SEROWE: A Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) elder in Serowe, Ronald Mojakgomo has told a recent meeting recently how they were ‘ambushed’ by some party top leaders.
Mojakgomo, a retired senior police officer, said the senior party leaders amongst others included Vice President Slumber Tsogwane, secretary general Mpho Balopi and Serowe region chairperson, Keneilwe Monageng.
He told a partisan crowd that had filled the Lady Khama Memorial Hall and tents outside the hall, that they were shocked when they were called to a meeting without an agenda and made to wait for over three hours for the conveners to appear.
“As we continued to enquire about the conveners of the meeting, we came to know that they were meeting somewhere in the village and kept us waiting forever,” reported Mojakgomo who was speaking after another concerned party elder former permanent secretary and Ngwato Land Board chairman, Bernard Letsididi.
Mojakgomo indicated that, they were informed that people who attended the unannounced meeting included VP Tsogwane and some members of the party Central Committee.
“We wondered why there were two meetings instead of just one, but we patiently waited to know the import of the regional meeting upon which VP Tsogwane and some members of the Central Committee including Tebogo Masire, Alex Seametso within that delegation finally showed up.”
He was concerned that emerging from the purported clandestine meeting were some members of the Serowe region whom they wondered why they held a meeting with the party Central Committee without the knowledge of other party leadership within the region.
To his utter dismay and fear, local councillors, Bahiti Rapoo, Keneilwe Monageng, Bethuel Botumile, and others accompanied the BDP leadership.
Mojakgomo told the meeting that as party elders and regional leaders they were shocked that the party leadership had called a meeting without the knowledge of the regional committee, which he found scary.
“We had a worry about the purpose and general organisation of the meeting as to how come the Central Committee can call a meeting without informing some members of the leadership but selectively inform those that sat with them at a private meeting.”
He said they were also shocked to be informed that this year the party will not hold elective congress to choose new leadership and that they should allow those holding leadership positions to continue.
“We realised that the matter was now taking a serious twist. They also informed us that the party’s presidential race will be held much earlier in April and not July as earlier expected,” said Mojakgomo indicating that the meeting was now interesting.
It was immediately after this, Mojakgomo said, that those who have attended a meeting with some party leadership rose to support the motion whilst others were still stunned by the development.
A certain Tshotlego, former Cabinet minister, Tebelelo Seretse rose to support the position of the presidential race coming up in April, “that is when we realised that people were ready.”
Mojakgomo claimed that it was immediately thereafter that elections were openly held by show of hands.
But, worriedly, Mojakgomo claimed he was amongst the party elders who objected to the arrangement but his pleas were shot down as they went ahead anyway.
“To my disbelief, a senior party official like Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi was denied an opportunity to say a word or two in her area under the guise that she would be campaigning when she wanted to raise issues of procedure,” said Mojakgomo who insisted that the meeting was an arranged one in favour of President Masisi’s team.
He was further worried that if the persons of the VP and party secretary general could lead a crusade against another presidential candidate, Venson-Moitoi, where would be fairness under such circumstances.
He claimed further that Venson-Moitoi was told off not to say anything as she might campaign in the absence of Masisi.
Although the purpose of the meeting was purely to brief the constituents about what transpired at a meeting called by the party leadership, it would later be hijacked by Venson-Moitoi, former president Ian Khama and Tati East MP, Samson Moyo Guma who took turns condemning President Masisi.