The Botswana National Front (BNF) secretary general (SG) and Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) spokesperson, Moeti Mohwasa will not be contesting for party position at the July Congress.
Sources close to Mohwasa, who bows out after a little over 14 years of service in the central committee, says he wants to give other party members a chance to prove themselves.
In previous elections, Mohwasa was the face of both the UDC and BNF and was known by many as a core defender of the party, especially when under attack from opponents.
He started his political journey in a lower structure as a deputy chairperson in a cell structure in Selebi-Phikwe, then later as chairperson of the youth league and branch committee.
In 2005 to 2016 Mohwasa became publicity secretary of the party where his writing and voice started to be known by most of the people.
Mohwasa became very popular under the leadership of Otsweletse Moupo when party members and other people were criticising him for being broke and stranded in London, United Kingdom.
By then, the BNF became under scrutiny and that led to formation of factions, one of which was led by Moupo and another by Dr Kathleen Letshabo.
That was where Mohwasa played a major role including the time that Duma Boko was recruited for the BNF presidency.
“No one can doubt the role played by Mohwasa in the BNF. He has served the party diligently but it is time he paved way for others. We believe he could do well also at UDC, which is still our baby. The BNF needs a central committee, which is going to work tirelessly to revive it. It needs robust members and SG who can go around the country to revive structures. Mind you the party has been concentrating much on building UDC and somehow that affected its performance,” the source said.
Another source said the reason why Mohwasa is not contesting is because he had read the mood on the ground that
“I do not think he could win the election. Mohwasa has worked for this party for a long and knows the mood of the members very well. He was not forced to step down, he genuinely opted for that. He has love of the party and no one can take it away from him and he will still be our party leader,” the source said.
The source added he does not believe that most of the people in the party central committee would win elections at the congress since members want new faces except for party presidency. The source emphasised that despite Boko’s failures, he would still win the party presidency.
Mohwasa said he cannot comment on the issue until the writ of the congress is out. Mmegi has learnt that some cadres who might contest for the secretary general position include Ketlhalefile Motshegwa and Dr Micus Chimbombi amongst others.
The source continued: “You must understand that when the party is in trouble, its old members come back to revive it and to evaluate other things without fear or favour”. Political analyst Lesole Machacha said.
Mohwasa has served his party for years and it might genuinely not want to contest.
“He has done so well. Maybe he wants to give others a chance for them to serve the party. In the last 10 years, Mohwasa fought for the party with everything he had to maintain its good image. Again one cannot rule out that maybe there are internal fights if one knows the BNF well. It is premature to tell. It will not be wrong for him not to contest and in fact it is a good spirit for someone like him,” Machacha said.