- Serowe elders meeting challenges the region’s wisdom and democratic choice
- Block voting unusual
- BDP NEC investigates the origin of the elders meeting
Following the BDP announcement of the presidential congress to be held in Kang in April, the the presidential hopeful Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi and leader of the so called New Jerusalem faction attended an elders meeting in Serowe. The meeting called by the community elders demanded answers for how Masisi secured a victory in the Central Region over Moitoi.
Political analyst Dr Ndulamo Morima states that the call for the meeting, which was based on, “questioning Masisi s triumph at the Central region” as not only challenging the voters wisdom but also challenges their democratic right to choose who they will.
Morima explains that he finds this problematic and condescending by the BDP leadership because even if the region nominated and endorsed Masisi, what is central and key is that the congress will be conducted by secret ballot and any attempt disrespect this procedure will be undemocratic. He hinted the block vote resolution which the BDP SG cites as an obligatory and binding vote as very unusual, and that the BDP ought to stick to the democratic secret ballot voting.
The analyst cited examples of what usually prevails in countries like the United States of America and South Africa where party cadres endorse candidates but the nominations and endorsements are not the ultimate determination of who wins, rather the congress outcome is the legitimate decider.
Dr Ndulamo Morima called for democracy to be granted the allowance to prevail at the congress, and for BDP leadership to abide by its constitution, as it can guide the flow and management of events. However, he dismisses the view that BDP is headed for a split, hinting that if there was any intention to split the BDP the elders meeting would have clearly indicated it. He is of the opinion that if there was to be any BDP split it would materialize after the Kang Congress because, at least for now, either of the teams stand a fair chance to emerge victorious. “So this anticipated split is improbable; for the moment.”
He further reveals that in splitting from the BDP after the congress, if Masisi wins, people like Guma Moyo have leant that it is not rosy outside the rank and file of the BDP, pointing out that consideration of the split will be a hard decision for anyone.
Considering the recent and persistent bickering between President Masisi and the former president Khama, Morima regards the current turn of events as a downgrade in leadership, he apportions blame to both leaders, and that in rebutting each other they have only worsened the situation. He however states Masisi as the President can be resolute,as he controls Power.
He went on to dismiss any form of reconciliation between the two leaders, highlighting that their “relation is dismally wrecked,” and being compounded by allegations of death and security threats. He predicts that Masisi can still win the presidential election but however notes that it will be by onlya small margin.
Botswana Secretary General Mpho Balopi reached for comment about the elders meeting said, “Yes we received reports about the meeting in Serowe, but we are still investigating if there is any formal structure that called the meeting.” He further stated that they will finish the investigations during the course of the week and issue a statement.
Last week The Botswana Gazette reported on the dissatisfaction among elements of the BDP in the manner in which Masisi was endorsed by party structures. Sources close to the unfolding of events reveal that Venson-Moitoi intends to seek legal advice on her options in challenging violations of the party constitution over the announcements.