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BDP turns to Ntuane

Publishing Date : 10 December, 2018

Author : KETUMILE RAMATITI

President Mokgweetsi Masisi is reported to be ‘seriously’ considering the idea to cajole Botsalo Ntuane to be the next Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Secretary General as the party readies for next year’s elective congress.


Ntuane is the immediate former secretary general, who lost to Mpho Balopi at last year congress in Tonota. The idea comes as some party loyalists continue to caution Masisi about the current Secretary Mpho Balopi. Sources say, Balopi misinform his principals especially president on a number of issues including the suspension and expulsion of some party members. It is said all these are done in bad faith as he wants to remain the only one close to Masisi and wield power.


The suspension of BDP’s Mogoditshane constituency candidate Tshepang Mabaila, biased primary elections hearing and other reforms including cancellation of the BDP Youth Wing Congress are hinted as typically example of Balopi’s ill-informed influences. Already it is said a contingent has met with Masisi and sold him Ntuane’s name. The basis of the concerned group is Ntuane can be the unifying factor for the party which its divisions are reaching crescendo.


 “By the time he left the post he did nothing wrong and even in the past congress he was preaching unity. He despised factions and for that, we should make him our SG,” one of the concerned group mates revealed. Before suggesting Ntuane who is reported to be reluctant to take the post, the party members came up with Samson Moyo Guma to be considered. It was immediately thrown out of the window because of trust issues. “It seems they are not eating from the same plate and His Excellency was at pains accepting the name until Ntuane’s was presented,” said an informant on Thursday morning.


Though it is not clear as to why Masisi could not accept Moyo who is one of the opinion leaders in the party, a source says, the conflict emanates from the latter’s silent decision to break ranks with Masisi’s camp after being left out of cabinet in April this year. Masisi himself is said to have seriously considered the advice to have Ntuane as his right hand man especially that the party is headed to the crossroads. “It is not like he committed to the advice but it is quite clear that he somehow blessed the idea subject to negotiations with his peers,” added a source.


Information shared to this publication depicts Ntuane as an undecided man who can take the offer but also reluctant under the current circumstances. It is said, Ntuane who headed the Secretariat office under ex-president Ian Khama wants to be formally approached with convincing reasons why he should come back to that position.


“Again trust issues come into play, remember the last congresses Ntuane decided to contest for the same position a sena lekgamu. He preached unity and how would the same people who opposed him want him, strange isn’t it? But to be honest he is open to negotiations but one thing he wants is trust and honesty, he doesn’t want betrayal,” another source told this paper. Balopi is said to be under immense pressure from the democrats with some of his supporters in last year’s congresses sweet-talking Jacob Nkate for the same.


 This is a sign that Balopi could be an unwanted man at the Tsholetsa House. Another candidate is Guma Moyo who is said to be contesting from a parallel faction. All these now leave Ntuane as the strong candidate-should he agree to take the seat.

I AM ON SBATTICAL LEAVE- NTUANE

Ntuane has however indicated to this publication that he is not aware of the proposal to have him back as party secretary general, indicating that following his loss at last year’s congress, he has decided to keep low profile and not seek re-election anytime soon. “I have never been approached, formally or informally and I am not even aware of the talk of having me back,” Ntuane said Thursday night. “I am not interested and I have no intention of contesting for any central committee position at next year’s congress. I am on sabbatical leave.”


MASISI WARNS AGAINST SELF INFLICTED PAINS

At last weekend’s Women Wing meeting President Masisi is said to have bluntly told democrats to desist from tearing the party down, saying all the current divisions and unrest is because of the members who claim to love the party. A particular reference he made according to those who attended the meeting held in Mogoditshane, the president lamented more about members dragging the party to the courts of law. It is said Masisi was emotional such that he even threatened to resign if the party diehards decide to create instability.


The case in which his legitimacy as the party president has been challenged more than once irk him the most; first it was predecessor Khama and this week Lobatse primary elections losing candidate Kabal Jacobs challenged Masisi’s presidency before withdrawing the matter.
Coming back united next year is one of the resolutions Masisi is praying for. This will ensure the party enters the much anticipated 2019 elections as united force ready to win the election and correct a less than 50 percent popular vote.

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