President Ian Khama intends to appoint former Minister of Education and Skills Development, Jacob Nkate, as Botswana’s Ambassador to Japan.
The post fell vacant following the passing on of Pulaentle Kenosi earlier this year.
Information reaching The Telegraph is that President Khama has had a series of meetings with Nkate who is yet to officially accept the appointment.
Currently, Nkate runs a private practice as a lawyer.
Nkate has indicated plans to return to politics, firstly by running for the position of party chairman at next year’s party congress as well as contesting the party’s primaries for the Ngami constituency.
However, his appointment is viewed as a strategy by President Khama to keep him at bay. Party insiders believe that if Nkate, the only remaining factional leader within the BDP’s Nkate-Merafhe axis, is allowed to return to politics it will reignite the party’s factional wars.
Insiders have also pointed out that Nkate is a threat to Khama’s succession plan since he is seen as a man with Presidential ambitions.
If he accepts the appointment, Thato Kwerepe, a Khama ally, could win the party’s primaries for the Ngami constituency without any tough challenge.
Many of Khama’s possible successors, such as Dikgakgamatso Seretse, Mokgweetsi Masisi and Kitso Mokaila, have no grassroots support within the party.
After he lost elections in 2009, Nkate had a short stint as Chief Executive Officer at the Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority (BEDIA).
In an interview with The Telegraph, Government spokesperson Jeff Ramsay could not be drawn to discussing details about the appointment, stating that he has not been officially briefed about the issue.
Both Nkate and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation could not be reached for comment at the time of going to press.