Tonota: The Patron of the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) former President Lt. General Ian Khama has called for its unity in preparation for its elective congress.
In an audio address from South Africa where he stays in self-exile, Khama told the party’s political rally held in Tonota Saturday afternoon that the party members should elect leaders who will help build the party and ultimately join the opposition coalition, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC). The audio was uploaded from former Palapye Legislator, Moiseraela Goya’s mobile phone.
After apologising to his followers for ‘committing the crime’ of nominating President Masisi as his successor, only for him to “change colours like a chameleon”, he gave them a firmer motivation.
“BPF will go far as a party. Do you understand me? An independent party! But as an independent party we are going to work with others. As we did in 2019. As we did in the recent bye-elections.…to remove Masisi and his Cava from power. The cure for this Covid-19 ….called Cava is us as Batswana. I ask Batswana to join me to remove Cava from power…” Khama, said to a loud round of applause.
He continued: “From you I call for unity. If there is anyone in the BPF whose aim is to divide us, ignore him/her /them. As we prepare for the congress I urge you to vote heedfully. Elect people who are going to unite the party. People who are going to unite us with other parties, do you understand? I do not want people who are going to destroy our party. We are from far, building this party. No one should come and destroy what we have done. Now stand up! We are heading to 2024. I hope at the congress you are going to elect people who are going to work with all of us-myself included…Ke nako, e chaile!”
Khama’s call comes a few weeks after some local newspapers reported that some party members were reluctant to join the opposition coalition.
Prior to the audio presentation, the Member of Parliament for Francistown West, Ignatius Moswaane had motivated the rally to ensure the ruling party candidates are not elected in the 2024 general elections, condemning them for corruption. He said it was because of corruption he ended up quitting Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and joining the oldest opposition party- Botswana People’s Party (BPP).
“There is no governance at BDP. Dr Matsheka was dropped from his Finance Ministerial post after he revealed that P4.5 billion was sent to China and that 39 percent of government funds were not accounted for. The current president has no fear whatsoever of having all opposition party leaders jailed in 2024. Even an old woman can be jailed so that other old women may learn lessons from her, that his government should not be opposed,” said Moswaane.
He said some 13000 brigade students were dropped from learning institutions on the ground that the government had no funds to sponsor their scholarship.
He further decried the fact that the BDP government had for a long time rejected the idea of political party funding. The same government is now preparing a law forbidding foreign funding of political parties. He advised his listeners to learn lessons from the past elections in as far as bribing electorates is concerned.
“Come 2023/24; you are going to be seeing the president visiting and addressing kgotla meetings. He will even visit many households,” he said, adding that combos (food baskets) will also be flowing. They will dry up once he is re-elected into power.