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Masisi: I will be President

Publishing Date : 01 June, 2015

Author : AUBREY LUTE

VP says he must prepare himself for Presidency now


Vice President, Mokgweetsi Masisi who is lobbying to become the next chairman of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has pronounced his claim to the throne this week at a meeting organised to launch his bid for chairmanship and announce his campaign team in Kanye on Monday.


Briefing profiled members of the ruling party in the southern region on Monday, Masisi, who was handpicked by President Lt Gen Ian Khama to become his right hand man during his last term of office, told party members that he will be President of the party and country come 2018. Ministers, Councillors, and other former cabinet ministers and veterans attended the meeting.


Ministers who attended the meeting include Minister of Agriculture, Patrick Ralotsia; Assistant Minister of Trade, Sadique Kebonang; and Assistant Minister of Health, Dr Alfred Madigele. All BDP Members of Parliament in the Southern District attended. Ishmael Legwaila was announced as the National campaign manager for Masisi’s bid for chairmanship.


Some BDP members who attended the meeting told this publication that the Vice President did not mince his words when challenged all those who doubt his popularity to stand up now and take him head on. “He made it clear that he is surprised that people are postponing their intentions to challenge him for positions in the party. I am ready for the challenge now, he said,” one of those who attended the meeting explained.


A defiant Masisi probably got provoked by sentiments that he is an unpopular Vice President and that there are BDP members who are supposedly lined up to challenge him for the presidency of the BDP as soon as President Khama vacates the scene.

Masisi’s unpopularity was extensively measured through the Moshupa-Thamaga constituency council bye-election that saw the ruling party lose by a good margin to the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) immediately after a general election in which the latter was associated with the political definition of decline. “If I am very unpopular, why should people wait for 2017,” he remarked, our informer/s said.


According to our informers, Masisi made it clear that being Vice President cannot stop him from being party chairman. “I am going to be president and run the country while at the same time I will be president of the party. I am surprised that people now assume I cannot be vice president and party chairman at the same time,” he is said to have told his listeners. 

The Vice President also sold the argument that as a president in waiting, he should fix the party the way he wants so that by the time he is president, he knows every detail of the organisation.


Masisi also had a few musings on reports that Tati East Member of Parliament, Samson Guma Moyo will dent his support for the chairmanship bid. He said there is no need for such issues to be turned into corner politics, “issues must be addressed now,” he said demonstrating his appreciation of the support he is getting from Guma.

The Tati East legislator has been linked to controversy every time there is a BDP internal election. After his victory at Maun congress as chairman, Guma was accused of using his financial resources to entice delegates. He was later fingered in a plot to ditch ‘popular’ BDP heavy weights through the party primary elections in 2014.

He later resigned as party chairman. Guma has made it clear that he supports Masisi for chairmanship and vouches for Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri as secretary general.


On another subject, Masisi is said to have discouraged the idea of lobby lists but told his listeners that they are free to canvass support for any person of their choice for other positions because he is ready to work with anyone. Masisi currently has support from the BDP Youth Wing, while the BDP Women’s Wing may find itself between a rock and a hard place because of Tebelelo Seretse’s candidacy. She was the first person to make her intention clear and she has already done 360 degrees in her campaign trail.


Masisi’s campaign manager, Legwaila is a former councillor for Mathathane ward and also former sub-council chairman. He is assisted by Selibe Phikwe Mayor, Cllr Mojuta who will serve the campaign team as its secretary. Other members of the campaign include Isaac Maforaga from Palapye; Cllr Monageng from Serowe; Former Sua Township Mayor, Cllr Medupi; and former nominated Councillor, Victor Malete among others.

Legwaila confirmed that he has been appointed Masisi’s campaign manager and could not share details of the Kanye meeting.


While Masisi’s entry into the race was indeed a game changer, his campaign team still has stones to unturn because other candidates had already made inroads. All aspiring candidates have been given until June 1st 2015 to make their intentions known in writing to the Secretary General of the BDP. The congress will be held in July from 3rd to 5th in Mmadinare.

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