Factions expected to emerge
Factions are already emerging within the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) as party members begin to jostle Central Committee positions.
The ruling party will finally hold its National Congress in July after it was postponed last year as fears that it could destabilise campaigns ahead of the general election mounted.
Information reaching this publication has indicated that some big names already lining up for the Secretary General position following alleged instruction from President Mokgweetsi Masisi to exclude the current SG, Mpho Balopi from the race.
This, a source has revealed, has opened up for many BDP members who fancy their chances to occupy one of the most powerful positions within the party.
According to party insiders, Dorcas Makgato’s appointment as the ambassador to Australia brought to an end a strong faction that she was expected to lead.
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“We had expected her to challenge the Vice President, Slumber Tsogwane for Chairperson’s position with other strong candidates vying for other positions such as SG and Treasurer. However, all came to an end the moment she accepted her new post. However, Do not rule out another lobby list in the last days because a number of people have been overlooked in the last appointments and they are ready to try for positions in the CC,” explained the source.
Some of the names that have been mentioned include, former Minister of Health and Wellness, Alfred Madigele, Member of Parliament for Molepolole South and also a Minister for Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng, former Minister of Defence, Justice and Security and also current Deputy Secretary General, Shaw Kgathi, 2019 BDP campaign Chairperson, Tebelelo Seretse, former MP for Palapye Boyce Sebetela and BDP’s Chairman of Communications and International Relations Committee, Kagelelo Kentse.
Seretse is said to be still weighing her options on whether to contest for SG, Women’s league Chair or Treasurer. This comes after unconfirmed reports have indicated that the current treasurer; Satar Dada was likely to step down.
“If Seretse goes for the position of treasurer, she is likely to be pitted against Jagdish Shah, who is the Deputy Treasurer. All this will happen only if Dada steps down,’ said the source.
The only unchallenged candidate at the time of going to press was Raymond Malinga, although there are allegations that he is not Tsogwane’s preferred candidate.
“Malinga will be contesting for the Deputy SG position and has quite a good following within the party structures,” added the source.
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When contacted for a comment, Madigele confirmed having shown interest in the SG position.
“Yes, I am considering running for central committee, specifically SG position. I believe I have the zest, zeal intellect and leadership qualities to run the secretariat,” he confirmed.
On the other hand Kentse could only say, “My name must be mentioned as a democrat serving diligently as Chairman of communications.” Morwaeng denied having shown interest.
“I am not contesting for SG position,” he said in response. Efforts to get a comment from Kgathi, Malinga and Seretse failed, as they did not respond to messages sent to their phones.