Sunday, March 7, 2021

Moroka, Seretse agree to disagree

Former Ministers Tebelelo Seretse and Dan Moroka will contest for the position of Botswana Democratic Party Chairman at an elective Congress due next year. Information reaching Sunday Standard is that the two failed to agree on backing one another at a meeting the pair held recently.

Seretse is currently Botswana’s Ambassador to Washington while Moroka is Chief Executive of De Beers Botswana. Incidentally both of them have in the past been ministers responsible for trade, investment and commerce. Seretse whose tour of duty is about to come to an end has recently been back in the country as part of her Christmas break. During that time she held a few private meetings with her closest associates announcing to them how she longed and couldn’t wait to get back into active politics. Like many of her generation leaders in the BDP, she is said to be worried for the party going into the future.

“She wants the party to go back into the hands of conviction politicians. She is not the only one. Jacob Nkate feels the same,” said a member of Seretse’s inner circle. He added that Seretse talks endlessly about her fears of the party becoming rudderless after President Ian Khama retires. This is because she does not have faith among the new crop of leaders that found their way into the Central Committee at the Maun Congress last year. He further said after the meeting between Moroka and Seretse could not yield any fruits the two agreed to meet again at the Congress floor in 2015, setting alight a possible encounter that still is likely to be joined by yet another string of BDP political heavyweights.

“Moroka is a good businessman, but at De Beers he is on no-man’s land. Being a former minister means that De Beers have very little trust in him, but being on De Beers payroll also means that government also does not trust him to represent Botswana’s interest when it comes to sensitive negotiations,” said a former executive of De Beers.

He said while Moroka has put on a strong face, he has also confided to fiends that he felt underutilized at De Beers Botswana, which is effectively a small satellite office performing no role much bigger than of being a glorified public relations agency, especially now with Diamond Trading Company having relocated to Gaborone. Even before DTC arrival, the office of De Beers Botswana was always overshadowed by the larger and operationally prestigious Debswana Diamond Company. He added that Moroka has made it known that he will leave De Beers at the earliest opportunity that avails itself. Both Moroka and Seretse could not be reached.


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