TONOTA: Endowed with excessive riches, the dominant Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi axis was accused of being a threat to internal party democracy, as many believe it influenced party diehards to follow it.
During the conference, the pro-Masisi faction that had set up a luxurious tent camp in the outskirts of Tonota, dubbed ‘Camp Dubai’ displayed its unshakeable wealth. Camp Dubai was an attractive and irresistible site where food, drinks and entertainment were excessively plenty. It’s at this site that 25 cows, 19 elands, 15 kudus, 15 impalas were slaughtered to fete all those that cared to eat and throw away.
Cash was also easily exchanged for favours at this site and this is what probably provided confidence the team exuded. Reporter Lebogang Mosikare was shocked at the precision of party operative Thapelo Fish Pabalinga who had last Friday predicted that Masisi and the rest of the team’s contestants were going to win with a margin of over 500 votes. True to that prediction, the story of their win became consistently so.
There was a strong feeling from some quarters that the amount of money invested into internal Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) politics posed a serious threat to BDP internal and country democracy. Masisi dismissed that school of thought as misleading and a sign that people did not understand the dynamics of democracy itself whether internal or external.
His said he did not know of any political party that has a reduced budget in its quest to “motivate” the people to vote for it. In a press interview on the sidelines of the BDP elective congress recently, the re-elected BDP chairperson said his party was not an exception
Look at it this way, all the opposition parties put together are smaller than us and the money they use might actually exceed ours relatively.” For instance, he looked at the cost of staging a Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) congress, the cost of the Botswana National Front (BNF) congress and Botswana Congress Party (BCP) meetings. “What we want is to do our best to treat our people with dignity.
The money goes into those potable toilets which were not provided for in the past and the number of people who just come not as delegates but interested parties,” explained Masisi gesticulating. His explanations came amid accusations that his faction had used its financial muscle to buy people’s interests and dissuaded them from their first love.
He indicated that the accumulated funds from the friends of his faction helped in buying food, providing accommodation, water, sanitation and measure of entertainment to the masses. “If this is a new way of keeping people motivated, then the money goes to them.
It’s not our money individually, we ask for donations from people who are willing. We explain fully what we use the money for. So, it’s not a threat to internal party or external democracy,” he concluded.