The power behind the throne


It all started innocently enough. Following his now infamous 'Ke lelope' speech the then vice president, Mokgweetsi Masisi, now President, needed a major makeover.

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) chairmanship in Tonota last year provided the perfect opportunity for Mokgweetsi Masisi to win over BDP members most of whom thought he was undeserving and unlikeable compared to the likes of Tebelelo Seretse whose pedigree was well known. To defeat Seretse, Masisi needed a lot of money and fast. In came Monametsi Kalayamotho, formerly married to Louis Nchindo’s daughter with a wonderful network of Indian and Chinese business people.

With an Information Technology background not only did he manage to transform Masisi’s unlikeable image, but also swayed young voters to him.

Those in the know say Kalayamotho was the gatekeeper to Masisi. He would often be heard saying he has Masisi in the palm of his hand.

Critics say without Kalayamotho’s undeclared campaign funds, Masisi would never have been the chairperson of the BDP.

Insiders say Masisi was so beholden to Kalayamotho’s millions that he instructed one Cabinet minister to appoint him to the board of one parastatal against the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) misgivings.

Those in the know say the bond over money between the two men has resulted in political patronage that is likely to see Kalayamotho being appointed a specially elected Member of Parliament next year.

What is more, there is also suspicion that Kalayamotho has now become a proxy for Masisi in a number of businesses and government tenders.

Editor's Comment
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