are supporting Venson-Moitoi are calling for the removal of some BDP members such as BDP head of elections Peter Siele who they say has already taken sides.

Venson-Moitoi supporters have written a letter to the party pleading with them to remove Siele who has already endorsed Masisi.  Venson-Moitoi confirmed that she was aware about the letter that was written to the party calling for Siele’s  removal.

Those who are supporting Venson-Moitoi have also called on those who are part of the party structures not to be part of the campaigning team for  candidates prior  to the primary elections.

Venson-Moitoi’s supporters have  also expressed concern about the use of the party anthem video endorsement of candidates  on social media .  According to them the use of party anthem on videos endorsing candidates was a gross violation of the of the Party Anthem. The ruling party currently has no social media policy on how to regulate the campaigns for those candidates who aspire to contest for election,

In her views  Venson-Moitoi is of the view that the party should have come up with rules and regulations after  they received her letter  informing the party about her intention to stand for presidential elections. Moitoi indicated that she had to follow the party primary rules and regulations since there were no rules that were governing Presidential candidates during the campaign.