The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) dealt a heavy blow to Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) faction – New Jerusalem faction – on Tuesday by refusing to move Motion of No Confidence against President Mokgweetsi Masisi.
Highly sources, who attended the Tuesday NEC meeting, revealed that party President Advocate Duma Boko told the committee that he has been approached by some BDP MPs who wanted the UDC to table the motion against President Masisi.
Members of the UDC NEC, who attended the meeting, said they were taken aback by the revelation by their leader on why he wants to be used as political mercenary by the BDP faction.
“He informed us that the faction has promised that they have 18 MPs and if they combine the numbers with those of the UDC the motion can sail through,” revealed the source.
Most of the NEC members are said to have opposed the move, reasoning that it will compromise the UDC and portray them as errand boys for the estranged BDP members.
“Our focus is to offer alternative rather meddling in the internal politics of the BDP which might even affect us,” revealed the source.
Contacted for comment UDC Publicity Secretary Moeti Mohwasa denied that the issue was discussed at the Tuesday meeting.
Last year when Boko tabled the motion on a certificate of urgency, BCP President Dumelang Saleshando said he was not informed beforehand about the motion but the then UDC Vice President Sidney Pilane said Boko informed him.
“There was no need for Boko to inform Saleshando as this was an issue of constitutionality which he is not accustomed to,” said Pilane last year.
The motion failed to both gain passage and garner support even from the entire opposition bench as members of Alliance for Progressives (AP) abstained from voting.
BDP MPs aligned with NJ, which supports Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi as presidential candidate, are said to be afraid to come forward and present the motion themselves; lest they face the wrath of the party leadership.
The faction, which has not been doing well in regional and branch congresses as almost all regions has endorsed Masisi, want the motion to be tabled before the congress in Kang.
Last year President Masisi slapped former parliamentary candidate for Mogoditshane, Tshepang Mabaila with five-year suspension after it was found that he mobilised MPs to support the Motion of No Confidence tabled by Boko.
“It is alleged further that you have also shown that you are against party president and promoted the interests of other parties against the BDP by mobilizing opposition members and BDP members to vote for a motion of no confidence tabled by the Leader of Opposition,” stated the letter suspending Mabaila from the party.
The UDC NEC, which is made up of representatives from Botswana National Front (BNF), Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and Botswana Peoples Party (BPP), is alleged to have reasoned that the first motion of no confidence did not only dent the image of the alliance but also cartooned their president.
After Boko tabled the motion he was labeled a ‘hired gun’ for former President Ian Khama who has fallen out with his predecessor.
It was alleged that Boko was boosted financially by Khama in order to hold a congress in Rakops last year, allegations that he has vehemently denied.
It was revealed that most of the issues raised in the motion of no confidence by Boko formed part of a letter that Khama wrote to President Masisi complaining about how former Director of Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) Isaac Kgosi was dismissed. Khama has publicly confirmed his friendship with the UDC President.
In an interview after the failed motion Boko confirmed that he had met Khama and that they had a friendly chat since they were not enemies.
Boko in debating the motion defended Khama’s request to have Kgosi re-appointed as his Private Secretary following the retirement of the then Private secretary.
“Is there anything that prevents his appointment lawfully? No. When he was removed from his office as Director General of the DIS, did anybody suggest that he had committed an offence? Was he convicted? Was he tried? Was there a hearing? No! He simply was retired at the pleasure of the President,” said Boko, inviting a hail of hot coals descending on him from Minister of Defence, Justice and Security Shaw Kgathi.
“I am wondering since when did Boko start loving former President Khama? It is like hearing Satan praising you when you are a Christian, you ask yourself if you will enter the Kingdom of God,” said Kgathi to the laughter of Parliamentarians.
Kgosi has since been detained and has had the security agents raid, search and seize documents and equipment from some of his properties.
When responding to the motion of no confidence last year, assistant Minister of Tertiary Education Fidelis Molao came with guns blazing accusing Boko of being a hired gun and rubble rousing for certain people.
“This Motion has been brought to the House and I opined that the mover of the Motion is a hired gun and I stick by it. He is doing the bidding for certain people, and it is very dangerous Mr Speaker,” said Molao, refusing to state names of those certain people.