Saturday, January 22, 2022

BDP plans lavish 50th anniversary celebrations

The ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) looks set to spend millions on their 50th anniversary celebrations, if reports of the event’s guest lists are anything to go by.

Indications are that the BDP will also take advantage of the event to raise funds.

However, the BDP might find itself saddled with a very hefty bill in appearance fees, as reports have surfaced that they plan to invite billionaire businessmen and sports icons to the event.

The Telegraph is in possession of a letter, written to President Ian Khama, and signed by Puma Mathware, the Chairman of the 50th Anniversary Celebrations organizing committee, suggesting names of potential guests of honour.

“The organizing committee wishes to present the following suggested names from which your Excellency may choose the person to be guest speaker/guest of honour at the high profile fund-raising dinner, which is planned for Friday 18th November 2011,” said Mathware.

The names were grouped into three categories of sports, business and politics.

Under the sports category, BDP is planning to invite golf superstars Tiger Woods, Ernie Els or Gary Player.

Mathware is of the view that golf would be of the greatest advantage to BDP as it has the biggest fundraising potential. However, the organizing committee also thought David Beckham would also help their fund raising activities. On the political category, the BDP is planning to invite either billionaire British businessman Richard Branson, South African mining mogul Patrice Motsepe or Cyril Ramaphosa. On the political front former United States President Bill Clinton, General Collin Powell and Prince William Duke of Cambridge, together with the Duchess, have been earmarked for invitation.

Sports stars and politicians generally charge appearance fees when they are invited to grace fund raising activities and events.

Even former Presidents charge appearance fees for speaking engagements. At the peak of their careers, Tiger Woods and David Beckham charged hundreds of thousands of dollars in appearance fees.

Whether the BDP will have enough funds to pay these people still remains in doubt. It is also not clear if former President Bill Clinton and General Colin Powell would be willing to associate themselves with a party that did not come out very well in a recent report by Africa Command (AFRICOM), and a government whose democratic credentials are increasingly becoming doubtful.

Mathware could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press.

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