Botswana: Masisi’s female challenger defends ambition

APA-Gaborone (Botswana)

Botswana’s former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Pelonomi Venson Moitoi on Friday defended her decision to challenge President Mokgweetsi Masisi for the presidency of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).

This follows media reports detailing how former President Festus Mogae castigated Venson Moitoi for taking a decision to challenge Masisi.

In a veiled response to Mogae’s criticism of her decision, Venson Moitoi stated that “I do not believe that this journey will be easy. I expect to be challenged, criticised and worse.”

She added: “But that is the basis of why am doing this. As my question is simply; why can I not do this? I am not experienced enough. Do I not have the right temperament; do I act out of emotion when the pressure is on? Do I not have a reputation of being a peacemaker?”

For the first time in history, the leader of BDP will be challenged at the party’s elective congress scheduled for March this year.

Should Venson-Moitoi defeat Masisi as the party president, she would automatically become Botswana’s first female President.

But Mogae was quoted as saying Botswana is not yet ready for a female president.


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