“They are risking their relationship with Masisi.”- Sesa
FRANCISTOWN: Political Analysts have warned Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) primary elections candidates who align themselves with the Former President Ian Khama, cautioning that while they might be enjoying the political ride, on the other hand they are jeopardizing their working relations with President Mokgweetsi Masisi.
On the backfoot of the Former President’s visits to various constituencies prior to the primary elections, analysts say the move is fueling serious tensions that have bubbled over in recent weeks.
Political analyst Leonard Sesa says what Khama is doing is totally unacceptable and has never happened in the history of Botswana politics. “Khama’s move is dividing the BDP. It has to be noted that as the Former President he still has an impact. Obviously his impact alone is endorsing the candidates who accompanied him during his tours,” Sesa said, a reality that played itself out at last weekend’s primary elections where the alleged pro-Masisi faction was decimated by those who have enjoyed Khama’s not so subtle endorsement.
Sesa cautioned that while the candidates who accompanied Khama or who invite him to their constituency on the pretext of helping Batswana are likely to enjoy the political joyride, they have to consider that this will ruin their working relations with the current President. “They have to consider that when Masisi appoints his cabinet he will introspect all MP’s who have been aligning with Khama, and there is likelihood that Masisi will overlook them because he cannot work with people who still have allegiance to the Former President,” added Sesa.
He posits that like other former Presidents, Khama should have waited for Masisi to give him a responsibility instead of pushing his own agenda which some say is a direct encroachment on the incumbent’s authority. “When the presidential terms of former President Festus Mogae and the late Ketumile Masire elapsed they were given responsibilities by the sitting Presidents. Mogae was given the mandate of fighting HIV/AIDS while Masire was responsible for Agriculture. Curiously this did not happen under Khama, and this alone is one factor that contributed to the political feud that has ignited,” suggests Sesa.
On the other hand another Political Analyst Anthony Morima said that candidates who align themselves with Khama have come to the conclusion that they have nothing to lose. “They know that aligning themselves with Khama is contributing to the political battle of the two. Therefore they are doing this for their own benefit. They know that there are no permanent enemies in politics and once they have won the elections that is when maybe they will try to mend their relationship with Masisi,” Morima concluded, a prediction that bode well with many of Khama’s favourites who trounced their opponents at this weekend’s Bulela Ditswe.