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Masisi engages party structures on feud

OARABILE MOSIKARE TSAONE BASIMANEBOTLHE
Khama and Masisi PIC: THALEFANG CHARLES
President Mokgweetsi Masisi is having sleepless nights because of the conflict between him and his predecessor, Ian Khama.

Masisi is traversing the length and breadth of the country addressing Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) regions in an effort to bring the party faithful to his corner. “Masisi is selling the idea of calling a BDP special congress to press his issues concerning Khama to the democrats,” one BDP diehard privy to details revealed.

On Tuesday afternoon Masisi, BDP secretary general Mpho Balopi and deputy secretary general Shaw Kgathi were in Masunga addressing a team-building exercise and the agenda was his feud with Khama.

During his maiden State of the Nation Address, Masisi took an unprecedented move, speaking about the feud between him and the former president, leaving the nation shocked when he admitted the transition has not been smooth. Masisi took over from Khama on April 1, 2018 and ever since the two leaders do not see eye to eye.

“Masisi needs the BDP on his side in this current standoff with Khama. In his address in Masunga he explained that if the special congress could be called earlier, his tussle with his predecessor might end once and for all,” said the BDP member who attended the meeting. Apparently, about 500 BDP members attended the team-building exercise.

It is alleged that during the meeting, former Nata-Gweta MP Oliphant Mfa said all those who were giving Masisi headache should be expelled from the party. He even said Masisi is not doing anything wrong by being seemingly biased to the villages of Kanye, Moshupa and Thamaga when he hires senior public servants. Apparently, he reasoned that Khama was biased towards people from the north during his presidency.

Another speaker, Tati West chairperson Jiving Munyamane submitted that the BDP should proceed with elective congress at which the incumbents will be given a free pass.

The party is scheduled to hold elective national

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and women’s wing congresses next year. The BDP National Youth Wing was also supposed to hold the congress next year but it has since been postponed to 2019.

Kgathi is said to have told the gathering that he heard from the grapevine that some members of the BDP National Youth Executive Committee are intending to take the party to court for postponing their elective congress adding that “this is tantamount to indiscipline”. Kgathi is also alleged to have implied that the party should postpone all the elective congresses planned for next year.

“This team-building exercise does not have binding resolutions and whatever people say during the meetings cannot be used to postpone the elective congresses. Even though the resolutions are not binding they can set the agenda,” said the BDP senior member.

Masisi’s next step is Kanye today [November 23] where he is expected to repeat what he told the democrats in Masunga.

Balopi confirmed that the party president is meeting party structures to brief them about the status of the party.  “It is true president had to tell party members about what they are reading in the papers and see on social media videos.

“Our meetings are internal. The party members had assured the president that they would give him support like what they did with other presidents. He also told members that he is willing to engage the former president Khama so that there is peace in the party,” Balopi said.

He said from Kanye, Masisi will on November 30 brief Kang residents about the state of the party. He however refused to discuss other issues stating that they are internal and the party will make resolutions after the president has finished meeting all party structures.



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