Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s recent remarks at Kareng village during Ngami branch committee meeting of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) have divided party members in the constituency. The remarks have reignited the rivalry between former Ngami legislator Jacob Nkate and the incumbent MP Thato Kwerepe who are going to face each other in the BDP primary elections. Nkate faction believes that the VP’s remarks were aimed at de-campaigning him in favour of Kwerepe - the assistant minister for Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration. Masisi had urged Nkate not to challenge the incumbent MP Thato Kwerepe in the upcoming BDP primary elections in Ngami because that could cause the party to lose the constituency. He suggested that Nkate should rather challenge Duma Boko at Gaborone Bonnington North. Masisi had repeated issue at the Okavango election congress that was held at Kauxwi village, where had also discouraged Nkate from running for the Secretary General position.
To prove that he did not have any problem with Nkate, Masisi said he has asked President Ian Khama to nominate him as an additional member. “This is not good at all for a leader like him to say such remarks at that platform as he knows very well that Nkate has his followers,” a source who is affiliated to Nkate said. Nkate’s campaign manager Mmoedi Modiegi said Masisi’s utterances have angered some Nkate supporters, who feel he was decampaigning him. Modiegi – the chairman in the Maun Administrative Authority (MAA) and councilor for Bombadi/Thito in Maun – said Nkate will stand for BDP primary elections in Ngami in 2018. He said it is not for Masisi to tell Nkate to withdraw as the onus lies to the voters to decide. “Nkate has been an MP in Ngami for 15 years – he is not standing at Gaborone Bonnington North,” the outspoken councilor said. Nkate said that no one will decide for him the constituency he should contest in. He also made it clear that he will contest for Ngami constituency, saying Masisi’s remarks have caused confusion among his supporters.