With eyes on the 2018 elective congress major political actors within the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) have commenced underground moves to try to outsmart one another in the forthcoming political outing. Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi has now taken the battle to Nonofho Molefhi’s doorstep, snatching his long-time ally and protégé. Molefhi is expected to challenge Masisi for the BDP chairmanship and the presidency ahead of the 2019 general elections. This is said to be giving Masisi sleepless nights and he is allegedly not leaving anything to chance as he tries all the political tactics to thwart him. Ties between the MP for Selibe Phikwe East Molefhi and Mayor for Selibe-Phikwe Amogelang Mojuta - political allies for more than a decade – are allegedly strained as the Presidential campaign for ruling party top post picks up.
Information picked up by this publication has revealed that Mojuta has now jumped ship and joined Vice President Masisi’s camp and discrediting his former ally. Recently Mojuta admitted in a media interview that Masisi has given him a car. Reports have shown that the two had fallen out just after Molefhi learned that Mojuta who was his campaign manager in the 2009 General Elections has now been approached by Masisi’s camp to challenge him at the 2018 BDP primaries and given a car. After Mojuta lost the BDP primaries to Lekang Mokukumani in 2009, Molefhi threw him a lifeline and appointed him as his campaign manager and later as constituency administrator. After the 2014 General Elections, Molefhi nominated Mojuta as specially elected councillor with the intention that he will replace him as the area MP in 2019 as he intended to retire.
For months, there have been speculations about the fallout between the two political allies, who had a peaceful and rancour-free tenure as Area MP and Mayor of the copper mining town. It was ahead of the BDP elective congress that Mojuta started to drift away from Molefhi and coordinated Masisi’s camp which was nicknamed ‘camp Dubai’ due to the luxurious lifestyle its members enjoyed. “Our efforts to show Mojuta that he needs to be patient and appreciate the investments that Molefhi has done on him bore no fruits as he continued to politically cohabitate with Masisi’s camp,” said a BDP elder in Phikwe. Molefhi, who is said to be enjoying support from across political divide to stand as Presidential candidate at the 2018 BDP congress, allegedly intend to stand against Masisi. Though he has not openly declared his candidature the political environment is heavily pregnant with speculation that he will challenge Masisi first for the BDP chairmanship and then for the party’s presidency.
Recently during the May Day celebrations in Selibe-Phikwe, Botswana Federation of Public Sector Union (BOFEPUSU) Labour Secretary Johnson Motshwarakgole called on Molefhi to make his intentions clear. Motshwarakgole, who was speaking in veiled language, urged Molefhi to stand up for the leadership of the country and not to let chancers lead the country. Contacted for comment on the strained relationship with his former ally, Mojuta asked to be sent questions but failed to respond at the time of going to press.