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TK going, going...

THALEFANG CHARLES TSAONE BASIMANEBOTLHE
Tshekedi Khama. PIC: THALEFANG CHARLES
Any minute now, Tshekedi Khama popularly known as TK, is expected to dump the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and follow his elder brother, Ian Khama to the newly-formed Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF).

“It’s a done deal,” said a highly placed BPF source. “The straw that broke the camel’s back was Dorcas (Makgato’s alleged) comments on his father,” the source said.

BPF, as a party, is the former president’s brainchild that was launched last month.

Tati West Member of Parliament Biggie Butale is the BPF’s inaugural president while Ian is the patron and its de-facto leader.

Last weekend Member of Parliament for Sefhare-Ramokgonami, Makgato, made remarks about alcohol abuse at a political rally in Chadibe causing a stir after many people on social media accused her of attacking the late founding president, Sir Seretse Khama, the Khama brothers’ father.

On Tuesday Makgato came back with guns blazing when addressing the media during a BDP monthly press conference at Tsholetsa House. She accused the BPF of a smear campaign by misconstruing her statement.

“I am saddened because BPF in trying to gain cheap political mileage has decided to use the words that I uttered at the (Chadibe) rally and apportioned them to the inaugural President Sir Seretse Khama, who we highly respect,” Makgato said.

She pulled no punches and went on offensive mode saying Ian is a divisive character who is abusing Bogosi for some cheap political scores.

TK attended the press conference, but did not want to sit anywhere near Makgato. He walked into the room late and refused to take the seat he was offered at the top table. He was seen simultaneously recording the proceedings with his iPhone and iPad and later sneaked out of the room before the end of the briefing. Mmegi has, however, learnt that TK has all along been a part of the BPF strategy forums.

On stage TK has been a central committee (CC) member of the ruling party and a Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development minister, but behind closed doors and in the privacy of his gadgets, he was involved in charting the roadmap for taking down the BDP, Mmegi can reveal.

TK is an active member of a BPF WhatsApp group called ‘Roadmap 2019’.

Interestingly, the BPF group has three other Cabinet members – a minister, who was a casualty of the last Bulela Ditswe and two assistant ministers – are

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in the said group.

It is not clear what these BDP members are doing in a group of people plotting to take their very own party down, but from the leaked screenshots of conversations passed to Mmegi, it appears TK may actually be spying for the BPF. Mmegi is privy to some of the screenshots of the conversations within the group.  During the Tuesday press conference, TK reported back to the BPF group telling its members, “I am here listening to noise”. Other members in the group urged him to quit in protest, but he responded by saying them to, “wait”.

In Serowe North West the BDP has long been anticipating TK’s defection. The constituency does not have confidence in TK’s candidature, but they have been hoping for him to stay.

Yesterday, Mmegi gathered that the BDP activists together with high-ranking party officials were holding a series of secret crisis meetings in anticipation of TK’s defection. On Tuesday the ruling party’s secretary general, Mpho Balopi, announced that they have resolved to not hold primary elections going forward and ahead of the general election in October. 

He said that the candidates that came second in the BDP primary elections would fill in the future vacancies.In the BDP primary elections for Serowe North West constituency, TK had garnered 2,797 while Moemedi Dijeng was trailing behind him with 1,594 and right on Dijeng’s heels was Keletso Rakhudu with 462 votes.

So if TK decides to quit the party, Dijeng will be called up to represent the BDP. This week, Balopi insinuated that they were ‘more than ready’ for any defections because they have been following political developments.

Last week the patron of the BPF, Ian, who is also Bangwato Kgosikgolo, told his supporters in Palapye that he would consult with Serowe North West voters on whether they want TK to cross to BPF. 

TK inherited the constituency from Ian and is also the next in line for the Bangwato chieftaincy. Yesterday, TK’s phone ran unanswered and he did not respond to Mmegi messages. Sources in Serowe reported that TK was scheduled to hold meetings with the structures on Monday to decide on the next move.



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