- Says govt, BDP have got platforms for dialogue
- Will not engage with the media on Khama-Masisi dispute
The Vice-president, Slumber Tsogwane, who has until now adopted a position of silence on the controversial dispute between the former President Ian Khama and his successor, Mokgweeetsi Masisi has stopped short of expressing his disapproval at the duo’s public spat, saying that government and the ruling party have got platforms where such matters can effectively be discussed.
Tsogwane made the remark when this publication sought his views on why he has remained silent on the two leaders’ dispute which has divided the party and government apparatus.
“I have decided that I will not be making any public comments on that matter. Such discussions have platforms under which they can be effectively discussed, and I don’t think media interviews are ideal,” said the Vice-President in an interview with this publication.
Tsogwane said he would not be making haphazard comments on the matter like others, “there is a government here to run sir,” he remarked.
When reminded that his Master, Masisi recently granted an interview to a local publication in response to a series of Khama’s attacks, Tsogwane said he is not Masisi, “ I know but I am not him. He has his reasons why he did it but as for me I will not be granting any media interviews or publicly expressing my views on that matter,” he said.
Tsogwane was selected ahead of Khama’s brother, Tshekedi Khama by Masisi to deputize him contrary to the expectation of Khama. Khama has claimed that there was a “deal” to appoint Tshekedi to the position Tsogwane currently holds- the vice presidency and chairman of the BDP.
When Tsogwane was appointed Chairman of the party, Khama says he called and congratulated him as he knew automatically that he will eventually become Vice President.
Khama revealed that he invited Tsogwane to lunch at his official residence and assured him that he will not be contesting the party chairmanship against him as people suggested. Khama further says he made several pleas to him which he did not divulge.
Tsogwane is the longest serving member of parliament for the BDP and vowed to retire but has since resiled from his public statements after he was convinced to remain in politics following his appointment to the vice presidency.
An unlikely vice-president, his unexpected rise to power shocked many who considered him an outcast to the BDP’s succession plan. He is said to be a close friend of Masisi’s.
Political commentators argue that Tsogwane still owes Khama an allegiance as he was treated well during the former president’s tenure and hence his timidity to take a public position on the Khama/ Masisi fallout. “He is better off as silent. That’s a safe position for him. That position also resonates well with his personality. He is generally a reserved person,” a highly placed source revealed.
The Boteti West Member of Parliament (MP) has never lost elections since he came into parliament in 1999 after his retirement as the deputy school head.