The ruling Botswana Democratic Party’s barata-phathi faction is expected to cement its supremacy ahead of the July congress at the high profile launch of party chairman and Molepolole South parliamentary candidate, Daniel ‘DK’ Kwelagobe.
Information reaching The Sunday Standard indicates that the Kedikilwe-Kwelagobe faction has gone all out to organize a massive launch that chief organizer, Kabo Morwaeng, describes as “a high profile event that befits a man of Kwelagobe’s stature and moral status”.
While the Kedikilwe-Kwelagobe faction suffered a blow after President Ian Khama reportedly “snubbed” Kwelagobe’s launch, citing a busy schedule, indications are that they have re-circled their wagons and, after roping in party veteran Bahiti Temane as the guest speaker, gone all out to organize what many say will be the mother of all launches.
A jubilant and excited Kabo Morwaeng, who coordinated the preparations for Kwelagobe’s launch, said on Friday that preparations are going very smoothly and that they expect a record attendance from democrats from all over Botswana.
“We have invited all and sundry to come and bear witness as we launch our MP and incumbent party chairman, and, from the feedback that we are getting so far, we remain confident that democrats from all over the country will attend,” he said.
To that end, said Morwaeng, all party structures from within Molepolole South and beyond have been working around the clock preparing for the big event, which is expected to draw record attendance. Up to four marquee tents will be erected to cater for the thousands of people who will throng the launch while forty beasts will be slaughtered.
Around seven choirs from different branches from all over the country will entertain attendees at the launch, while renowned South African poet, Mzhwakhe Mbuli, and folk singer Maxy are also expected to add spice to the festivities.
Morwaeng also revealed that they have embarked on a massive advertising blitz, posting adverts in all major government and private newspapers to invite Batswana to come and witness Kwelagobe’s launch. “This is to show you that we mean business,” said a jubilant Morwaeng.
He added that, unlike the traditional party launches, which are usually preceded by motorcades, Kwelagobe’s launch will be special in that there will be no motorcades, but rather a prayer convention at the Lewis Memorial Playground, “where Reverend Rupert Hambira will lead Batswana in a solemn prayer for peace, tranquility and the blessings of an able and accountable leadership”.
Apart from Bahiti Temane other speakers at the event will include Specially-Elected MP and Gaborone West South Parliamentary aspirant, Botsalo Ntuane, Gaborone Central and Secretary General candidate, Gomolemo Motswaledi, and former National Women’s Wing Deputy Chairperson and Serowe North East constituency chairperson, Neo Kealotswe.
All are orators of note and staunch democrats who have at one point or another rigidly defended the principle of democracy.
“You can see from our speakers’ line up that we mean business. We have chosen true champions of democracy who will not clutch at straws but rather vehemently advocate for democracy, the rule of law, constitutional supremacy and party unity,” said Morwaeng.
Of late, the ruling BDP has been torn asunder by factional differences brought about by the standoff between President Khama and the Nkate-Merafe faction, on the one hand, and the KedikilweÔÇôKwelagobe faction, on the other hand.
Khama and Kwelagobe fell apart after the latter resisted the president’s ultimatum that members should choose between central committee positions and cabinet positions, maintaining that it is the constitutional right of any democrat to stand for any position of his choice within the party. He was subsequently dropped from cabinet. Since then Khama has openly declared his support for the A-Team, even going to the extent of publicly labeling Kwelagobe as power hungry.
But the barata-phathi has also not taken the insults lying down. While not vilifying fellow party members in public, they have also launched a massive campaign on the back of the moral high ground of constitutional supremacy.
But Morwaeng would not be drawn into discussing the issue, rather choosing to maintain that Kwelagobe’s high profile launch is just what it is, a launch. “We have never publicly launched anyone for any central committee elections. The public knows who those people are and we should not be painted with the same brush as them,” he said in conclusion.