• Khama’s associates under DIS investigation could implicate him
  • “Masisi will lead the BDP to General Elections Victory”
  • “BDP needs Masisi to win general elections”
  • BDP could discredit Khama

Lawrence Seretse

Research conducted by Africa’s largest bank by assets, Standard Bank Group, reveals that members of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) will, in the ongoing conflagration between President Mokgweetsi Masisi and his predecessor Ian Khama, sacrifice and dump the latter and that Masisi will emerge victorious within the ruling party.
The pan-African banking group research focusing across African countries economicies and politics, titled ‘African Markets Revealed’, authored in January 2019, holds that the BDP will likely have to vote between the Masisi and the Pelonomi Venson factions, with Mma Venon- Moitoi being perceived as a Khama proxy.
In December 2019 Venson announced her challenge to President Masisi’s leadership of the BDP. It is widely speculated that she was convinced by former president Khama to challenge Masisi using a newly initiated anti-Masisi party faction code named “New Jerusalem.” Shortly after Venson announced her intention to challenge the national president on a party level, she was sacked from her position as the Minister for Local Government and Rural Development.
“Notwithstanding the court case challenging the appointment of Masisi’s legitimacy, we expect Masisi to be the President irrespective of the challenges to his presidency. We believe that the BDP will need Masisi to challenge the UDC. We view the current political turmoil as temporary; we expect no significant deviation from the current economic policy, even if the BDP lost the election,” reads the bank’s research.
Standard Bank says that Masisi’s presidential appointment in April 2018 shored up public confidence in the BDP, but the feud between him and the former president has wrought political unrest.
“This feuding will likely harm the BDP. The BDP will need to take radical action to move away from the turmoil. The BDP might distance itself and discredit Ian Khama in a similar manner as was done by the Ministry of International Affairs and Cooperation regarding his remarks about Donald Trump. Then, Khama had made an unflattering statement on Trump during a public gathering in his home village of Serowe in Central Botswana. He had thrown the same jibe at Trump while on a visit to Oxford University, London in October 2018.” The Ministry of International Affairs and Cooperation issued a public statement claiming that Khama’s views did not represent the position of the Botswana government on the US leader. The ministry said it is regrettable that whilst the former president is at liberty to express his personal views, he chose the public gathering, “a sacrosanct platform of consultation for Batswana and a foundational basis of Botswana’s democracy to do so”.
Khama labelled Trump a racist and described him as someone who is arrogant and self-serving. Khama claimed, without indicating the authority for his position added that the recent hurricanes that hit the US were a result of God’s punishment to that country because of Trump’s racism.
Lately, influential elders within the BDP, such as Dr. Patrick Balopi, David Magang, former president Festus Mogae and Dr. Ponatshego Kedikilwe to mention but a few, have been circulating recorded videos on social media in which they have affirmed to the nation that they support President Masisi for both the party and the state Presidency. The senior BDP spokesman have urged all Batswana to rally behind Masisi. The call is believed to be the first step in the party’s disassociation from Khama.
Over the immediate past weekend constituencies in Khama’s political stronghold, the Central District endorsed Masisi with 87 votes for BDP presidential election trouncing Venson who secured 45 votes. While more regions are expected to cast their secret ballot endorsing their preferred presidential candidate ahead on the October General Elections, Venson’s constituency Serowe South has shown no confidence in her by voting in favour of Masisi.
Currently, Khama’s ally and former spy Chief Isaac Kgosi is under investigation by the Directorate on Intelligence and Security (DIS) and the Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS), on allegations and possible charges of tax evasion, fraud and others following a lifestyle audit . DIS, BURS, Botswana Police Service and the Financial Intelligence Agency (FIA) have conducted various searches and seizures at Kgosi’s residences amid reports that vast sums of hard currency have been recovered.
Law enforcement and revenue agencies claim that Kgosi accumulated considerable wealth and assets that cannot be justified on the basis of his government salary alone; Maboane farm, it is also alleged was unlawfully acquired.
The DIS during Kgosi tenure is alleged to have misappropriated government funds by exploiting the lack of transparency of the national security legislation.
Kgosi, former President Ian Khama’s right hand man during his tenure, claimed at his hearing before the Public Accounts Committee that he only reported to the then President Khama and was answerable to no one.
In the current tussle, Masisi is being attributed with reversing Khama’s most controversial policies and practices while Khama is seen to be frustrating Masisi’s administration and sponsoring contestants to topple Masisi from the national presidency. Khama is however, alleged to have been surrounded by corrupt associates who either did business with Khama, for Khama or under Khama’s watch.
John Barry Little, Khama’s personal company secretary and owner of a company called Corporate Services was last Friday raided for the second time this year by the DIS when they confiscated piles of company records and transactions related to persons associated with Khama and Kgosi
Apostle Shadrack Baaitse, a self-professed Khama ally is being probed for tax evasion of over P70 million by the taxman. He is the owner of Prevailing Security. He owns private jets which he lends to Khama.
Intelligence agencies believe that Khama’s allies accrued wealth through the use of his authoritarian methods that undermined government regulatory financial control while not being sanctioned for their failure to be tax complaint under Khama’s watch. Observers say should he be implicated, many within the BDP will not want to associate with him, just as the Standard Bank report opines.