Political observers are reading more to the Botswana Democratic Party’s (BDP) eagerness to have Eric Molale win the Mabule- Goodhope by-election, saying President Ian Khama might be increasing his options on whom to pick as his successor. The fact that Molale could have afforded to have remained as a Specially Elected MP and Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration but chose to run for the seat has prompted claims that there is more for him at stake and possibly for the President.
The swift move at which he was re-appointed a few hours after resigning from Parliament and Minister points to what some dub as a deal between Molale and Khama. Molale was appointed Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) by Khama when he assumed office and only resigned to take a seat in Parliament. So serious is the BDP about winning this seat that senior party ministers and operatives have been deployed to the area. They are going up against the Barolong paramount chief – Lotlaamoreng - who is representing an opposition pact after the resignation of James Mathokgwane who held the seat for them.
However there is increased belief within the BDP that this is a seat they can win since the majority of councillors in the area are from the BDP and based on the resources at hand they could have an edge. Winning this seat will give the BDP an extra seat after the 2014 General Election which saw the party losing the popular vote and some of the critical seats it held. It will also give President Ian Khama a chance of nominating another Specially Elected member to enhance his party’s control in Parliament.
Sir Ketumile Masire had groomed his PSP in Festus Mogae to succeed him and hence based on the trust and loyalty Molale has demonstrated to Khama, observers are adamant that he could be his man. Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi has until this development been seen as an automatic successor to Khama. Masisi recently won the chairmanship of the BDP.