Thursday, July 9, 2020

Khama likely to quit the BDP at Serowe meeting

BY THOBO MOTLHOKA

A frustrated former State and Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) President Ian Khama is expected to address a Kgotla meeting in his home village of Serowe next weekend where he is expected to announce his next step in politics.

Khama, whose efforts to remain relevant following the expiry of his 10 year statutory term as Party and State president have been shot down by the new leadership of President Mokgweetsi Masisi, is likely to announce his resignation from the ruling party.

The former President has been accused of trying to rule from the grave and making outrageous demands most of which have been rejected by his successor.

The result has been a very public break in relations between himself and Masisi which has resulted in his failed attempt to unseat his successor and replace him with a possibly more lenient candidate.

Since his failed attempt to unseat Masisi, Khama has been on a mission to punish those aligned to Masisi as displayed by his recent efforts to de-campaign Sefhare-Ramokgonami Member of Parliament Dorcas Makgato. In his most recent display of disdain for his own party Khama openly displayed support for opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) council candidate during a visit to  Goodhope-Mabule constituency.

“Khama announced that he came at the invite of UDC councilor Ncube. He says should Ncube want any help from him in future he should just reach out to him and he will be glad to help as long as it’s for the benefit of the people,” The Argus Online reported.

The BDP has this week axed some of Khama’s allies in Members of Parliament Samson Moyo Guma and Prince Maele. The Party has managed to frustrate the former Party President’s attempts to run a parallel, personal campaign against President Masisi.

This has isolated Khama from the rest of the party, rendering him obsolete and powerless.

Khama is expected to use the Serowe meeting to launch his next step, which is likely to quit the BDP and form a new party or join the opposition UDC.

Khama has done little to enact part one of the recommendations by a Consultancy Report designed to ease his retirement.  “Mr Khama to reach out to Mr 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 Report recommends.

“In this regard, Mr Masisi having registered his hollow victory, achieved with the price of manipulation, intimidation and abuse of state resources and assets may be amenable to a settlement in order to turn his attention to the general elections.” A big question mark is, the report says, would 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 Khama? “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 second option according to the report, would be for Khama to aid the formation of a new political party.

The third recommendation is for Khama to 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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Sunday Standard July 5 – 11

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of July 5 - 11, 2020.