By Mpho Tebele
Gaborone- Former Botswana President Ian Khama has been linked to a new party that is allegedly being registered by some disgruntled members of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).
Asked to comment on the allegations of a new party, Khama told his audience in his home village of Serowe in central Botswana that indeed he was aware of reports that there is a new party in the offing.
Playing his cards close to his chest, Khama said while he has been aware of the reports of a new party, he was not aware who is the real person behind it except that they are alleged disgruntled members of the BDP.
He also distanced himself from the new party but did not rule out the possibility of joining it should BDP leadership continue to frustrate him. But indications are that the former leader is behind the upcoming party, despite his denial.
Before he explained to his audience what he knew and did not know about the party, Khama had given an exclusive interview to a local publication, The Weekend Post wherein he was quoted thus “If they (new party) give me an opportunity, I will have to weigh my options.”
He added that “I am a very loyal person but that is not to say I wouldn’t move but I have to be convinced.”
The former President was also quoted as saying that if he does not agree with the recent BDP policies, he would have to reconsider his future. Khama, who is of the view that he is sabotaged by the current regime, said this is not the first time such things happen.
The former BDP leader said allegations of the party leader (President Mokgweetsi Masisi) being challenged next year are very credible.
“As a party and country we should always strive to have the best candidates if a challenger is someone credible, I will support them,” he said. “But from what I have gathered so far, the challenger is someone credible, this is something that has been planned and has been in the pipeline. It has now gained momentum and has also gone beyond a rumour,” Khama said.
He would not disclose who the candidate who intends to challenge Masisi is. But local media reports have in recent months reported that it is likely to be Khama’s younger and Minister responsible for Tourism, Tshekedi Khama.
Details of the new party in the offing have been making rounds lately but it is not clear who is the mastermind behind the party but fingers are pointing at the disgruntled former BDP leader.
It is also alleged that to take cover, Khama will not be the man in the forefront but he has declined any involvement and distanced himself from the developments.
By nature, a populist and a loved man in the BDP circles Khama has loyal followers and some have come out in the open to declare their support for him despite Masisi being the new boss. However, Khama said he would not agree to the idea of standing for any position in the BDP in the near future.
Currently, Khama is at loggerheads with his chosen successor President Mokgweetsi Masisi over a number of issues among them the latter’s decision to reverse the former’s policies.