Dumped Nkate soon to return to Masisi’s camp

Nicholas Mokwena
Tuesday, 09 May 2017
Nkate Nkate

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Secretary General aspirant, Jacob Nkate could soon be back to his former lobby group led by Party Chairman and Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi. Nkate was dumped by the camp prior to the party’s National Council held in March this year after his utterances in the media in which he was quoted saying that he would be running for the presidency of the party.

The former Ambassador to Japan found himself left in the cold after he received a communication to the effect that he is no longer part of team Masisi for the upcoming BDP elective congress billed for Tonota in July this year.  Nkate was replaced by former BDP Secretary General Mpho Balopi in the lobby list.

Masisi will be going up against Minister of Infrastructure and Housing Development, Nonofo Molefhi. Information reaching this publication indicates that party Treasurer Satar Dada is trying to broker a deal between the two. Negotiations started during the BDP Women’s Wing Congress held in Maun in March 2017. At the congress, which both Nkate and Masisi attended, some councillors from the Ngami District approached the two to try and bring them back together.  “Four of our councillors approached the duo and from the look of things the vice president did not have a problem.

It seems there has been miscommunication between Nkate and Masisi. Nkate has promised that he is open to going back to the camp.  “What is however worrisome is that Nkate was not happy with the way he was dumped as the vice president is not the one who communicated but rather Balopi did so and at the same time Balopi is an interested party,” said a councillor from Ngami who did not want to be mentioned. It is said that councillors in Ngami are all in full support of Masisi to be retained as party chairman.

There has also been news making rounds that Nkate has been approached by some of Molefhi’s foot soldiers. Nkate confirmed in an interview that he is in talks with Masisi’s team for his return.  Nkate however said he would not want to sit with that thinking that they would be working together.

He said currently his focus is on campaigning for the secretary general post. “If we get back together it would be good for both of us. It is true that some councillors have approached me. We did talk and they told me they would approach VP on the matter. I am busy with my campaign and I cannot be derailed.  “Nna le VP ga re a ngalelana and people need to understand that,” he said.  He stated that he would be waiting for feedback from Masisi. Nkate was also shocked to have received a call from someone else other than the VP terminating their working relationship.   “I believe the VP could have just given me a random call and asked me on the media statement. I could have explained clearly and he could have discovered that he had nothing to worry about”.

Nkate will battle it out with current Secretary General Botsalo Ntuane, former secretary general Mpho Balopi and Assistant Minister of Health and Wellness Phillip Makgalemele. Balopi, who is said to have replaced Nkate, said he is not aware of any formal communication to the effect that Nkate and Masisi belong to the same lobby list. The issue of support of the party leadership has never been based on lobby lists, said Balopi when asked if he would decide to reach a compromise with Nkate and allow the latter to stand.

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