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Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Deputy Secretary General Vuyo Notha says his party is very happy to welcome former Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Carter Morupisi who has applied to join the party.
Notha said post 2019 general elections, BPF has been the only growing party in Botswana. Hordes of ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) members including senior leadership have been defecting to join Domkrag offshoot which enjoys the support of former president Ian Khama as its patron.
With the arrival of Morupisi, Notha said the BPF has gained a big fish adding that the party will benefit from his 37 years experience in the public service when it formulates policies related to public service. “We are growing into a force to reckon with and we will continue to recruit more experienced individuals into our ship. For Morupisi to join us indicates that we are growing fast,” he added, dismissing the notion that BPF is only focused on firming its grip on constituencies in the central disctrict riding on Khama’s popularity. Khama is paramount chief of Bangwato who are the dominant tribe in the central district.
According to Notha, BPF is not politicking on tribal lines, dismissing such claims as propaganda peddled by BDP detractors who are suffering the negative consequences of losing multitudes to opposition ranks. “The BPF has structures in all 57 constituencies including in the South. We have recruited the BDP members from the South, West and East. We are a political party and not a tribal pressure group as some peddle lies about our existence. We will be very strong for BDP in 2024,” he said.
The embattled former PSP finally applied for the BPF membership on Thursday after keeping the party guessing after his wife joined. In an interview on Thursday morning prior to him applying for membership, Morupisi denied that he is joining active politics. He wasn’t available to comment on Friday as he did not answer calls to his mobile phone. In his application letter, Morupisi said it is time for him to join a party that promises to provide a transmission belt with a development agenda that connects the citizens with political power.
Sources within the party revealed that Morupisi was given the ultimatum to show his colours as some party officials were already pursuing former Lerala/ Mauanatlala MP Prince Maele to join ahead of 2024 polls. Maele is a former cabinet minister in Khama’s administration.
During 2019 elections, BPF lured Maele to join the party and represent it in Lerala/ Maunatlala but the former Minister of Lands turned down the offer, instead opting to contest as an independent candidate. He was launched by BPF Patron Ian Khama and his brother Tshekedi Khama with the hope that should he win the constituency seat, he will join BPF which won only three parliamentary seats. However, Maele is said to have fallen out with BPF leadership after Morupisi traversed the constituency recently with to welcome new members from the BDP.
According to sources close to the developments, the Morupisi -Khama bromance is said to have unsettled Maele who is said to be now dragging his feet. “Maele also wanted to join the party but since Morupisi and his wife came on board he is not happy. Some in the party prefer Maele over Morupisi or his wife because of his experience as former area MP as we want to win as the party in the next general elections,” said the source.
There is growing speculation that other opposition parties are watching the developments with a hawk’s eye, ready to pounce and draw Maele to their side if he decide not to ever join the BPF.
Morupisi fell out with President Mokgweetsi Masisi after his contract was not renewed amidst his battle in the court of laws with government facing the corruption charges.