Mmegi Online :: BDP in tinder hooks
Banners
Banners
Banners
Banners
Last Updated
Monday 15 July 2019, 09:49 am.
Banners
BDP in tinder hooks

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has lost its former glory. With Just 46 percent of the popular vote, the BDP needs to re-engineer its systems and policies that have become the discontent of many of its members - and its bane.
By Tsaone Basimanebotlhe Fri 30 Jan 2015, 17:00 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: BDP in tinder hooks








A major issue that has haunted the BDP is factional fighting.

Until Seretse Khama’s death in 1980 the party had not known factions and resultant instability that has become the hallmark of the BDP. 

Here is a brief history of the BDP leadership and its ascent to factions. Following Seretse’s death, then Vice President Quett Ketumile Masire took over as president.

He chose Khama’s cousin Lenyeletse Seretse as his deputy. Seretse held the position for only three years, most of which he spent ill. He died in January 1983. Peter Simako Mmusi replaced him and remained vice president until 1992, when he resigned his position following a Presidential Commission, which identified him as having taken part in illegal land dealings in Gaborone, Mogoditshane and other peri-urban areas. Festus Mogae succeeded him.

Enter unadorned factionalism. For the next six years, there was jostling and shoving, but skilfully kept under control by a very politically savvy Masire.  For example, in an effort to avoid his party’s split in 1997, Masire asked party members not to go for elections at that year’s elective congress, held in Gaborone, but to endorse a compromise list that the Merafhe and Kwelagobe factions had agreed upon.

The two factions – one led by long-time secretary general Daniel Kwelagobe and the other by former army general Mompati Merafhe, wrestled for the control of the party at the time.  The factions represented a hitherto denied reality in the BDP - the north – south divide.

At the time the compromise list was agreed to, the Merafhe faction, rumoured to be supporting Mogae for party president, was reportedly fearful that if they contested the central committee elections, they would suffer humiliating defeat.

When Masire retired in April 1998, Mogae took over by way of automatic succession. Then, the BDP infighting was at its highest, with the factions more pronounced.

In 1999 - a year after Mogae’s ascension to the presidency - the BDP had its elective congress. It appeared to go smoothly, but beneath the quite waters was turbulence that threatened to capsize the party’s ship. Mogae had just enough perceptiveness to steer the ship through that uncertain strait until his retirement in 2008. Then entered current President Ian Khama - and unending rapids hit the hull of the BDP ship. He changed the decades’ old tradition whereby the party allowed ministers to also hold CC elections.

His argument was that ministers had too much work. That forced Kwelagobe to resign his

Banners

ministerial post to continue as party chairman. Khama’s directive was seen as selective as, with his full backing, the then minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration Lesego Motsumi campaigned for secretary general. Angry at the party’s hypocrisy, Kwelagobe’s supporters ensured his ‘anointed’ did not make it. The relationship between Kwelagobe and Khama soured. Kwelagobe had the support of mostly youth and conservative BDP members. These included among others Gomolemo Motswaledi, Moyo Guma, Botsalo Ntuane, and Wynter Mmolotsi among others.  Save for Ntuane the rest stood for central committee elections and won.

However the small margin with which Kwelagobe won the chairmanship was an indication of the power that Khama wielded in the party. Surely his support of Tebelelo Seretse of the Merafhe faction garnered her many votes. Her defeat, however also meant her main backer, Khama had lost. Barely a month after the elections, Khama suspended Motswaledi, the party’s new secretary general. Motswaledi’s colleagues resigned in protest. Khama went on to co-opt his preferred candidates into the central committee.

Motswaledi took Khama to court, but lost because the Republic’s president cannot be sued. That heralded the BDP’s major split, and the formation of the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD).

Kwelagobe, who had remained in the party and maintained his position, called for unity. His voice drowned in the fighting. He did not stand for re-election at the BDP’s 2013 elective congress in Maun. Moyo Guma, a prodigal who had helped form the BMD stood for chairmanship. He won, many believe, because he had Khama’s blessing. In fact his camp, seen by many loyal BDP members as ‘new faces’ in the party, whitewashed their competition in Pelonomi Venson Moitoi at that July congress. A few months into his position, on December 2, Guma resigned.

Khama appointed his new deputy Ponatshego Kedikilwe to the position, and he sort of brought some stability. The BDP’s next elective congress is but five months away, and candidates for the chairmanship are Tebelelo Seretse, Ramadeluka Seretse, Biggie Butale and Dithapelo Tshotego. 

It is possible, as some believe, that the many names are an indication BDP factional fighting has gone into hibernation. This claim is backed up by the fact that one name may be found in more than one lobby list. But the vice president Mokgweetsi Masisi can still throw the spanner in the works, deciding to stand in the last hour. Indications are that move could just blow everything up.

Subscribe to our Newsletter
Banners
Banners
Banners


News
Fri 30 Jan 2015, 17:00 pm
Fri 30 Jan 2015, 17:00 pm
Fri 30 Jan 2015, 17:00 pm
Fri 30 Jan 2015, 16:39 pm
Fri 30 Jan 2015, 16:35 pm
Fri 30 Jan 2015, 16:35 pm
Fri 30 Jan 2015, 16:23 pm
Fri 30 Jan 2015, 15:00 pm
Fri 30 Jan 2015, 12:00 pm
Thu 29 Jan 2015, 17:41 pm
Thu 29 Jan 2015, 16:55 pm
Thu 29 Jan 2015, 16:55 pm
Thu 29 Jan 2015, 16:52 pm
Thu 29 Jan 2015, 16:52 pm
Thu 29 Jan 2015, 16:50 pm
Thu 29 Jan 2015, 16:50 pm
Thu 29 Jan 2015, 16:49 pm
Thu 29 Jan 2015, 16:45 pm
Thu 29 Jan 2015, 16:14 pm
Thu 29 Jan 2015, 15:44 pm
Wed 28 Jan 2015, 15:00 pm
Wed 28 Jan 2015, 12:00 pm
Wed 28 Jan 2015, 11:24 am
Wed 28 Jan 2015, 11:22 am
Wed 28 Jan 2015, 11:19 am
Banners
Banners
Subscribe to our Newsletter
have a story? Send us a Tip
Banners
  • Previous
    Next
    Masa Centre
    ::: Wednesday 17 Jul - Wednesday 17 Jul :::
  • Previous
    X-Men: Dark Phoenix
    Next
    Riverwalk
    ::: Monday 17 Jun - Saturday 17 Jun :::
    X-Men: Dark Phoenix
  • Previous
    Next
    Gamecity
    ::: Wednesday 17 Jul - Wednesday 17 Jul :::
Selefu
BDF UDC BDP
Banners

gramstalker

Banners