Saturday, May 8, 2021

Chitube claims BDP groomed him to be President in 2019

Fresh documents compiled by deported Zambian national Jerry Chitube suggest that the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) was grooming him to succeed President Ian Khama as president of Botswana after the 2019 General Elections. The plan allegedly unravelled when Chitube fell out with DISS Director General Isaac Kgosi after it emerged that he had bought a software that enabled him to spy on the DISS boss. The DISS then deported him to Zambia. According to documents leaked to the Sunday Standard, Chitube claims that the BDP recruited him into active politics because they wanted to groom him to take on Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) leader Duma Boko in 2019 general elections. As part of the plan, Chitube was to challenge the current BDP youth wing Chairperson Andy Boatile at the Masunga elective congress. The plan was, however thwarted by security agents who arrested him and bungled him out of the country. Suggesting that he was part of President Khama’s succession plan, Chitube claims that being candidate for the BDP youth wing Chairperson was to gunner enough numbers ahead of the 2019 special congress. He states that some BDP members believed that he had what it takes to take the youth wing to another level. With Chitube at the helm of the BDP youth wing, the plan was to turn it into a force to reckon with by creating at least 1000 jobs for the youth across the country. He claims that had he been voted as BDP youth wing Chairperson that would have been a real turnaround strategy. “That would have brought the BDP up the charts. We even went as far as developing a cell phone application to be launched after the diary. That was going to be a hit; the turnaround to throw the opposition off track. Together with Mesh we designed the diary. Then with Gina we worked on the cell phone application,” he said. He said his campaign and political battle for the BDP youth wing Chairmanship had to be an uphill one because he was not on any one’s side. “I found it hard to support without reason. But my biggest worry was supporting without knowing who my handler was. It was obvious in the last weekend of the campaign that someone was definitely pulling the strings; was it the President or was it Reggie?” wondered Chitube. He added that “I take it that someone figured that it is better the mind that is tamed already (Andy Boatile) than a mind that still needed to be tamed (me).” Without elaborating Chitube claims that his plans were also derailed when former Minister and current BDP Chairman Candidate Ramadeluka Seretse travelled to Serowe around Christmas last year. That is when Khama told Ramadeluka that Tshekedi also wanted to join the BDP Chairmanship race. Chitube said at the time Ramadeluka had already started campaigning. In Serowe, Khama would not discuss the issue of Tshekedi joining the race with Ramadeluka because his schedule was tight. Chitube claims that at the time he was with Ramadeluka’s younger brother who happens to be a councillor and former MP Reggie Reatile at Masa Centre in Gaborone. According to Ramadeluka’s younger brother if Khama allowed Tshekedi to join the BDP Chairmanship race Chitube had to forget about the plan (to succeed Khama) three years from now. That on its own Chitube said, confirmed reports that Tshekedi was likely to succeed his brother as the next President. “Hence the credits at the back of the diary, that was to assist his course in the race especially with the youth. Tshekedi wasn’t aware of the plan but he did assist to get the first diary approved by the Central Committee,” Chitube said. He added that he later discussed the matter with Tshekedi at his offices behind DCEC offices in 2012. Chitube further claims that the BDP has since evolved from the Barataphati and Nkate/Merafhe factions into South vs. North and that was the reason why President Khama chose Mokgweetsi Masisi to be Vice President. He said the presidency has been perceived as Bangwato right because after former President Sir Ketumile Masire retired no one has been considered for the top office in the land. Without elaborating, Chitube said while he was campaigning for the BDP youth Chairmanship one of the things that the elders and youth advised him to do was to support Masisi. Chitube said Khama’s camp is working hard to neutralise Jacob Nkate’s camp from regrouping for 2017. Describing deals he got from the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) as unreliable, Chitube said he received no cent from the BDP for providing his services but he considered it as an investment for the future. Both Kgosi and Reatile have since distanced themselves from any link with Chitube.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper