•EXPRESSES DISSAPOINTMENT IN PELONOMI VENSON
• Calls New Jerusalem “shady faction’
Former Minister of Local Government, Pelonomi Venson Moitoi’s decision to challenge Masisi for the presidency of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has been met with disappointment and contempt by former President, Festus Mogae.
Last year Venson Moitoi threw a spanner in the BDP faction wars by announcing that she was breaking the automatic succession tradition, which has lasted for the past 50 years, by challenging Mokgweetsi Masisi at the BDP elective congress slated for July in Tonota.
The president immediately relieved Venson Moitoi of her duties and plunged the divided party further into factionalism between those who support her and those who rally behind Masisi.
In an interview with The Voice this past Monday Mogae threw his weight behind Masisi and blatantly made it clear that he was disappointed in Moitoi’s decision.
“I am totally flabbergasted and surprised by the action of Mma Venson (Moitoi),” Mogae said with repulsion written all over his face.
Asked why Moitoi would disappoint him, when according to the law she is well within her right to exercise her democratic right, Mogae defended his position and said, “She is someone I know and have worked with. I haven’t spoken to her about this though. What you must remember is that I appointed her Permanent secretary. She is a hardworking person and of course there was corruption allegations when she was at BHC and she left but I appointed her back as specially elected. That is how much I believed in her.”
Mogae continued, “But with her decision to challenge she has not consulted me, of course she is not my child she is an independent person but as someone I respected and like, I regret the action she has taken and I don’t support her. I am disappointed!”
Asked if his disapproval is not against what Mogae has always advocated for, which is increased women representation in positions of powerr in Government and whether he did not believe its time that Botswana had a female President, Mogae replied, “They will emerge under the right circumstances, we can’t have a woman President under all cost. One day yes we may have a female President, again this is what I say will authenticate our democracy.”
Asked if the extent of the factions would not lead to another breakaway party from the BDP Mogae said, “It’s possible that these other various shady groupings may break away from the party, I don’t have enough evidence, I don’t even know the strength of these alleged groups.”
Meanwhile, talking of opposition Politics Mogae noted it is only when the opposition becomes united that they would pose a real threat to the ruling party.
Mogae went further to endorse Alliance for Progressives President Ndaba Gaolathe.
“There are some guys in the opposition that I like, like Baledzi’s son Ndaba. Yes, I endorse him. I am more sympathetic to him than I am to the others. He is a clever young man. I also see the young Shaleshando (Dumelang) he is an effective politician,” Mogae said.