The Monitor :: Khama’s Countrywide Meetings Continue To Divide BDP
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Last Updated
Friday 21 September 2018, 15:09 pm.
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Khama’s Countrywide Meetings Continue To Divide BDP

FRANCISTOWN: Former President Ian Khama’s kgotla meetings continue to cause uproar within the ruling party amidst speculation that there is growing tension between him and President Mokgweetsi Masisi.
By Chakalisa Dube Mon 20 Aug 2018, 13:53 pm (GMT +2)
The Monitor :: Khama’s Countrywide Meetings Continue To Divide BDP








Khama addressed a kgotla meeting in Francistown East on Friday. Although he did not make any political statements, his visit did not go well with some Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) members associated to James Kgalajwe who will face incumbent Member of Parliament (MP) Buti Billy at the party primaries. Even some conservatives within the BDP were not pleased with Khama’s trip.

Khama’s visit was calculated as a veiled endorsement of Billy ahead of the August 25 primaries.

The concerned activists said that they view Khama as an influential member in the party, hence his visit may hurt Kgalajwe at the party primaries.  They opined that Khama could have delayed his trip until after the end of the primary process to avoid causing unnecessary angst in the constituency.

There are reports that Khama is trying to make sure that those who are pro-Masisi lose the primaries in order protect his legacy which many think is on the line.

Yesterday, Kgalajwe reacted furiously to Khama’s trip in Francistown East. He said that Billy wanted to capitalise on the popularity of Khama in order sway voters to his side. 

“That was not a kgotla meeting. Khama is launching those he supports ahead of the primaries. He is dividing the party and building a faction. He should emulate other former presidents by not meddling into BDP politics. He should keep a distance from politics, especially during events like primaries.”

Billy maintained that Khama’s visit has nothing to do with

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politics. He challenged Kgalajwe and concerned BDP activists to justify why the meeting was politically motivated. In recent times, there have been widespread reports that Masisi and former president Khama do not see eye to eye, a development many believe may afflict the party. Masisi’s recent decision to suspend former president Ian Khama’s longtime confidant, Tshephang Mabaila from the ruling party is widely seen as a clear act of ‘purging’ democrats who are still loyal to Khama.

Since reports emerged that Masisi and Khama do not enjoy a cosy relationship like in the past, shouts of rebellion towards the former have emerged within the ruling party.

There are those who are of the view that Khama is frustrated because Masisi is not executing some of his post presidency desires. Those backing Masisi have opined that he is correcting the anomalies made by Khama.

Khama who also donated blankets to the residents of Francistown East has often defended his controversial trips saying that they were part of his has vast range of charitable activities.

Khama also recently officially launched Francisco Kgoboko’s trust in Bobonong and uttered statement that were seen to be de-campaigning defence minister Kgathi. Kgathi will face Kgoboko at the BDP primaries.

He would days later address Tonota in what was also politically calculated as a veiled endorsement of his blue-eye boy, Thapelo Olopeng ahead of the BDP primaries. Khama’s trip in Tonota was also widely condemned by Olopeng’s opponents.

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