Nkate backtracks on bdp presidency

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  •  Confirms he had had an interest in challenging Masisi

LETLHOGILE MPUANG

Former cabinet minister Jacob Nkate has back-tracked on his intention to challenge President Mokgweetsi Masisi for the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Presidency, and in an interview with The Botswana Gazette reveals that he has decided to back Masisi and his camp.

Ahead of the 2017 BDP Congress in Tonota, Nkate was expected to challenge Masisi for the chairmanship of the party. However weeks before the congress, Nkate had a change of heart and decided to challenge for party Secretary General (SG) position. Nkate lost the position to Mpho Balopi who emerged as the party SG. Having lost the SG contest Nkate was subsequently quoted in local media announcing a challenge on Masisi for the party Presidency at the 2019 congress. 2019 is now here.

With Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi already coming out and boldly declaring that she will be running for party Presidency at the upcoming July congress and confident of succeeding with the backing of former President Ian Khama, several sources close to Nkate have revealed that the former minister was still entertaining the idea of challenging Masisi for his position. Sources claimed that Nkate is still feeling hard done by Camp Dubai after they decided against backing him at the Tonota congress, despite withdrawing from the chairmanship race in order to back Masisi.

Speaking to The Botswana Gazette last week, he confirmed that he had an interest in challenging Masisi, but has taken a stand of not contesting for any elective position at the congress.

“No, i am not going to be challenging him nor will I be contesting for any elective position at the congress. Just like in the 2017 congress, where I was supporting him for chairmanship, I will be supporting him in the upcoming congress,” Nkate told this publication.

“Yes, I did have intentions of running previously, but I think he is doing a good job thus far, for the country and the party and I will rather avail myself to support and advise him where necessary,” the veteran politician asserted.

Nkate revealed however that he is open to contest for any elective position if approached by the party leadership, “Honestly i have no interest in standing for any position, unless if the party leadership approaches me or to serve in any other party structures.”

Meanwhile, former party chairman Guma Moyo, who has also made his intentions clear of running against Balopi for the position of Secretary General at the congress is the latest announce his support for Moitoi.

“I support Dr Venson Moitoi on her candidature for the presidency of the BDP in the upcoming elective congress. I will not lie and say I will vote for His Exellency President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi, I only have one vote and I will give it to Mma Moitoi because she asked for it,” Guma told another local publication.

Minister Tshekedi Khama is expected to challenge Vice President Slumber Tsogwane for party chairmanship.