6 June 2017

Botswana: Peace, Stability Vital

Kareng — The Vice President, Mr Mokgeetsi Masisi has appealed to fellow democrats to re-elect him for the position of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) chairperson during the party's national congress billed for July 7 in Tonota.

Mr Masisi who was speaking at BDP Ngami branch committee elective congress in Kareng, Ngamiland on Saturday said the move would ensure the victory of the party in the 2019 general election as there would be peace and stability in the party.

"I do not doubt my capabilities and proficiencies as a leader," said the Vice President who is also the MP for Moshupa-Manyana constituency. Also, he said his victory would ensure that the party did not divert from its well-known culture of allowing a Vice President to be chairperson.

Mr Masisi reminded members of his party that in the previous elections, he took a decision not to stand for the party chairmanship, but democrats convinced him to avail himself for the position citing consistency and party culture.

"I went back to my constituency and informed them of my change of heart. We went to Mmadinare and I won with the highest margin in the history of BDP," he said.

Mr Masisi fruther said failure to elect him would put doubt in the people's minds as to whether he would be able to lead the country as President.

He stated that it was important for him to continue learning and working closely with the current President for the smooth transition and this could be made even easier if he was re-elected as the party chairperson.

He told democrats that in every decision he made, he consulted the President first and that the President too always consulted him before making decisions although the final decision rested with him (President). This, he said was a sign of cohesion within the party.

Even the former President, Dr Festus Mogae appealed to you democrats to elect the then Vice President Lt Gen. Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama for the party chairmanship in 2003 so that they could continue working closely together and impart leadership skills to him, explained Mr Masisi.

He also reminded democrats that as someone synonymous with victory, he would ensure that BDP emerged victorious come 2019 general elections. He said more than 3 500 electorates were trafficked to his constituency during the previous general elections to vote against him, but he still managed to beat the opposition 'convincingly.'

Meanwhile, Mr Masisi said as they would be going to Tonota to elect central committee which would be working with the President, it was important for them to be united given the fact that the committee would be responsible for preparing for the general election.

"Having this in mind, I asked Mr Jacob Nkate and Mr Thato Kwerepe not to compete against each other in Bulela Ditswe because if they could, it would be difficult to retain the Ngami constituency," said Mr Masisi who added that he even asked them to publicly support the one who would be standing in the constituency.

The Vice President appealed to democrats to support Mr Mpho Balopi for the position of party secretary general. He said Mr Balopi was a team player who would be able to connect BDP with other parties internationally. Also, he said as a former secretary general, Mr Balopi performed well.

For the position of deputy secretary general, Mr Masisi said democrats should elect Mr Shaw Kgathi as he had been tried and tested. He also advocated for Mr Satar Dada and Mr Jagdish Shah to be elected for treasurer and deputy treasurer respectively as the duo were meticulous in the field of finances as evidenced by their good business acumen.

For additional members, the Vice President asked democrats to elect Mr Jacob Nkate, Mr Machana Shamukuni from Chobe who he praised as a biologist and well vested with the issue of wildlife. Other additional members that he advocated for were Ms Goitse Phori and Ms Wilhelmina Brooks.

BOPA

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