- Leadership torn between Khama’s popularity and unpopular record
- Boko, Saleshando trying hard to conceal differences
The Umbrella For Democratic Change (UDC) is in a serious dilemma on whether to accept former president Ian Khama as a political friend to maximize on his popularity or not owing to his unpopular political record.
The fraternisation between the UDC and Khama started at the onset of the collapse of Khama and his successor, Mokgweetsi Masisi’s relationship owing to their mysterious and unforeseen differences. The UDC- a firm critic of Khama’s leadership style- has since then been at pains to have a firm and clearer position on Khama’s latest escapades.
The Gazette has established that the party leadership is torn between admitting Khama as a political friend to assist in the areas where his popularity is uncontested. Khama who is still fit as a fiddle stands ready to be used for free in any effort to oust Masisi by all means, possibly to avenge what he says he is being subjected to by Masisi. Previous efforts by Khama have not been successful but indications are that for him, it is only the beginning of a long journey.
“We are exactly in a dilemma that Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi was in. To use Khama or not. He has the money and the influence- no doubt about that but he can also be a spoiler. He remains popular with the rural folks but not with the literates,” revealed a senior member of the party who said the Khama issue has been discussed thoroughly by the UDC in closed meetings.
It is not a secret that the UDC leader, Duma Boko and his deputy, Dumelang Saleshando subscribe to divergent political strategies and have at many times disagreed on which path to take and how to take it. Saleshando and the BCP have always been of the view that Boko is a political novice and often makes immature and premature decisions which eventually plunge the party into undue disrepute.
“The BCP feels we often force them to defend the indefensible which they have not even taken part in, the most recent being the helicopters saga and Boko’s unilateral talks with Khama which we could all have handled better,” revealed the BNF member in the Central committee.
The Gazette is informed that the majority of the leaders in the UDC acknowledge Khama’s popularity but the challenge is the safest model of cooperation or collaboration to adopt with Khama.
When asked on whether they will take up the opportunity to collaborate with Khama in the next elections, UDC spokesperson Moeti Mohwasa told this publication that he was not in a position to make comments on speculations at this time, “We are not in a position to comment on that. We currently have three parties under the UDC and that’s what we are currently focusing on,” he said.
Mohwasa said Khama is a former president who can be invited by anybody or organisation to officiate at their event as it has been the case with other former presidents.
He continued that Khama is not their enemy because as the UDC they do not practice or condone politics of hatred. “I however challenge whoever is peddling the untruths that we are have invited Khama to any our our events as the UDC to bring proof,” he said.
Khama was recently reported in the media as having used a house donation ceremony as an opportunity to promote UDC parliamentary candidate Kesitegile Gobotswang at the expense of fellow Democrat and area Member of Parliament Dorcas Makgato in the Sefhare-Ramokgonami constituency.
Khama’s magic although udisputed by some has already delivered a few serious blows to some BDP ‘s plans like Shaw Kgati whose campaign was compromised by Khama before the party primary elections. Both Khama and Boko have in recent times shared positive things about each other and Khama has not ruled out working with the UDC if need be in an interview with the media.