China withholds pledged ‘P100m funding, Chinese intelligence indicates BDP will lose elections
Senior members of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) are believed to be in China on a desperate mission to convince the Asian superpower to release the P100 million funds it originally promised.
With the 2019 general elections looming, the delegation is racing against time to boost the party’s reportedly empty coffers.
The high-profile group includes BDP Secretary General, Mpho Balopi, Chairman of the Communications and International Relations Sub Committee, Kagelelo Banks Kentse and Chairman of the Strategy Team, Comma Serema.
According to a reliable source, the trio’s task is to persuade the Chinese government to cough up the cash it initially pledged towards the ruling party’s campaign.
The loose-lipped insider, who agreed to talk on condition of anonymity, claimed China have gone back on the deal as their intelligence suggests the BDP will lose the elections.
The move is said to have shaken the BDP, who had allegedly been counting on the P100 million to kick-start their activities.
“Our party is financially broke and that is a known fact! Most of the pledges that were made by democrats during the party’s Extra Ordinary Congress in June last year and at other party events have not been brought forward.
“We were banking on the Chinese funds but they are now refusing saying it will be a big risk to fund a party that is not going to win elections,” said the concerned source, adding that BDP’s top officials, including President Mogwetsi Masisi, failed in their attempts to persuade the Chinese to fulfill their initial agreement.
“The Chinese told the BDP to source funds elsewhere and were going to repay the money for the ruling party only if it wins elections. If it doesn’t then it will be not their problem!” claimed a different source, who insinuated this forced the BDP to send the current delegation to China.
Despite this, the source remained confident that BDP would get the money.
“Once the funds are released we will kick-start our campaign, branding the whole country and painting it red. As you can see we are not visible at all, including in urban places – that is not the BDP we know!”
The optimism was quickly replaced by concern at the thought of what would happen if the delegation is unsuccessful.
“We hope the delegation comes back with something otherwise we have to kiss ruling goodbye!” he said looking worried
However, when contacted for comment, Kentse confirmed they were indeed in China but on a completely different mission.
“We are in China at the invite of the Communist Party of China. This is for the 4th time the BDP visits China through this party to party relationship.”
When quizzed on the party’s financial status, he referred the questions to the party’s Treasurer, Satar Dada, who unfortunately could not be reached at the time of going to press.