The two are close allies from way back
Boteti North Member of Parliament Slumber Tsogwane, it seems, will be among the key lieutenants in the new administration of Mokgweetsi Masisi in what pundits say marks the culmination of years of friendship.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) members say Masisi and Tsogwane have a long history of mutual trust hence the swift rise of the latter to the high echelons of power. Tsogwane was recently appointed the new chairperson of the BDP having been nominated by the party Secretary General, Mpho Balopi and seconded by party treasurer, Satar Dada.
Balopi informed this publication that there was no other name suggested, a revelation that suggests that Tsogwane’s name was long discussed at the boardroom. Justifying the appointment, Balopi said the party needed a unifier and an unassuming leader who understands very well the history and vision of the party.
“He has been there, he has seen it all and everyone who has worked with Tsogwane will tell you that he is a man who will never hurt a fly. We expect and trust that he will lead the party with those extraordinary credentials to the promised land,” Balopi said adding that even when he was dropped from cabinet some years back Tsogwane never washed the party’s dirty linen in public like backbenchers often do.
Tsogwane replaces Masisi who served as party chairman for a little over two years. The news of Tsogwane’s appointment were revealed in a press release issued on Sunday evening, just hours after Masisi was sworn in.
“Subsequent to the ascension of His Excellency Mokgweetsi E.K Masisi to President of the Party and the Republic, the Central Committee of the Botswana Democratic Party met today (Sunday) 01 April at 1400hrs Tsholetsa Office to elect the Chairman of the party as prescribed by Article 30.6.5 of the Constitution of the party,” reads the party announcement.
The statement further revealed that the 17 members of the BDP Central Committee unanimously agreed on electing Tsogwane as the new chairman, despite former Chairman Guma Moyo and Serowe North West MP Tshekedi Khama showing interest in running for the position.
“The Central Committee withheld elections of an additional member to reconstitute an 18-member Central Committee and will at the next media briefing introduce the party chairman and update on the election of an additional member,” said the BDP statement.
Tsogwane has been a loyal servant over the years and is currently the longest serving Member of Parliament. He was strongly behind Masisi’s campaign in the run up to the BDP congress in Tonota last year. Masisi would go on to emerge victorious with a total of 769 votes at the expense of Selebi-Phikwe East MP Nonofo Molefhi ‘s 261 votes.
Tsogwane has previously hinted that he will to not contest for the upcoming 2019 general elections, however others are of the view that he is likely to give his decision a second thought. It is still not clear whether Masisi has nominated him the vice-president but others posit that the appointment as a chairman is a signal that big things are awaiting Tsogwane.