Sunday, September 20, 2020

162 hours that shook Botswana politics

When Gaborone Central Member of Parliament Dumelang Saleshando gave in to curiosity and decided to punch an SMS message to outgoing Assistant Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Guma Moyo, on Monday morning, he didn’t imagine he would be setting off a series of events that would force President Ian Khama’s hand and embarrass both government and the ruling Botswana Democratic Party.

If things had worked out even half as well as Khama and Moyo had hoped they would, the outgoing Assistant Minister of Finance and Development Planning would have simply disappeared into the sunset with a whimper as just another fall guy of Botswana’s cabinet reshuffles. Below is a blow by blow account of what happened

4th December: The Department of Public Prosecutions informs President Ian Khama that they are planning to charge Guma Moyo with corruption.

4th December: Khama informs Moyo and advices him to step down and cite personal reasons.

5th December: Moyo leaves for his constituency in the North East to inform the constituency elders about his planned resignation from Cabinet.

December 8th Morning: Best laid plans started unraveling when Moyo received an SMS message from Saleshando enquiring about the rumours doing the rounds that Moyo and Olifant Mfa will be resigning from Cabinet were true.

December 8th Morning: Moyo immediately got in touch with President Ian Khama and informed him about Saleshando’s SMS message.

December 8th Afternoon: President Khama moved swiftly and announced a Cabinet reshuffle, a day earlier than planned.

December 8th Afternoon: A furious Moyo was blaming the Botswana Democratic Party and government leadership. He decided to resign from both the party and parliament.

December 9th: Moyo has a series of meeting with Botswana Democratic members who try unsuccessfully to persuade him to withdraw his party resignation.

December 9th noon: Moyo goes out to launch with Botswana Congress Party MP for Gaborone Central who convinces him to withdraw his resignation from parliament, but maintain the resignation from the BDP.

December 9th afternoon: Moyo phones the speaker of the National Assembly and withdraws his resignation from Parliament.

December 10th: Moyo meets BDP strongman, Ponatshego Kedikilwe, who convinces him to withdraw his resignation from the BDP.

December 10th: Moyo withdraws his resignation from the BDP

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Sunday Standard September 20 – 26

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 20 - 26, 2020.