It was a matter of irony that even as the ruling Botswana Democratic Party had just readmitted into its fold two Members of Parliament that recently defected to the Botswana Movement for Democracy, there were few celebrations when the party met for a retreat in Gaborone to forge ways of re-healing the factions.
The party is said to be saddled with divisions over how the defectors seem to be getting preferential treatment over loyalists that stuck with the party during the time of need.
Sunday Standard can reveal that there are rumblings over why people who are viewed as traitors seem to be getting red carpet treatment from the leadership.
This is in the backdrop of allegations that the two MPs, Phillip Makgalemele and Patrick Masimolole, could see themselves become assistant ministers as part of efforts by President Ian Khama to placate them and reward them for coming back to the BDP.
Addressing the retreat gathering, President Khama preached reconciliation and tolerance among members.
In a speech markedly absent of his trademark “Discipline” crusade, Khama rallied his troops to accept one another and forget their tumultuous recent past.
“We gather today to take time to introspect, to reflect, to look back at our success and achievements and the challenges in our party. This is not the time for recriminations, finger pointing, posturing and political bashing of colleagues. As I have said, we must rise above things that divide us or that put us in collision with each other. This takes resolve and determination and calls on all of us to draw from the positive side of our character and the goodwill within us,” said President Khama.
In particular, the President decried factions and the rise of the “spirit of individualism”.
He called on BDP members to work on their resilience so as to be able to win the next General Elections.