The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP)’s central committee has blocked President Lt Gen Ian Khama’s bid to suspend MP Botsalo Ntuane, ex -central committee member Kabo Morwaeng and former special advisor to the President Advocate Sidney Pilane from the party ÔÇô for now.
At a central committee meeting held on Monday in Gaborone, Khama is said to have delivered a report on the findings of a secret committee appointed by him, and known to him, that was tasked with investigating MPs and party officials accused of conniving with the opposition during the run up to the nomination of the four specially
elected Members of Parliament.
Sources reveal that Ntuane, Morwaeng and Pilane were identified as architects of a plan to subvert Khama’s choice of nominated MPs by teaming up with the opposition to nominate their own preferred candidates.
It is understood that Khama told the central committee that his investigations had identified Ntuane, Morwaeng and Pilane as the ‘rebels’ who forthwith had to be suspended from the party pending investigations.
Interestingly, while the party’s deputy secretary general Malebogo Kruger allegedly supported Khama’s decision, the trio’s most outstanding defender is said to have been Tebelelo Seretse of the opposite A-Team. Seretse is understood to have been the most vocal as she argued against the suspension.
In the end, the Central committee is understood to have taken a decision that the trio must be given a chance to present their side of the story. The central committee, as a result, took a decision to delegate some party members to approach Ntuane, Morwaeng and Pilane to ask for explanations as to why they should not be suspended from the party.
Contacted for comment, the party’s general secretary, Thato Kwerepe, said that he was not aware of the blocked suspensions.
“Nothing like that was ever discussed, maybe it was discussed in my absence,” said Kwerepe.
He referred this paper to the party chairman Daniel Kwelagobe who himself was altogether reluctant to disclose the details of the central committee meeting.
“Am not the party spokesperson,” he said. Kwelagobe referred The Telegraph to the party’s executive secretary, Batlang Serema. However, by the time of going to press Serema was not available for comment as his phone rang unanswered.
After the general elections, BDP’s Barata Phathi faction is reported to have held a series of meetings with the opposition Botswana National Front (BNF) and Botswana Congress Party (BCP) to share among themselves seats for MPs to be considered by parliament for special nomination.
Although Khama finally outwitted the plotters, Barata Phathi by then were reported to be lobbying for Gomolemo Motswaledi and Sidney Pilane for the positions, while the BNF and BCP were each going to benefit from the deal if they supported BarataPhathi faction.