KANG: Months of intense campaigns for Botswana Democratic Party’s (BDP) presidential position, ended up with no contest.
This was so after Pelonomi Venson- Moitoi withdrew from the presidential race at the 11th hour stating that she would not take part in a ‘sham’ election.
President Mokgweetsi Masisi was declared the presidential candidate and it all seemed like business as usual. Venson–Moitoi on Friday morning addressed a press conference at her camp where she announced that she would no longer be taking part in the election.
The congress commenced at Matsha Community College at 4pm with party presidential election being the first on the agenda. Just as the election committee led by Mpho Molomo had called Venson- Moitoi’s name three times for her to accept nomination, Directorate of Intelligence and Security boss. Peter Magosi presented them with a letter from her.
Venson- Moitoi had just delivered the letter to him outside the election venue and went back to her camp. Masisi was then declared the presidential candidate for the party. On Saturday, Masisi gave a keynote address where he thanked party members for trusting him.
“I stand here proud to have been given the privilege to lead our great party, which is a heavy responsibility that I am ready to carry out diligently. My promise to you is that I am ready to serve all democrats and Batswana unreservedly,” he said.
Masisi congratulated Venson- Moitoi for launching her campaign for the presidency of the party and thanked her supporters. “I call upon all of you to appreciate the democratic process that has shaped our party for a long time, and more importantly to unite and work even harder to secure a BDP victory in the upcoming general election,” Masisi said.
He added that it was now time for ‘democrats’ to come together as one united and focussed party to galvanise Batswana as a unified people.
“If there is anyone out there who still doubts that Botswana is a place where all things are possible, who still wonders if the dream of our founders is alive in our democracy, today’s occasion my fellow democrats has provided a clear and unequivocal answer.”
He said they would address new challenges through new approaches anchored on inclusivity, innovation and freedom.
“Our campaign must engage Batswana, reconnect them to the nation’s tried and tested political process, and sell to them the utility of an inclusive socio- economic approach as a preposition for a shared prosperity and an economy that works for all,” he said.
Masisi introduced to ‘democrats’ a BDP core strategy targeting their members named Goora-motho.
“Goora-motho go thebe phatshwa. The proverb means that there is no better place than one’s home or one’s base. Inherent in this name is that there is no better place for winners and losers of all intra-party contests than the BDP itself,” he said.
“Goora-motho communicates the strength and security of the BDP to all its members. It counsels that even after the most heated competition, members must always, and without exception remain loyal to the party. We will raise each other up and walk tall together as one united party to conquer the ultimate prize, the national election.”
Masisi is confident that they will win this year’s election. He said they would do that by sending a clear message that will inspire and appeal to every voter, the traditional BDP voter, the opposition aligned voter and the non-aligned voter.