Thursday, January 28, 2021

Dan Moroka distances himself from efforts to topple Masisi

Dan Moroka has distanced himself from allegations that he is the anointed leader of ongoing efforts inside the Botswana Democratic Party to topple President Mokgweetsi Masisi.

Speaking to the Sunday Standard Moroka who is a former cabinet Minister said he remains “totally” loyal to both President Masisi and the BDP.

Any efforts to topple Masisi would be unpatriotic, he said.

“I cannot be part of efforts to topple president Masisi, firstly because I am a staunch member of the Botswana Democratic Party, secondly because I have never been active in politics ever since I lost the elections in 2009.”

He said the reason why he has not been active in politics and has not contemplated getting active again is because he has a sensitive job.

Moroka is currently a resident Executive Director for De Beers, which is a partner with Botswana Government in Debswana Diamond Company.

Teams from the two partners are about to go into a highly consequential round of negotiations of which Moroka will be a key member.

Moroka said it is important that in holding the position that he is, he has to exude an air of impartiality, hence a deliberate position he took that notwithstanding his BDP membership, he would stay non-active in politics.

He said even if the BDP was to get out of power “and I hope it doesn’t” it is important that he stayed neutral and be in a position to look after the interests of the country.

That neutrality, he said, cannot be achieved by somebody who is active in party politics, he said.

“So I will never endeavour to topple the president.”

“The other reason why I would not topple the president is that traditionally inside the BDP, there are processes and procedures when anyone aspires for any position in the Party. And if I were to aspire for any position then I would follow those procedures.”

Moroka has been linked to a team of disenchanted BDP top brass that calls itself New Jerusalem, whose ultimate focus is to topple Masisi.

This team draws inspiration from ongoing parallel feud between Masisi and former president Ian Khama. It is however yet not yet apparent if Khama endorses New Jerusalem.

Moroka said he has never been part of New Jerusalem, adding that the team has not even had the courtesy to call him before linking his name to their cause.

“How can I be a president when there is a president? I have worked under three presidents; president [Ketumile] Masire, president [Festus] Mogae and President [Ian] Khama and at no point have I had a desire to usurp power from them or to challenge them. And there is no reason why I should challenge president Masisi. And by the way I have always been loyal to the sitting president. And I want to make it clear that I remain loyal to president Masisi. As long as he is president I shall remain loyal to him and I shall support him,” said Moroka.

His first knowledge of the existence of anything by that name was in the media, he said.

“As far as New Jerusalem is concerned I first saw the name in the papers. In fact when I first saw it I thought it was a church of some sort. When I saw the headline I said ‘oh my goodness, why is the church involving me in all this?’ I have absolutely no knowledge of New Jerusalem,” said Moroka.

Moroka said he is suspicious of the timing to link him to “nasty endeavours” when such sensitive negotiations about to start between Botswana Government on one hand and de beers on the other.

“There is no way I could engage in surreptitious activities against the president when negotiations are just about to start. I am a staunch member of the BDP. I value my membership of the BDP in the same way I value my membership of the United Congregational Church of southern Africa. So I cannot do anything that could undermine the BDP. It would remiss of me and even unpatriotic to fight the president,” said Moroka.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper