President Ian Khama has warned members of his ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) to desist from attacking the party publicly, going further to single out a Member of Parliament who has made it a habit to attack the party and its policies.
Khama warned when opening the BDP congress in Mmadinare on Friday morning that he would take action against the MP and those who have the habit of going on attacking the party. “I am warning those that attack the party to stop doing so. Some MP here has gone into that habit, forgetting the hard work the party put in to have him elected. I am warning him to desist from his tendencies, failing which I will take action,” said Khama.
Though he did not name the wayward MP, it is highly suspected that he was referring to the Francistown West MP, Ignatius Moswaane, who has not conformed to the party culture since he was elected to Parliament. He has often ignored party decisions at Parliamentary caucuses and has had a hostile relationship with the National Assembly Speaker Gladys Kokorwe and her deputy Kagiso Molatlhegi who attempted to tame him.
He labeled Molatlhegi a demi God, insisting after being denied a chance to table a motion on Botswana National Youth Council (BNYC) that he will not worship the Deputy Speaker. In the campaign for the BDP Central Committee elections, Moswaane has been very open about his opposition to the election of the Vice President as party chairperson, saying he has too much to handle. Moswaane has been the campaign manager for Ramadeluka Seretse, the former Minister of Defence, Justice and Security - who is going up against former Minister and Botswana ambassador to the US, Tebelelo Seretse and Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi for the party chairmanship seat.
Officially opening the BDP congress on Friday, Khama called on party members not to allow personal rivalries divide the party the way factions did in the past. He said while the BDP should be embraced as an opportunity for voters to choose their preferred candidates, party members should not allow the process to divide them as this will lead to a loss of seats in national elections.
He advised party members to vote in those who will follow the party agenda and not theirs and who will put the BDP on good standing for the 2019 general elections. Khama also called on the BDP members to work with him to rid the party of the scourge of factions.
Meanwhile VP Masisi said on Friday that allegations that people were harrased at his camp at the BDP Congress in Mmadinare were false and meant to tarnish his name. "We have been welcoming everyone to our camp; democrats from all walks of life continue to flock to our camp and all these allegations of violence and intimidation are nothing but false," said Masisi.