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Masisi holds secret meeting with BDP ‘rebels’

Publishing Date : 02 July, 2019

Author : KETUMILE RAMATITI

President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi is reported to have convened a series of private meetings with some Members of Parliament (MPs) of his own Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) last week amid threats that they are set for new political homes, Weekendpost has been told.


The reports came after the president returned mid-air while enroute to Mozambique to attend e US-Africa summit in Maputo. Sources tell Weekendpost that the president was informed by his advisers and party strategists that he had to make his way back to Botswana to address defections of councilors predominantly from the Central District Council (CDC). 65 councilors were said to have been on their way out.


At the top of the plan Masisi and a newly assembled team aimed to counter attack any opposition’s efforts contacted the CDC chairperson Peter Williams not to read all the resignations as they could depict a party in a sorry state. This sources say, was duly implemented with Williams reading out a few number of resignations.


Apart from that the president in his two days of hibernation (between Tuesday and Thursday- last week) alleged to have been perturbed by the possibility of mass exodus and also made contact with some MPs. It appears there is no trust in the party, just like Masisi once said while launching Vice President Slumber Tsogwane that there are some members who are camouflaging.


“President organized a meeting with some of the legislators he feels are not loyal to the party and him and pleaded with them to remain focused and put the party interest before theirs. The template was the same no matter who you are. At least he met three of them while others were contacted via phone calls,” said a highly placed source on Wednesday afternoon.


It is said the meeting were highly secretive and very private that the candidates were told to keep it to themselves lest it depict the party in crisis mode. “These meetings occurred in a very private setup in a very secretive place. You can go ask those MPs you will come with zero because they were briefed. The idea is to protect the BDP brand as well as Masisi’s name because if it could be public it might show like they are weak or something,” added a source in an interview.


Top of the names said to have met the president is that of Jwaneng-Mabutsane parliamentary hopeful Mephato Reatile, Philip Makgelemele, Moisaraele Goya and two undisclosed members. Reatile was brought back to parliament by former president Ian Khama and he is not trusted by the current administration that he might defect to any of the opposition party precisely Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF).


In fact it is said, he has disclosed to some of his close allies that he is ‘neglected and would not mind leaving the BDP’. Contacted on the matter he said this; “I would tell if at all we met. But I was in Mabutsane and Sekoma last weekend and I never received any call from him or his officials,” he said in an interview on Thursday morning.


Reports continue to say that at the meeting Masisi assured them that there is no how he is going to drop them in cabinet like the detractors want to say. “Initially they were six cabinet members who were supposed to be dropped. But the two (Makgelemele and Goya) were saved by Mma Atsile (First lady) who lobbied that they be left of which Masisi agreed to. So the two are still not in good standing with the president because they feel if it was not of the first lady they could be backbenchers,” says a source.

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