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Mabaila suspended because he is my friend - Dr Khama

Publishing Date : 03 December, 2018

Author : DAVE BAAITSE

Former President Lt Gen Ian Khama has accused the leadership of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) of having an agenda against his protégé Tshephang Mabaila, who has been suspended from the party for five years, effectively barring him from contesting the Mogoditshane constituency under the ruling party.  


Mabaila, who had won the party primaries for Mogoditshane constituency early this year, was suspended from the party in  July, after being accused of having participated in a motion of no confidence tabled in parliament against President Masisi. Khama told this publication that the reasons advanced by the BDP in Mabaila’s case are baseless, blaming the party for failing to resolve the matter amicably. “I hear they are doing that because they believe he is my friend but that is not how democracy works. Their decisions shows that they have an agenda,” said Khama.  


Last week the BDP resolved to uphold their judgement in a case where Mabaila, a parliamentary aspirant appealed his five year suspension from the party. On 5th October 2018, the BDP National Executive Committee slapped Mabaila with suspension for committing offences against the rules and regulations and General Code of Conduct of the party. In a move perceived as purging candidates supposedly linked with Khama by Masisi leadership, Mabaila found himself at the receiving end.


In a letter dated August 7th 2018, Masisi wrote that reference is made to the above subject matter and “your utterances to Hon Dr Alfred Madigele and Sethomo Lelatisitswe on 10th July 2018 and letters addressed to the secretary general from the branch secretary dated 3rd December 2017 and 2nd August 2018”.The BDP President wrote that, it is alleged that Mabaila who is Mogoditshane constituency candidate has committed offences against the rules and regulations and General Code of Conduct of the ruling party.


The letter further said some of the offences listed include behaving in a grossly disorderly and unruly manner that might bring the party name into disrepute contrary to General Code of Conduct number 11 and sowing seeds of discord in the party, using regionalism, tribalism or factionalism contrary to General Code of Conduct number 6. Another offence Mabaila faced was contemptuous behaviour towards BDP leadership and other members contrary to General Code of Conduct number 7.


“As a party member you were obliged to abide by the constitution, rules and regulations of the party, and expected to promote the philosophy, policies and programmes as stated particularly in Article 14 sub- section 1 and 2 thereof. After the suspension Tshepang Mabaila wrote to the party President Masisi appealing his suspension from the party.  In a letter dated 22nd November 2018, Masisi wrote to Mabaila that reference is made to your appeal against the decision of the National Disciplinary Committee handed down to you on the 5th October 2018.


“The Final Disciplinary Committee sat on the 22nd November 2018 to consider your appeal. After careful consideration of all the facts that were put before the committee, the committee has decided to uphold the judgement and sentence as handed out by the National Disciplinary Committee in its entirety”, reads the letter. After losing his appeal Mabaila has this week made it official that he will contest Mogoditshane as an independent candidate come 2019. Mabaila is busy working with his BDP campaign team in Mogoditshane to lobby more people to vote for Mabaila.


As it stands, the BDP has no candidate in Mogoditshane and elections are next year placing Mabaila as a threat to whoever is going to be picked. “I am a diehard BDP member, if I win and they invite me back to the party I will accept the invitation”, said Mabaila. In Mabaila’s suspension letter Masisi said he is determined that this is one of the exceptional circumstances in which he should exercise the powers conferred upon him as party president as contemplated by Article 34.1.6 of the BDP constitution and consequently suspend Mabaila with immediate effect as a member of the party.


“For the entire period of your suspension, you shall cease to enjoy your rights and privileges as a member of the party as outlined in Article 13 of the BDP constitution. Finally you are directed to handover to the party all property and assets belonging it the party in your possession with immediate effect.”

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