The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has called an emergency national retreat for all existing and aspiring Members of Parliament, existing and aspiring councillors as well as branch chairmen and secretaries.
The meeting is scheduled to be held in Palapye at the Majestic Five Hotel’s Palapye International Convention Centre (PICC) on February 2nd.
Sources inside the ruling party revealed the emergency meeting was called after Masisi’s camp realised the threat that his opposer and BDP Presidential candidate, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi poses to him.
According to the insider, Masisi’s camp is not necessarily threatened by Moitoi herself but rather by the backing she has, especially from former President, Ian Khama.
“The problem is that every time Masisi is supposed to address democrats he goes on and on about Khama and threats to his life by some big shots (names known to this publication). At the last meeting some even called for Khama to attend the retreat so that the troubles could be solved once and for all,” said the highly placed source.
In a letter dated 22 January 2017, signed by the party’s Secretary General Mpho Balopi, it is revealed that those who have not been accredited prior to the meeting will not gain access into the meeting as it is exclusive.
“The Regional Secretary is requested to submit a list of the regions delegate names and membership numbers to Tsholetsa house by 1700hrs on Friday 25 January 2019 for accreditation. Non-accredited members will not be allowed into the venue and no accreditation will be done at the event,” reads the letter.
At the meeting, President Masisi is also expected to plead with the branch secretaries to support him at the party’s imminent elective congress.
“Some of the democrats to be honest with you could not wait for the former to end his term. But now some are of the view that Khama was better than Masisi,” the source claims.
Meanwhile, whilst there is talk of factionalism that has divided the BDP with party veteran Guma Moya, Roselyn Pansirah-Matshome and Moitoi already announcing their intentions, some BDP veterans have thrown their weight behind Masisi. These include the likes of Sheila Tlou, Jacob Nkate, Daniel Kwelagobe as well as former President Festus Mogae.