VP Merafhe will not be President

Staff Writer
Member of Parliament for Mahalapye West, Mompati Merafhe has been duly elected Vice President but he will not become President when Khama leaves at the end of his term. When addressing the BDP caucus shortly after he was inaugurated as the fourth President of the Republic of Botswana, President Ian Khama informed caucus that he has chosen Merafhe to be his deputy for a few years, the BDP MPs told Mmegi yesterday.

"He made it clear that by the end of his term, he would have been served by two vice presidents, with Merafhe being one, and the other one would eventually succeed him as President in April 2018," a BDP MP said.

Several BDP MPs who attended the caucus, whose mandate was to endorse Khama's choice of vice president, have confirmed that indeed Khama has informed them about the position on the vice presidency and his succession plans.

BDP Executive Secretary, Comma Serema, who also served as the secretary to the caucus, said he was not in a position to discuss matters of the caucus with the public.
"Yes, I served the party caucus as the secretary yesterday. But as the secretary, my hands are really tied. I am not allowed to discuss caucus business. In fact the position is that caucus business must remain within caucus," Serema said.

Recently the BDP special congress at Boipuso Hall took a resolution making caucus decisions binding on BDP MPs.

At the same caucus, the BDP MPs are said to have endorsed Khama's

nomination with MPs Daniel Kwelagobe and Ponatshego Kedikilwe calling on both Merafhe and Khama to do all they can to ensure that they always act in a way that will bring unity within the party.

While endorsing Khama's choice of Vice President, Kwelagobe is said to have decried factionalism in the party, 'particularly if it is encouraged by those in authority'.

According to the MPs, Khama is said to have announced at the caucus that he would reappoint his cabinet and encouraged MPs to switch on their cell phones on in order for him to communicate cabinet appointments to them.

Unlike the usual practice where the President personally calls ministers to inform them about their appointments, Khama apparently told the caucus that some calls will be made by his office staff.

After the adjournment of parliament yesterday, ministers who had served in Mogae's cabinet until Monday evening were on a knife edge not knowing whether they would make it into cabinet or not.

Some backbenchers were hopeful, believing they could find their way into Khama's cabinet.



The Parliamentary DIS

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