As the dirty war of propaganda amongst members is growing inside the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) ahead of 2023 Bulela Ditswe, MP for Lobatse Dr Thapelo Matsheka could be on his way out to join the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).
Information turned up by this publication is that the Lobatse MP who is also the former Minister of Finance and Economic Development, is not a happy man at Domkrag.
Sources close to developments reveal that Matsheka feels unwanted by the party leadership particularly President Mokgweetsi Masisi and vice president Slumber Tsogwane respectively. “Matsheka currently remains isolated just like Secretary General Mpho Balopi. Just like, Balopi Dr Matsheka is also enjoying lot of support from the backbench and other structures but it is not seating well with the leadership. He is being so frustrated from the top,” confided a source.
Matsheka who has been regarded as the top BDP firebrand politicians is said to be mulling if to contest for the BDP primaries seeking second term at the 2024 general elections or quit politics.
Following the decision by Masisi to drop Dr Matsheka from cabinet, some members of the BDP members including the elders committee have been worried that Matsheka could be way out.
It is said some party elders tried but in vain to reconcile Matsheka and Masisi as the fallout deepens. “Elders are concerned over why Masisi is losing in cabinet key politicians such as Matsheka and Balopi. Efforts have been made to facilitate truce but Matsheka isn’t interested. He is cutting a picture of frustrated figure and some are lobbying him to contest for the party central committee position. The Masisi loyalists fear that Matsheka could join forces with BDP Secretary General Balopi to form a lobby list that will have a challenger for Tsogwane as chairman,” said a source.
Contacted for comment on Friday, Dr Matsheka could not be drawn into discussing his alleged unhappiness inside the party a move which is said to be putting him under a pressure to leave.
Pressed further if he is considering not to contest for elections again, Matsheka briefly said it is a strange question. Matsheka couldn’t also respond to other enquiries sent to him through his WatsApp number although he saw the messages as he blue ticked them.
Political analyst Kitso Morekisi said Matsheka is one of the smartest BDP politicians ever. He said it has been quite clear that Matsheka was going to be pushed out of cabinet last year. “His demotion as the minister of finance to infrastructure and housing made him strong. He has never been deterred even by the demotion he suffered recently when he was dropped from the cabinet. He is doing well as the backbencher and he is pressing important issues to ministers,” he said.
In addition, he said it wasn’t going to be easy for Matsheka to relate well with Masisi of late.
According to him, Matsheka is commanding lot of respect and support hence it worries MEK. “But it will be a huge setback for the BDP to lose politician of Matsheka’s magnitude either if he decides to quit or cross to the opposition. Anything is possible and stakes are high going to the next elections. Masisi has so far lost two key figures in his cabinet being Balopi and Matsheka,” he added.
Sources also suggest that Matsheka is one of the targeted BDP members by internal propaganda mechanisms such as the France Museveni Facebook page pseudonym which attack some BDP members.
Two influential BDP members Mpho Balopi and Dr Unity Dow were recently going under the baptism of fire from the France Museveni pseudonym which linked them to the BDP factions.
Both Balopi and Dow took to social media to express their discontentment by pseudo attacks. Dow recently held the press conference in attempt to defend her integrity against Facebook pseudonym which she said it is a project that is known inside the BDP by the party leaders.
The targeted propaganda against Matsheka according to informants is aimed at ensuring that he gets decampaigned ahead of the BDP Bulela Ditswe in 2023 as strategy to cost him elections.
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