Monday, June 1, 2020

Masisi’s fate could be in hands of Opposition Bench at next parley session

The much-anticipated motion of no-confidence in President Mokgweetsi Masisi is said to have failed to see the light of day because the opposition MP who was expected to have tabled it, never carried out the necessary processes.

The first time the motion was tabled was during the winter session and the mover was the Leader of the Opposition, Duma Boko, who brought the motion on a certificate of urgency. The motion failed to gain passage because the Government Bench didn’t support it. Such passage was made even more difficult by the fact that the Alliance for Progressives (AP), which was expected to support the motion as customary expression of solidarity with an opposition MP, also didn’t support the motion. The reason was that Boko had not lobbied the party for its support and while they had also not been consulted beforehand, Umbrella for Democratic Change MPs just supported the motion because it was tabled by their leader.

By now it is an open secret that it is former president, General Ian Khama, who is lobbying from what should have been retirement to have Masisi ousted. An ally of his, Tshepang Mabaila, is said to have lobbied Botswana Democratic Party MPs to support the motion.

A lot of restrategising happened during the recess and it was resolved that the motion would be retabled in the session that ended a week ago. A plan to have a BDP MP table the motion was scrapped because the sight would have been unseemly. However, the opposition MP who was to table the motion never tabled it as agreed. Using street lingo, a source says that Khama was basically scammed (“ba mo iteile”) because while the latter has reportedly been paid a lot of money, he just dragged his feet. Worried that time was running out, the MP (who has a spotty attendance record in parliament) is said to have persistently avoided personal meetings and telephone calls.

Plan B is in the works. With New Jerusalem (Khama’s faction) becoming more and more emboldened about its opposition to Masisi, confidence is growing that the motion can gain passage and should be tabled by a faction member. However, Masisi also has support in the Government Bench and that creates a problem. If that scenario plays itself out, it is the Opposition Bench (being the UDC, AP and one independent MP) who will decide Masisi’s fate. The side that this Bench supports will win the battle

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper

Sunday Standard May 24 – 30

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of May 24 - 30, 2020.