The adage ‘in politics there are no permanent enemies and friends’ could best describe the relationship between former President Ian Khama and his political ally, Prince Moitoi, husband to the former cabinet minister Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi.
Moitoi, who was the campaign manager for his wife when she challenged for the presidency of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) early this year at the Kang congress, has dumped Khama and retraced his steps back to Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD).
In an interview with this publication, Moitoi revealed that he has not joined the new political movement, Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) and was not part of its formation.
“I just helped my Kgosikgolo to mobilise people in Serowe to attend his meeting so that they can hear his grievances. That is all,” he said.
Ahead of the BDP congress in Kang, Moitoi was one of the organisers of a meeting at Lady Khama hall which was addressed by Khama and Venson-Moitoi among others. Others who addressed the meeting and have since defected to form the BPF include Roseline Panzirah Matshome who wanted to contest the deputy Secretary General Position. Moyo Guma who has since been expelled from the BDP has not declared his political affiliation to Khama’s new party.
At that meeting It was the first time where Khama went full public about his claim that President Mokgweetsi Masisi was abusing office and wanted to imprison him.
The meeting culminated in other meetings even after the Kang Congress which led to former President Khama announcing that he was leaving the BDP. The three meetings which were held in Serowe were organised by Moitoi although he did not address the gatherings. Even in subsequent meetings Moitoi was still the organiser.
Highly placed sources have revealed that Moitoi was not happy at how he was treated by Khama although he was instrumental in organising his meetings.
“Remember when it was announced that the new party was formed and Moitoi was shocked to learn that Biggie Butale who has been in the side lines has been roped in as the convener,” revealed a source in Serowe.
During the Maharaj meeting, which was to brief BPF members about their activities, one of the first conveners of Khama meetings who were also instrumental in the campaign for Venson-Moitoi Ronald Mojakgomo broke his silence about the absence of the former cabinet minister and Member of Parliament for Serowe South and her husband.
“When we were preparing for the Kang Congress, BDP was split into two factions that of Masisi and Moitoi and we chose the latter. We have suffered immensely during the campaigns. Right now she is not here and has never attended any meeting since the Kang Congress and no apology has been forwarded. Is she going to join us or is she totally out of the picture,” Mojakgomo inquired.
In response, the convener of BPF said although Venson-Moitoi had not attended any meeting with them she was with them in spirit, an answer that Mojakgomo said he was not happy with. Venson-Moitoi has indicated that she is still a BDP member in good standing and will not join any new political party as she is about to retire from politics.
Trying to play down the question, Khama said there are many BDP members who want to join BPF but are constrained by the positions they are holding in the party. He said most of them will join the new political movement during and after their launch held in Kanye over the weekend. Asked if there is a fall-out between him and Khama, Moitoi answered in negative choosing to say that he respects him as his kgosikgolo. The relationship between Moitoi and Khama has not been a cordial one as he is one of the BDP members who left to form BMD while his wife stayed behind.
On why he did not join the BPF, Moitoi said that he never anticipated that Khama’s grievances can lead to the formation of a new political party.
The prodigal son
Moitoi is the husband to former cabinet minister Venson-Moitoi and a very controversial political figure who has almost joined all political parties in Botswana.
In 2010 while his wife was helping the then President Khama as the BDP was imploding and a break away party was being formed Moitoi joined the bandwagon and defected to BMD.
Moitoi, who runs a Mechanical Engineering Workshop near Serowe Brigade, later retraced his steps back to the BDP only for him to resign again in 2015. When the Alliance for Progressives (AP) was formed in 2017 he joined the party, eyeing to contest Serowe South Constituency.
In June 2018, Moitoi retraced his steps back again and was instrumental together with former President Khama in organising Venson-Moitoi’s presidential campaign in the BDP.
A member of the BMD National Working Committee, which met on Thursday night, confirmed that Moitoi has written to the party and paid the requisite fees, confirming that he will be contesting for a parliamentary seat in their colours.
The source also revealed that a heated argument erupted at the Thursday meeting when a section of the leadership wanted his application to contest October elections disqualified. They also wanted him expelled for meddling in BDP politics, however, the matter was put to a vote and majority favoured him.