Former presidents, Ketumile Masire and Festus Mogae, are meeting the current President, Ian Khama, in a last ditch effort to avert a major split in the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) only two months ahead of the country’s general elections.
Following a failed meeting between Khama and BDP elders, the meeting with the two former presidents is believed to be the last card to save the party.
Khama this morning, however, suspended the party Secretary General, Gomolemo Motswaledi and some party members are reading sinister meanings into the move: that Khama is sticking up his index finger at the two former presidents.
While the meeting between the country’s past and present presidents is not expected to achieve much, the BDP was this morning descending further into chaos.
Members of Barata-Phathi faction, who make up the majority in the BDP Central Committee, will be meeting in less than an hour (12.30) to try and reverse Motswaledi’s suspension. Another meeting is slated for 5 o’clock this evening between Motswaledi, his supporters and the Gaborone Central Constituency Chairman.
President Ian Khama is planning emergency primary elections for Gaborone Central to choose a member who will replace Motswaledi as party parliamentary candidate for the constituency.
Motswaledi told the Sunday Standard that his suspension means that he will be barred from contesting for the Gaborone Central Primary elections on a party ticket and will cease from acting as party secretary general.
The BDP is expected to hold emergency primary elections for Gaborone Central to elect a member who will replace Motswaledi as parliamentary candidate for the constituency.
Motswaledi has been suspended for 60 days for allegedly putting the name of the party and its leader into disrepute with his recent public statements.
This comes after Motswaledi wrote a letter distancing the party from a press statement by party lawyers, Collins Newman & Company, endorsing Khama’s controversial unilateral decisions. The law firm was allegedly acting on instructions from president Khama.