While a public impression has been created including selling it to sympathetic media houses that vice president Mokgweetsi Masisi does not have a campaign lobby list, it has since emerged that behind the scenes that list exists and it has widely been circulated to key delegates that will be attending the Botswana Democratic Party Congress in Mmadinare. Masisi is contesting for the position of BDP chairman. He faces competition from former ministers Ndelu Seretse and Tebelelo Seretse. A dark horse is Seteng Motalaote who has also thrown his name in the ring.
Top of the lobby the list attributed to Masisi’s campaign efforts sits the vice president himself. Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri’s name has been suggested for the position of Secretary General, while Shaw Kgathi is tipped as deputy secretary General. A.S Dada is named for the position of Treasurer. And if the crafters of the list get their way, Dada will be assisted by Paul Paledi as Deputy Treasurer. Additional members are Unity Dow, Pelonomi Venson, Botlogile Tshireletso, Kefentse Mzwinila and Abel Molelo. If this list ultimately makes it, there will be no less than six members of cabinet on the BDP Central Committee. This excludes other members of the list who are in the parliamentary backbench.
“This puts into focus the question of oversight. As the BDP are we going back to say the party should again be run by people who are in cabinet at the exclusion of those who are outside of parliament and cabinet. From this list, it is clear that we have still not learnt lessons from our performance last year,” said a BDP member who asked not to be identified for fear of reprisal. Ndelu Seretse told this publication that he will not be drawing up a lobby list. “I have listened to BDP members and they have told me that they want to be allowed the freedom to vote as widely as they can. Coming up with a lobby list in my view will constrain them to tap into the available talent and experience,” said Seretse.
In his campaign points, Botsalo Ntuane, who is standing for the position of secretary General has also stated that he will be staying away from a culture of submitting a lobby lists. He said he is willing to work with anybody so chosen by BDP delegates. But all these resolves remain to be tested as the temperatures get ratcheted up and the D-Day approaches.