Scores of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) members are accusing the party Chairman Mokgweetsi Masisi of poking his nose where it does not belong.
Sources say this past weekend there was a meeting where the Vice President was clear that he does not want the current BDP candidate for University of Botswana Student Representative Council (SRC) Presidency, Bakotelo Mmipi.
Masisi is said to prefer one Derrick who lost to Mmipi during the vetting process. BDP members are of the view that, Masisi is unnecessarily interfering with student politics and he must be stopped.
Members are worried that Masisi is busy building a team that will support him in the contest for party leadership.
Those who are not in support of him are usually sidelined.
“Such are minor politics and we did not expect a person of his calibre to be deciding who should represent students at the University of Botswana. Students have already identified their candidate through the vetting process. Let their wishes be respected,” sources told The Telegraph.
BDP Members say Vice President actions reveal a vindictive and a petty man who is driven by nothing other than an instinct for self preservation.
“He is a petty person. He is divisive, and we know he has already found a candidate to field in Gaborone South. He did not bother to consult the current MP Kagiso Molatlhegi. He is doing this across the country. He is luring people from the opposition by promising them jobs under the Economic Stimulus Program (ESP),” sources says.
New members recruited from the opposition side by Masisi to join the BDP are said to be his footsoldiers.
However BDP Youth President has denied Masisi’s involvement in the student’s politics at the University of Botswana.
“It is not true. We had a meeting with the students on Sunday and the matter has been resolved. What was happening is that there are some of the students who were not happy about how the vetting process was conducted,” said Andy Boatile.
Boatile said the Vice President Masisi is not endorsing anyone who is not in the current committee that met the vetting standards.
“It was resolved that the current committee should be the official committee that will represent the BDP youth at the University of Botswana,” said Boatile as he also explained the procedure that was used to identify the party candidate for SRC presidency.
“The procedure is that prior to the University of Botswana SRC elections, a general meeting is called where a vetting team is selected. Then candidates can apply for different positions from the presidency level to the last position. There are guidelines put in place during the vetting process and those guidelines determine who qualifies. In this case there was one Derrick who was running for presidency; somehow he felt that he was left out,” said Boatile.
A few weeks back President Ian Khama is reported to have prevailed over Masisi to stop addressing weekly press conferences to welcome new members into the party.
The press conferences had become a source of division between Masisi and BDP Secretary General, Botsalo Ntuane who felt the Chairman was intruding into his line of duty.
While the two men have since denied that there is a ‘rift’ between them sources within the party said Khama and some elders of the party intervened and asked Masisi to allow Ntuane to welcome new members to the party, in particular, new recruits.