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Home » News » Politics » Nkate joins Molefhi Camp

Nkate joins Molefhi Camp

Publishing Date : 12 June, 2017

Author : ALFRED MASOKOLA

Just two months after being side-lined by Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s faction, former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Secretary General, Jacob Nkate has joined forces with Nonofo Molefhi in a bid to win control of the party after the Tonota July Congress.


The deal between Nkate and Molefhi was reached this week following weeks of negotiation with the former Botswana Ambassador to Japan. This publication has established that on Wednesday night, the faction held a meeting in Mogoditshane where the final lobby list was announced.


The Molefhi faction had initially pinned their hopes on former Barataphathi stalwart and incumbent Secretary General Botsalo Ntuane, but the latter has since denounced participation in a lobby list ahead of the party congress. Ntuane belongs to neither the Molefhi nor Masisi camp, a strategy he used at the Mmadinare Congress in 2015.


Ntuane had earlier tried to convince Molefhi to back down from pursuing the chairmanship position and instead contest as secretary general. Ntuane’s compromise talk was rejected by both Molefhi and Masisi faction. Following Ntuane’s detachment from the Molefhi faction, the latter convinced Nkate to join their side.


Nkate had initially joined the secretary general position race on the side of Masisi, but the two fell out after Nkate declared his 2019 presidential ambitions. Nkate was persuaded to drop out of this year’s chairmanship and instead support Masisi. This was followed by a suspicion that Masisi and Nkate had reached an agreement that would see Nkate becoming Vice President in 2019. Nkate however denied that there was ever a deal between him and Vice President Masisi.


“The idea that I have a deal with Masisi and that he will make me vice president is not true. No deal like that exists,”he told this publication earlier this year.  He had further added that: “Upon arriving in the country from Japan, I thought let me hear what the situation is on the ground and my conclusion was that maybe I should support him so that I do not cause too much disruptions in my party. And then we can take it from there. If between now and 2019, me and Masisi do not agree, my cards are on the table. All the options are on the table.”


Nkate’s words did not please Masisi, who soon after agreeing with his team, dumped the former Ngami legislator from their faction. Satar Dada, an influential member of BDP and Masisi faction had tried to intervene and reconcile the two but his efforts did not materialise. The Masisi faction has since opted for Mpho Balopi, who will contest as secretary general. Balopi has previously served as party secretary general from 2011-2015.


Nkate is believed to be bringing a new dimension to the Molefhi faction who will see it profiteering from his support in the North West region. Nkate, an unapologetic factionalist had earlier told this publication that one way or another BDP need to reforms in order to reconnect with the citizens. The Molefhi camp is generally believed to be reformist while the Masisi camp is believed to be yearning to keep the status quo.


“I think the BDP needs to reconnect with the people; to have a message that resonates with the people. I do not think people are hearing us, we need to re-message and recalibrate. We need to understand what the biggest concern of the people is. We need to hear the people and people should hear us,” he told this publication earlier this year.


In other battles, former Botswana Ambassador to United States (US) Tebelelo Seretse will battle long time party Treasurer Satar Dada for the position. Dada has been BDP party Treasurer for the past 22 years, something which has seen his name being associated with the BDP treasury.


Seretse contested the chairmanship two years ago in Mmadinare and lost to the current chairman, Masisi. The outspoken former cabinet minister remains of the key figures pulling the strings in the Molefhi camp as the faction mobilises for support.
Meanwhile Biggie Butale, the youthful Tati West legislator will lock horns with Minister of Defence, Justice and Security Shaw Kgathi for the position of Deputy Secretary General. Kgathi is the incumbent Deputy Secretary General, having ascended to the position in 2015, defeating former Botswana National Youth Council (BNYC) Chairperson Metlha Mokwena with a slim margin.


Mokgweetsi Masisi Lobby list
Chairman: Mokgweetsi Masisi
Secretary General: Mpho Balopi
Deputy Secretary General: Shaw Kgathi
Treasurer: Satar Dada
Deputy Treasurer: Jagdish Shah
Additional Members
Slumber Tsogwane
Guma Moyo
Ronald Shamukuni
Ponatshego Suping
Ngaka Ngaka


Molefi lobby list
Chairman: Nonofho Molefhi
Secretary General: Jacob Nkate
Deputy Secretary General: Biggie Butale
Treasurer: Tebelelo Seretse
Deputy Treasurer: Molebatsi Molebatsi
Additional Members
Philip Makgalemele
Ignatius Moswaane
Talita Monnakgotla
Moemedi Dijeng

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