Former President Festus Mogae took many people by surprise when he appeared alongside President Mokgweetsi Masisi at Tlokweng parliamentary candidate launch over the weekend to give the latter hope and comfort ahead of the general elections due next week.
For a long time Mogae has been absent from the BDP campaign ever since the fallout between Masisi and his predecessor Ian Khama took centre stage in local politics. Setting the record straight, Mogae said if history on the formation or leadership of BDP is something to go by Masisi is entitled to lead the party. He said Masisi’s father the late Setlhomo Masisi was one of the founding fathers of the BDP who worked alongside party stalwarts like Sir Seretse Khama and Sir Ketumile Masire. “Moswi Rragwe Tautona Mokgweetsi Masisi ke mongwe wa bathai ba party ya Domkraga. Tautona Masisi ga a kopane le BDP mo seterateng jaaka batho ba akanya, o mo tshwanelong ya gagwe. (The later father to President Masisi is one of the BDP founders. So president Masisi is not leading the party by mistake like some people think, he is a legitimate leader,” Dr Mogae said.
In vernacular the statement by Dr Mogae has been understood by many that he was lashing out former President Ian Khama who had the tendency of associating BDP brand to his father alone.
Still at the launch, Mogae reminded Masisi that he must know that he is not the first to encounter severe factions in the ruling party that gave birth to new party Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF). He added that he has been observing a feud between Masisi and his predecessor Ian Khama, noting that he had hoped that a peace deal will be found but the infighting only led to BDP split later on. “BDP has the history of factions and I want to urge you president not to lose focus. What has happened in the recent months has to pass and accept the splinter party from BDP has ensued again. I also experienced divisions and former president the late Sir Ketumile Masire also had factional issues during his time. It is not new but we will conquer this again too,” Mogae said.
Mogae had a challenging period as the BDP leader, having to parry an onslaught from the then strong Kedikilwe-Kwelagobe led ‘Barata Phathi’, a marginalized faction gave Mogae sleepless nights.
Seretse dares SKI, TK
The BDP’s National Campaigns Manager for 2019 general elections, Tebelelo Seretse, took a swipe at first president Sir Seretse Khama's sons, Ian Khama and Tshekedi Khama. Seretse said he respects the founding president Seretse Khama’s legacy but what his sons have done by leaving the party he founded comes as disgrace to the legacy of late Seretse Khama.
She said the BDP fully respects SKI and TK’s decision to leave the party in their best interest but she warned them that BDP still remains strong without them. “BDP was led by great former statesmen in Sir Seretse Khama and Sir Ketumile Masire. Former president Ian Khama was also a great leader of BDP and we could have still loved him to be associated with the party but due to circumstances he left, we respect that but BDP is bigger than an individual. We are going to still win all Serowe constituencies,” said confident Seretse.
She said the taking part of former president Ian Khama in politics masquerading as Kgosikgolo is against the will of Seretse Khama as she recalled the lyrics that he whispered into Ian’s ears. “Sir Seretse Khama told his son (Ian) publicly that he is Kgosikgolo within the boundaries of Bangwato territory only but not the entire Botswana. But Ian is abusing the title now. I feel sorry for our founding president’s waning legacy that he had laid before,” Seretse added.