Others: Satar Dada P 1 million; Jackdish Shah P1 million; Mpho Balopi P500 000; Masisi P250 000; Slumber Tsogwane P250 000; Tshekedi Khama P250 000; Women's wing P500 000
The wealthy democrats put on a show at the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Extra Ordinary Congress in Gaborone on Friday evening pledging from individual coffers money in excess of P7million towards the 2019 national election campaign.
Led by former President Ian Khama, who despite arriving late at the congress, later stole the show by leading the pledges with a whooping P1 million on the spot. Thereafter the floodgates were opened with party Treasurer Satar Dada and his deputy Jagdish Shah matching Khama pound for pound by pledging the same amount. According to sources inside the closed session, pledges for the 2019 general elections reached over P7 million on Friday night with more expected to keep flowing in.
The congress was the first one that President Masisi addressed as the party president and Head of State and acknowledged the role that former Presidents Khama and Festus Mogae have played.
In his address Masisi implored the BDP members to work together and summon their efforts and intellectual energies to grow the party and respond soundly to the challenges of their time, especially employment and sustainable wealth creation for the nation.
On the coming primaries for the 39 BDP-held constituencies, Masisi said that they are aware that they are likely to attract large number of contestants because the prospects of winning the general elections are very high.
“Regrettably, previous fortunes in these areas have turned out to brew more controversy and contestation from unsuccessful contestants. Therefore, I plead with you to accept in principle that even with the above efforts to achieve free and fair elections in an election, there can only be one winner ,” he pleaded with BDP members.
He cautioned them not to allow their personal aspirations and prospects of office to derail them from objectives and principles of the party.
President Masisi informed democrats that the Political and Elections Commission has reported cases in some constituencies where branches and interested parties engage in unfair practices that register only those members perceived to support or favour particular candidates.
“To resolve these matters, PEEC will supervise the conduct of open mass registration exercise at these constituencies to ensure that all are accorded equal opportunity to register,” he said to the applause of members in the hall.
Masisi noted that proper membership registration and sanitisation of the voters’ roll is critical to the conduct of free and fair elections and they must safeguard and ensure sanctity of their internal electoral system and processes.
Though Khama is known to be very strict on time on Friday he arrived very late at the BDP Extra Ordinary Congress.
As the closing session was about to start, Khama entered the hall and everything grounded to a halt as democrats turned to offer him a standing ovation distracting the proceedings.
Instead of moving to the top table and sit next to President Masisi, Khama chose to sit at the back with Minister of Transport and Communications Kitso Mokaila and Member of Parliament for Nata/Gweta Paulson Majaga. BDP Secretary General Mpho Balopi was forced to introduce him whilst he was still sitting at the back but he would later move to the stage and President Masisi welcomed him.