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12 MPs to quit BDP

Publishing Date : 18 March, 2019

Author : TEBOGO KGALEMANG

Investigations by WeekendPost have revealed that twelve Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Members of Parliament (MPs) are conspiring to resign from the BDP in the next few weeks, and become independents. Indications are that the conduct of Kang elections and its aftermath will determine their plan of action.


The development could see the BDP losing its majority in parliament and consequently collapse of its government, if all the reported 12 decide to jump ship. Some in the group are said to be behaving like suicide bombers because they are aware that “the party wants to expel them.” BDP currently has 38 elected MPs while opposition has 19 elected Members of Parliament. This publication spoke to five BDP legislators who confirmed that they are ready to quit, “Kang will inform our decision,” they posit.


“Combining the twelve MPs with those in opposition will mean that Masisi’s Presidency could be under threat.  The rules of Parliament are such that the party with the biggest number of seats forms Government,” said one of the MPs in the crew. But President Masisi still has the last say because he may choose to dissolve Parliament and call a snap election.  


“If the defections happen, Dr Masisi will not have the numbers to form government.  They are hoping that without the number Dr Masisi could be then be forced to resign and horse trading will then happen between the opposition and the defected members. Ordinarily, the Vice President at the time, being Slumber Tsogwane is supposed to become President when there is a vacancy in the presidency.  However the opposing BDP faction does not trust him, so a new president and vice could be elected.”


The secret according to its owners has been kept for long and the target was to execute it when President Masisi is away on international trips.  “We were supposed to resign last week Wednesday but many of our partners in the operation did not report for parliament,” said one MP on Wednesday last week. Masisi was to leave for Switzerland that Wednesday afternoon but the trip was cancelled. “The plan has long been hatched, and Masisi’s days are numbered. We have had enough of this immaturity,” said the MP. 


This publication is also alive to the information that as late as last week Wednesday evening, Tsogwane was working around the clock to stop the resignations of the BDP MPs. Tsogwane is said to be doing his utmost to stop the defections.  The alleged defections and the suggestion that there may be more to come, is said to have started weeks after former President Lt Gen Dr Ian Khama said he was going to correct the mistake he made in making Masisi President. 


He was quoted at a meeting of Serowe elders in Serowe, that he made a mistake in making Masisi President. This move comes after suggestions that Khama is said to have sponsored two attempts of motion of no confidence on President Masisi. The first motion which didn’t see the light of the day was presented by leader of opposition Advocate Duma Boko while the second was never presented. According to reliable sources, the second motion was aborted after the Khama faction smelt that most BDP members didn’t have the confidence to see it through.


 “It was muted after the first was disadvantaged by lack of cohesion and execution owing it to the fact that the BDP aligned to Khama had used the opposition to table it. But this time around, the faction is relying on its own and claims they have the numbers to finally oust Masisi,” said another MP.  “They were afraid of threats of being victimized by the Presidency of Masisi. MPs are now afraid of the terrible triplets of DIS, DCEC and BURS.”


The political differences and or fights between Masisi and Khama have manifested themselves in a struggle for power between those loyal to Masisi as Head of State, and those who say they have been targeted in a witch hunt by the presidency. Peace has been hard to come by for the BDP since Masisi took over from Khama. 


“With over eight cabinet ministers having lost their seats, and they are still bitter at the dysfunctional Bulelwa Ditswe. They think the system was well orchestrated to rule them out of contesting the next elections.  And the blame is pointed at Tsholetsa, singling out the Secretary General [Mpho Balopi] in particular for their demise,” said one MP.


“They are already flirting with the New Jerusalem faction. You are going to see more independent candidates closer to the elections.  Many are already in cabinet and in parliament.  The two timelines to keep an eye on is Congress in Kang and just closer to the elections; many in cabinet will take control of their political futures.  They will begin to doubt the promises of whoever is going to win.”

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