Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Khama faces possible disciplinary action over Gobotswang’s ‘endorsement’

BY THOBO MOTLHOKA

Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) president Ian Khama is likely to face disciplinary action should the Sefhare-Ramokgonami Branch raise complaints against his recent decision to ‘endorse’ Umbrella for Democratic Party (UDC) candidate for the area.

Khama was recently reported in the media as having used a house donation ceremony as an opportunity to promote UDC parliamentary candidate Kesitegile Gobotswang at the expense of fellow Democrat and area Member of Parliament Dorcas Makgato.

“The war against the area MP in one of the biggest constituency villages , Ramokgonami, where Khama, for the first time was heard openly endorsing the area’s opposition candidate and BCP vice president… showing him as a caring, charitable leader and availing himself as ready to resource him anyhow..,” Mmegi reported.  

Party Chairman Slumber Tsogwane has told Sunday Standard that should the area Branch Committee issue a report of misconduct against the former State President the party shall institute disciplinary proceedings against him.

“It is absolutely unacceptable,” Tsogwane said. “You cannot, as a member, go and promote any organization whose mandate clashes with that of the BDP. It is against the party constitution.”

Khama has since breaking relations with his successor President Mokgweetsi Masisi, taken it upon himself to de-campaign some BDP candidates who do not tow his line. His most memorable victory was the Primary Elections defeat of his own former Minister of Defense Shaw Kgathi to Khama’s then preferred candidate Francis Kgoboko. It seems the former President is now on a mission to punish those who did not support his handpicked BDP Presidential candidate Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi against President Masisi.

Sefhare-Ramokgonami MP Makgatho was one of the most influential forces behind Masisi’s campaign.  It was largely due to her popularity in the party’s LETSWAPO Region that President Masisi managed to clinch a nomination for the Kang Special Congress.

Khama’s actions suggest that he has ditched one of the recommendations contained in a recent report prepared by his international sponsors. The report advised that the former president reach out to President Masisi, personally or through emissaries for a truce to be negotiated in the interests of both men and for the sake of the party.

The sources predicted that Masisi may be amenable to a settlement in order to turn his attention to the general elections.

“A big question mark is would Mr Masisi’s conciliatory stance be genuine or only meant to buy him peace for purposes of the election after which he will return to haunt Mr Khama,” the report says.

“Our analysis is that for Mr Masisi’s project to become a success, Mr Khama and his associates must continuously be vilified and portrayed in the eyes of the nation as the perennial enemies of the nation.” The report advices that should reconciliation efforts fail,

Khama should formally resign his BDP membership and take on the role of a revered statesman, which profile, the report says, he still enjoys in many parts of the world and in his own country.

“In this role he will be less handicapped in carrying out his community upliftment programmes which appears to be another source of the fallout with Mr Masisi who seems to be a man not prepared to share the limelight with anyone, least of all his immediate predecessor.”

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