Former Member of Parliament for Ngami, Jacob Nkate, has warned his party- the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) against taking the former President Ian Khama for granted.
In an interview with The Voice following allegations that he was also recruited by Khama to contest under his team which he is alleged to be lobbying for around the country, Nkate said that Khama was a major factor and figure in the local political arena.
“He is from a very prominent family and whether you like it or not it is a fact that cannot be ignored.”
Although he dismissed having been recruited by the former President, Nkate said if the opportunity arose he would choose the BDP over anything else.
“I support the BDP and whoever is leading it. We must guard against divisions especially tribalism which seems to be driving some of us.”
The former Minister of Education said that in order for the BDP to win elections, there needs to be reconciliation between President Mokgweetsi Masisi and Khama.
“Khama is a Chief of Bamangwato and a lot of families in the central district look up to him as their chief, not only Bangwato but even some of the tribes such as Batswapong, Batalaote in Mmadinare and those from Boteti. He is a big factor for the BDP and we cannot just seat and pretend that it does not matter, it diminishes our chances of winning the elections.”
Nkate said that in 2014 the BDP got 47% of the popular vote, a development which was not welcome.
“If you look at the current situation with what is happening, one has to worry. We are likely to lose elections,” he added.
He said that the hope lies on the elders to reconcile the warring factions.
When asked about his relationship with Khama, Nkate said that they used to be close before he left for Japan where he was an ambassador but it has not been the same since he came back.
“We are no longer close and I will not be the ideal person to reconcile them,” he added.