SEROWE: Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) parliamentary hopeful in Boteti-West, Sam Digwa is set to benefit from the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) intra-party squabbles ahead of the 2019 general elections.
If Khama’s targeted de-campaigning of Vice President Slumber Tsogwane could live up to expectations the ruling BDP that won the constituency with a slim margin in 2014 could have a tough time.
In the last general elections, Tsogwane representing the BDP won the constituency via 5,790 votes followed by Digwa’s 5,549 votes whilst the Botswana Congress Party’s (BCP) Tjiliga Letsholo got 622 votes.
It is true that the last elections’ dynamics may have been overtaken by political developments. For instance, the opposition has joined hands for the impending general elections and from the statistics of the last general elections the opposition is much stronger.
On the other hand, Tsogwane’s status has changed now as the Vice President as then he was only a Cabinet minister. Now, he has access to more state resources, which leave him elevated a bit higher than his competition.
Whilst the under resourced opposition has put its efforts together in an endeavour to oust the BDP and particularly frustrate Masisi’s most trusted ally, Tsogwane now enters the bruised Khama seemingly as the Messiah.
At his Serowe tribal meeting last Saturday targeting Bangwato tribesmen and women across the political divide, Khama vented out his frustrations about Tsogwane whom he described as a once calm and clean politician now struggling with “politics of the stomach”.
At the centre of their differences is a recent party meeting in Palapye where Tsogwane is accused to have pleaded with constituents to rebel against Khama. It, however, turned out that Khama’s tribal loyalists took up the matter with their chief and rebelled against Tsogwane.
“I am disappointed with Tsogwane, one of the politicians who for a long time exhibited maturity, calmness, fairness and appeared like a gentleman,” Khama said at the Serowe meeting highlighting that concerned tribal loyalists also BDP diehards visited his office in Gaborone to present the offending minutes of the Tsogwane meeting to him.
He promised Bangwato that he would deal with Tsogwane, one of his subjects by raiding his constituency in no time and “teach him (Tsogwane) a lesson”. It was apparent that Khama had deliberately lined up opposition politician, Digwa to speak at the meeting to show his subjects that his desire to work with the UDC and other opposition formations was a sealed deal.
Digwa has been assured of a place to speak at Khama’s Boteti rallies as he is the UDC parliamentary hopeful in the area. There were other independent candidates drawn from across the parties who were apparently given VIP status at the Khama address.
To Khama, Tsogwane and Masisi were the leading troublemakers in the BDP who are apparently tormenting him making it difficult for him to continue with the BDP.
Just when Khama was just about to wrap up his weekend meeting, the master of ceremonies, Ronald Mojakgomo announced that he has been requested to give Digwa a few minutes to address the meeting something that was very uncharacteristic of Khama the politician and even as Bangwato Kgosikgolo before.
Digwa the politician took that opportunity to hit hard at Tsogwane whom he said had long failed to articulate the problems between Khama and the Masisi administration for the benefit of the constituents.
He presented Tsogwane as a politician who has no regard for his Kgosikgolo encouraging the constituents to rebel against him and use their power to usher in the new political leadership of the UDC.
“We are led by a government that has no regard for our chiefs as both Masisi and his right hand man Tsogwane do as they please with our chief,” he said.
Digwa was elated that his Kgosikgolo has finally taken a step to exit a party whose leadership belittled him. He was ready to grace Khama’s meetings in Boteti as the constituents need to hear from the horse’s mouth as regards the ill treatment of their Kgosikgolo.
“We are ready to work with you and anyone for that matter in our endeavour to oust Tsogwane and his party and we are destined to win majority seats in Parliament and ultimately take over government.”