Sunday, May 29, 2022

BDP summons Masire, Mogae over “subversive” public statements

Former Presidents Sir Ketumile Masire and Festus Mogae will be summoned by the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) to explain their recent public statements which are viewed as subversive by the ruling party. BDP Secretary General Mpho Balopi confirmed Friday that the party intends to summon the two former presidents to account for their recent public statements. “We should appreciate that these are party elders and whatever they are reported to have said should not be taken lightly. They play an advisory role in the party and hence there is need to engage them,” said Balopi.

He said the BDP also intends to consult the Council of Elders, a BDP structure in an effort to engage Mogae and Masire. “We need to consult this structure properly. But as we speak now as the secretary general of the party I’m constrained to convene a meeting now. What I can say is that there is need to engage the former presidents and other members of the Council of Elders and seek clarity from the two former Heads of State,” said Balopi. . Speaking at the African Leadership Forum on July 31 in Dar es Salaam, Mogae accused Khama’s administration of disrespecting the rule of law.

For his part, when peaking at the late Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) Masire is quoted at as saying that “A revolution happens when you lose confidence in a government and there is no alternative.” Some BDP observers who did not want to be named said “have seen this coming” because the two presidents were venting their frustrations outside the BDP structures because they have been denied the opportunity do so by Khama’s administration. They opine that both Masire and Mogae had received dishonourable treatment at the hands of their successor has been to take different position in regard to a number of issues he had supported during his presidency. They trace Masire attempt to vent his frustrations by being a guest of honour at the launch of Botswana Umbrella for Democracy (UDC) parliamentary candidate of Bonnington South constituency Ndaba Gaolathe in late February this year. As for Mogae, Khama’s immediate predecessor differed with him on topical issues such as advocating legalization of prostitution, providing prisoners with condoms, recognition of rights for gays and lesbian and funding of political parties for purposes of levelling the political filed.

At the African Leadership Forum, Mogae also told his audience that “In my country for example, we are regressing. The problem is if you criticize your successor, people think you want to rule from the grave. We were a small country that ran an open economy and open society.” Mogae is also quoted saying that the present government has expelled over 2000 foreign professionals over the last six years. “When I was president I would have invited you to a debate, anywhere, anytime in Botswana anywhere else…express my views, accept yours and challenging those with which I did not agree. I was able to do that with Mbeki, with Obassanjo, and President Mkapa here…,” said Mogae.

Mogae added that he did his best endeavour, “by passing laws and so on What is happening is that the present regime does not respect the rule of law: it is inward looking. We have prospered in the past because we used professionals from all countries including Tanzania…and we trained our people in South Africa, and in Nigeria, and in Ghana.” At Motswaledi’s funeral, Masire is also quoted as saying: “Spread the message. The future of our country is paramount. We need visionary people on the future of the country not those who want to create a name only for themselves.”

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