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Is Khama preparing Seretse for BDP leadership?

STAFF WRITER
Tebelelo Seretse
The sudden recall of Botswanas Ambassador to the United States, Tebelelo Seretse has ignited speculation that an embattled President Ian Khama wants to prepare her to take over as Botswana Democratic Party chairperson at the party congress in July 2015, sources have told Mmegi.

It is said Khama has recalled Seretse in an effort to rebuild the party after it emerged badly from the just ended general elections.

In the polls, the ruling party lost ground to the opposition, receiving 46.7 percent in the popular vote.  The other reason for Seretse’s recall according to sources is to make sure that a team led by former BDP chairperson, Samson Moyo Guma does not take over the party at next year’s congress.

Seretse is known to be a fighter, but it is not clear whether she has a constituency within the BDP. The last time she stood for a position in the party was in 2009 when she lost to the late Gomolemo Motswaledi in the race for secretary general.

Her repeated efforts to dethrone her archrival Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi in Serowe South have not been successful. 

Despite all these failures, Khama appears to prefer her to take

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over from the interim chairperson and former BDP strongman, Ponatshego Kedikilwe.

This week, a BDP MP told Mmegi that Seretse would not have it easy. “She has been away for three years. She is going to find a completely different Botswana and a completely different BDP.

The new BDP does not have a place for her,” said the MP. A BDP faction led by Guma is said to be in control of the party’s key structures. The MP quit as BDP chairman in acrimonious circumstances after he was accused of underhand political machinations. He denied the accusations.

Sources say there are some party members who are already lobbying him to reclaim his former position. This week Guma told Mmegi that he has not decided whether he will contest. “I haven’t thought about it but I wouldn’t rule it out,” he said.

Repeated efforts to talk to Seretse were unsuccessful.



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