Rising from the ashes like a phoenix, former President Ian Khama has returned to the freedom square to rally the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) masses to coalesce behind him as he builds a formidable opposition party after failing to topple the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) in the October elections.
Formed just months before the 2019 general elections, pundits are in agreement that under normal circumstances the BPF performed exceptionally well by managing to secure three Parliamentary and numerous council seats around the country in their first attempt. The sweetener to the minor victory was that the BPF had brushed aside the marauding BDP from their heartland in gaMmangwato capital Serowe.
After a brief hiatus that nearly forced Khama to retreat into reclusion when the BDP government -soon after humiliating his party at the polls- threatened to drag him to court to face charges of stealing P100 billion from state coffers at Bank of Botswana (BoB) when he was Head of State, the man christened SKI by his hordes of supporters was back in action in Serowe on Friday.
Ever unrepentant, Khama called a post election convention of the BPF to discuss the drafting of a new constitution, plan for an elective congress, set up youth structures, and the youth league to take position on issues of national interest among them unemployment, land and education.
But the more things change the more they remain the same. Khama’s anger towards President Mokgweetsi Masisi – who was his main target in the race for 2019 – remains palpable and he is not pretending to hide it or call for truce. He is still hurting from the betrayal he has consistently accused Masisi of, when both men occupied office No. 1 and 2 at Government Enclave.
Addressing the BPF youth on Friday, Khama told the interim BPFYL that it is important for the party to recruit more members to their fold to build the numbers needed to compete against other parties. As he has done repeatedly on numerous ocassions before Khama would not let an opportunity to throw jabs at his predecessor pass him by. He reminded his followers that their main target should always be to remove the Masisi led Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) from government, accusing its leadership of corruption, poor leadership and failing to improve the lives of Batswana in general as shown by widespread poverty and unemployment. Khama said the only way to give the BDP and its politicans an opportunity to rest because they are fatigued is to vote them out of power.