The race for the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) chairmanship position is said to the getting uglier each passing day as the two camps are jostling for votes and financiers. The race has pitted the incumbent Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi and Minister of Infrastructure and Housing Development Nonofho Molefhi. Recently there was scuffle at the Francistown region elections which, according to those who witnessed the events, resulted with members supporting Molefhi’s faction beating Masisi’s supporter who reported the matter to the police. Masisi, who is alleged to be close to the Director of Directorate of Intelligence Security Services (DISS) Isaac Kgosi, is said to be using the connection to spy on Molefhi. In an interview recently, an MP belonging to Molefhi’s camp revealed in confidence that the DISS are tailing their candidate. “We know that they are now using security agents to spy on our camp and this will not deter us,” said the outspoken MP who preferred anonymity. He said one of the reasons that Molefhi and some of his lobby group members are under surveillance is to establish who their financiers are. It was recently revealed that Masisi has the financial backing of the Asian community who have already donated more than P10 million to him. The MP said they have also advised Molefhi to resign from cabinet as they might start sending him to international assignments as way of derailing his campaign. This matter reached Parliament floor on Friday, with the MP for Francistown South Wynter Mmolotsi reiterating the suspicion by Molefhi’s camp that he is under surveillance from the DISS. Rising on a point of procedure, Mmolotsi revealed that they are aware that the DISS is used to fight BDP internal wars. “I want to ask the Minister Molefhi if he is aware that members of DISS have established a mini office in front of his house?” he asked rhetorically.
Mmolotsi was adding to what the Leader of Opposition Duma Boko said when he proclaimed that he was shocked that Molefhi was supporting the supplementary budget for DISS, yet he was one of their targets. “Of all the people I am surprised you are here presenting the supplementary budget asking for DISS to be given the P15 million yet I suspect that they have put you under surveillance. You are singing in your chains,” hit out Boko to Molefhi. The MP for Selibe Phikwe West Dithapelo Keorapetse also raised a suspicion that he strongly suspects that DISS is being used to provide slush funds for a certain faction within the BDP. “It is surprising that the other faction is splashing money to try to lure voters to their side and there are allegations that the lobby group has close ties with some DISS top brass,” revealed Keorapetse. When it was his time to respond to the allegations, Molefhi who was acting for the Minister of Finance and Economic Development failed to discuss surveillance claims but insisted that DISS needs the additional amount to honour invoices for maintenance of computer systems. He appealed to MPs to be patient with DISS as it was a new institution which is trying to find its feet and advised them to desist from attaching it to individuals.