Photo credit: The Patriot on Sunday
By Andile Mngxitama
I’m not a fan of Ian Khama, the son of Botswana’s first president Seretse Khama, but his decisiveness is admirable.
Botswana’s general elections scheduled for 23 October is not a foregone conclusion. The ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) may just find itself out of power at the instance of the newly formed Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) led by Ian Khama – of course I want Mokgweetsi Masisi to win. Ian Khama decided to use his influence to have a go at the ruling party after he was “betrayed” by Masisi who is said have defied his succession plan.
Khama’s calculation is that the BPF would win 14 seats in the Central district. Moreover, if this is combined with the predicted win of 17 or more seats by the opposition bloc (the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC)) which won 17 seats in the 2014 elections, this would stop the ruling party from forming a government. It’s a big gamble but it shows decisiveness on Khama’s part.
There is speculation that Jacob Zuma commands between 10 to 20% of the national vote. If he formed a party and took the ANC on, it would have had to seek a coalition with his new party. This would have opened up the political space in South Africa. Zuma would have then returned to the ANC on his own terms.
Andile Mngxitama is the President of the black consciousness (BC) organization, Black First Land First.