- Detractors plot another motion of no confidence
- Unhappy BDP backbenchers and opposition in talks
- Masisi, Magosi target Khama, Kgosi’s buying power
- Scepticism grows over allegations of stolen P100 billion
- Balopi warns rebellious MPs
TEFO PHEAGE and
After being left out of cabinet in preference for young and new BDP MPs, the disgruntled BDP backbenchers are willing to support the opposition in a fresh plot to topple President Mokgweetsi Masisi from within parliament.
One would be forgiven for thinking that when Kenyan freedom fighter Oginga Odinga coined the phrase “Not Yet Uhuru,” a Swahili word meaning freedom, he had President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s 2019 elections victory in mind.
The Botswana Gazette has uncovered that a plot to unseat Masisi by the opposition in cahoots with some disgruntled BDP legislators is taking shape.
While the opposition is still reeling in shock from their disastrous loss to Masisi, some experienced BDP legislators left out of cabinet in preference of young and new MPs are feeling hard done by and are in exploratory talks with the opposition to revive the motion of no confidence against the President.
The smarting opposition is still in the process of challenging Masisi’s victory in court, although information regarding that remains a closely guarded secret. But something is afoot because former president Ian Khama, this week, said the opposition would certainly approach the courts and soon.
The BDP senior legislators have already made it publicly known that they too want – and deserve – to be in the cabinet and do not know why they have been overlooked. “I can’t be a chief whip forever. What do people have that I do not have to be in the cabinet? But I can’t be nagging the president about it,” said Liakat Kablay, BDP’s MP for Letlhakeng/Lephephe, now in his second parliamentary term, when addressing the media recently.
Similarly, his Francistown West colleague, Ignatius Moswaane, told this publication that he did not care about being in the cabinet because he believes a system of choosing ministers from Parliament is regressive anyway. Although the two men sounded ambivalent, it is known that their disappointment runs deep.
The rebellious stance is said to have been hatched at Avani Hotel where the BDP lawmakers lodged on the eve of cabinet appointments where MPs were called one by one to the Office of the President (OP) to take the oath of office. A few senior members were heard grumbling and pouring scorn on the process and Masisi’s chosen style, saying they already knew who would make it and who would not. The legislators were called one by one to the OP, leaving many glued to their phones until the last one was called.
According to reports, the Secretary General of the BDP, who just became the MP for Gaborone North, Mpho Balopi, went into a rage last week after it emerged that some MPs had gone against the party caucus and defied Masisi’s choice of Specially Elected Members of Parliament (SEMPs).
Balopi is said to have expressed deep frustration with the behaviour of the MPs whose identities are not known and warned that the party was keeping a hawk’s eye on developments. He was unavailable for a comment yesterday as his phone rang unanswered.
Khama, opposition and disgruntled BDP MPs team up
The rebellious MPs are harking back to June 11 last year when then Bonnigton North MP and president of the UDC Duma Boko tabled a motion of no confidence against Masisi in Parliament. Eleven voted in support of the motion, 35 opposed it and three abstained. The motion was expected to return before this year’s general elections but failed.
However, this publication has it on authority that some of the disgruntled BDP backbenchers and the opposition are considering an alliance to gain numbers to push the motion through. The backbenchers and the opposition are at an advantage arithmatically in the next Parliament which convened on the 18th November 2019. Even so, insiders have express scepticism about whether the entire BDP backbench will be up to the task. The BDP backbench and the opposition make 38 MPs against the cabinet’s 27 members, including the Vice President Slumber Tsogwane.
But the numbers on the opposition side may be reduced to 18 should the MP for Francistown South and vice president for the Alliance For Progressives (AP), Wynter Mmolotsi, choose to withhold his support for the motion as his party did last year. The AP would later explain that they did not see any compelling reason to support Boko’s motion.
In an interview this week, Boko said he would not speak with journalists until next week.
Khama and Kgosi’s purported billions unsettle Masisi
This publication has learnt that Masisi ‘s biggest concern is not the loyalty of his backbench but rather what the axis of Khama, Kgosi and Boko could do with the alleged P100 billion that is purportedly stashed offshore that Khama and Kgosi have been linked to. Khama and Boko have become strong allies. “Masisi knows that these guys are broke and hungry and will be more than willing to defect at the mere sight of P2 million,” said a highly placed intelligence source.
“Have you ever wondered why DISS is huffing and puffing and trying to create an opportunity to identify and freeze Khama and Kgosi’s accounts? Have you wondered why many accomplices in the alleged looting of public coffers are not charged? Speak to the present and former Bank of Botswana governors and finance minister because they are not happy that they have been portrayed as reckless to allow such fraud from state coffers without reporting it. No P100 billion has been stolen. It’s just fabrication, they just want to scare these guys not to dare move money or try anything,” said a source who added that while the Khamas may have moved some money, P100 billion is a ridiculously large figure.
“Have you wondered about Boko or his whereabouts? DISS is concerned and they are keeping a close eye on him. He has shown that with his sponsors, everything is possible,” revealed an intelligence source.
Meanwhile, Khama this week said has been briefed by unidentifiable people that the opposition will head to court soon. The claims give credence to the allegations that the opposition is still in contact with Khama. The former president has not hinted much on his Plan B since his party lost the elections.