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BDP faction sends Keoreme packing

KOKETSO KGOBOGE
A strong-willed Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) faction came out of its cocoon at a packed Lady Khama Memorial Hall over the weekend and heads are already rolling in Serowe.

Former President Ian Khama and his choice of presidential candidate, Pelonomi Venson-Motoi convened party ‘elders’ to report President Mokgweetsi Masisi. 

A day after the Lady Khama meeting, a renowned Masisi supporter and Serowe sub-council chairperson, Mpho Keoreme was ousted. Keoreme believes his axing was motivated by his alliance to the incumbent. 

He was booted with an urgent motion of no confidence on Monday. Out of the 22 members that voted, 17 voted ‘for’ and five voted ‘against’ the motion. Serowe West councilor, Gaotilwe Omphile, tabled the motion. 

Omphile’s motion accused Keoreme of gross misconduct and lack of principle ethics of governance. Keoreme felt the motion was vague and that Omphile failed to expand his reasons. 

He said he knew of his fate a day before the motion was tabled. He claimed a group of members of the sub-council that support Venson-Moitoi met a night before to discuss his ousting.

Keoreme said the votes in the motion speak for themselves.  He said the sub-council made entirely out of party members had only five known supporters of Masisi. 

“The rest are behind Kgosikgolo.  This issue stems from the regional congress.  I saw it coming. I have led the sub-council for two terms and not at any day had my comrades approached and warned me.  We are all Democrats and had they felt I was out of order they would have long mentioned it,” he said. 

“It is not surprising that after the Sunday meeting (at Lady Khama Hall) I am charged with gross misconduct as it is written. It’s a game of politics. I understand and I accept the outcome.”

He admits, knowing the political landscape of

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Serowe, backing Masisi for presidency might dent his campaign at his Swaneng ward, but he said he remains resolute behind the incumbent. 

“I will not be bullied. I hope people will understand that this is a democracy, and each of us has the right of choice. The best we could do is respect each, other’s choice and allow for the elections to decide.  I chose to respect the Office of the President, and that is my crime.” 

The mover of the motion, Omphile rubbished claims that the motion was motivated by the standoff between the incumbent and the predecessor.

He rubbished allegations that they met after the meeting to discuss the ousting of the former chairperson. He said poor handling of the office by Keoreme motivated his motion. 

He said he had so much respect for the President, for Keoreme and the chairmanship of the Serowe sub-council. He said there were a number of inappropriate occurrences by the former chairperson that led to the motion.

“There are a number of situations that the former chairperson handled himself in a manner that did not sit well with the sub-council and we have reached a point that we cannot condone it anymore.”

“I did not detail the reasons because of respect for the former chairperson and the office, but they are purely out of poor leadership.”

“Our sub-council was losing direction and was entangled in issues that we can’t tolerate.  This has nothing to do with the alliances as he purports.”

Keoreme’s deputy, Atamelang Thaga of Serowe South Central replaced him.  The issue would be tabled at the Central District full council meeting next week.



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