In a week filled with relentless political battles within the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) after the seismic announcement by former President Ian Khama that he is going to decide his political future within the party, the royal Ngwato family is said to have been shaken.
A highly placed source within the Ngwato royal family has revealed that Khama does not enjoy support from some of his siblings regarding his political decision. “He has informed the family that he wants to resign from the party and focus on his charity work and freely campaign for candidates of his choice,” the source intimated.
Khama is said to have told his close family that he is basing his decision on the recommendation from the political consultants that he engaged who advised that he should consider resigning from the BDP. “Mr Khama retains affection in the hearts of many Botswana people. Footage of his community upliftement visits to communities show a man of magnetism and is still able to rouse the crowds. It is unlikely his predecessor in retirement could retain the appeal Mr Khama still does. In this context if the above options are considered unviable, Mr Khama can still resign from BDP and support opposition candidates well-disposed to him without him seeking return to office in the case of a change of government. The relationship between the new government and Mr Khama will be a subject of negotiations and agreements before any commitments can be made”, states the report.
Khama who is on a political bromance with Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) President Duma Boko is said to be ready to help the party in their 2019 campaign especially in the Central District.
“He fears that if he continues to endorse opposition candidates whilst still under BDP they might embarrass him with suspension from the party," said a source.
In a meeting allegedly called by their elder sister Jacqueline Khama at their residence in Ruretse, the two brothers Tshekedi and Anthony are said to have begged their brother to reconsider his decision to take sabbatical leave from the BDP.
Just like the Lady Khama meeting the family is expected not to attend to offer support to their brother.
Though the meeting was alleged to be convened by Kgosikgolo to address his subjects, the organizers of the meeting are not members of the royal family but rather members of the New Jerusalem faction. The chief organizer is the husband to former cabinet minister Pelonomi Venson Moitoi, Prince Moitoi who was campaign manager for his wife against President Masisi.
He was also chief organizer for the Lady Khama meeting which was alleged to have been organised by the village elders regarding the BDP presidential elections.
The brothers and the sister Jacqueline are said to have told Khama that should he leave the BDP and align with the opposition he will be on his own. “Their worry is that their elder just like when he was the Head of State he has surrounded himself with people who mislead him for their own political advantages,” revealed the source.
Khama made up his mind that he is leaving the BDP after two of his loyal politicians, Member of Parliament for Maunatlala-Lerala was suspended from the party and Member of Parliament for Tati East Samson Moyo Guma was slapped with expulsion from the party.
Contacted for a comment whether they will attend the meeting, Tshekedi Khama asked to be sent a short message was he in a kgotla meeting but did not respond.
The Khama meeting is said to have ruffled feathers within the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) as there is fear that his association with the party might work against them.
Though Boko and UDC have vehemently denied that they are working with Khama, on Thursday when addressing UDC members in Serowe, Boko let the cat out and urged Serowe residents to attend the meeting in large numbers. “Our Kgosikgolo is calling us and we must go and attend the meeting. I have warned him in the past that he should not appoint Masisi as his Vice president as he is immature,” he revealed.
Khama and Boko are alleged to have struck a deal that UDC will give Maele the Maunatlala-Lerala constituency to contest under the umbrella.
This is said to have not sat well with their parliamentary candidate Kabo Ketshogile who said he is not going to give way for Maele.
Ketshogile said that he has worked hard for the constituency and won’t be bulldozed.
In 2014 UDC sacrificed their candidate for Tonota Maokaneng Bontshetse and opted for Pono Moatlhodi who has resigned from the BDP. He was the incumbent MP for Tonota.
“Boko might use the same tact that was applied in 2014 and we might see even parliamentary candidate for Tati West asked to give way for Moyo Guma,” revealed a source within the UDC.
Some within the UDC have revealed that BDP might use the same strategy they used against Venson Moitoi when she was endorsed by Khama that she is just being used as political pawn.