Vice President and the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Chairman Slumber Tsogwane has intervened in a feud involving Francistown West legislator Ignatius Moswaane and Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Alfred Madigele over public outburst involving the two at parliament recently.
According to sources, Tsogwane is deeply worried by the BDP’s legislator’s un-parliamentary conduct especially in public domain. The latest incident pit Moswaane against Madigele. It is said Tsogwane and other members of the party are mostly perturbed by the repercussions this could have in their party leading to the general elections in October. Tsogwane reportedly told the party caucus that as leaders they should behave like them [leaders] not casually as it is the case.
The party’s longest serving MP said the party have structures and forums where they should discuss issues internally before they behave like that publicly. He BDP rebuked the duo, indicating that their actions work against the party. The party chief whip Liakat Kablay said this week’s party meeting covered wide ranging issues and confirmed that indeed the matter involving the two MPs was discussed.
“As a party we should be united especially in public fora and the intention was to call both Moswaane and Madigele to reconcile them unfortunately the latter was on an official trip with the President so the efforts to see them shaking hands have been deferred until next week,” he said. Moswaane was kicked out of Parliament last week after using foul language and swearing at the Madigele, following the former’s belief that the minister had answered unsatisfactorily about the operations of Nyangabgwe Referral Hospital in Francistown.
Moswaane was concerned about the dire state of congestion at the hospital in Francistown, with patients now being referred to Mahalapye District Hospital without assistance. The outspoken Francistown West lawmaker said he regards health matters seriously, adding that people's loved ones are dying over issues which could otherwise have been addressed.
But it appears he was not satisfied by the answer he received from the minister who said the question asked by Moswaane did not warrant an urgency status but rather should have taken a normal route. This got into Moswaane’s nerves. Moswaane further went on to rant at Speaker of the National Assembly when asked to withdraw the word. "Mr Speaker ga re bana ba gago. We are here as people's representatives and ga o kake wa gosomana mo go rona malatsi otlhe we are sick and tired."
He said before he was being thrown out of parliament chambers for refusing to withdraw the word S$*T that he uttered to Minister Madigele. With Tsogwane giving this matter the serious status, it is expected that the two will again appear before the VP, President Masisi and their colleagues next week to shake hands as the party envisages. It is also said at the meeting Moswaane conceded to misbehaving and assured the party that he is ready to shake a hand with Madigele to put the matter to bed.
Other members within the party however said as much as Moswaane uttered the lewd word, Madigele also said something, “fortunately or unfortunately his microphone was off and it was not captured,” it is said. What the party leadership wants the cabinet minister Madigele to apologise on, is capturing Moswaane in a compromising position and circulating the picture on social media platform.
“It is against Parliamentary standing orders to take pictures inside and whoever did that must be taken to book. It has been agreed by the VP that whoever did that must also apologise publicly at the national assembly because that’s an August house,” added the party chief whip, Kablay. Party insiders say they are equally shocked by the two’s public squabbles as they have always been cool buddies. While others within the BDP suggested that this could be fostered by the pressure of the upcoming elections. Apart from apologising at the party forums, the BDP leadership has also planned that the two will also have to say sorry to the public at parliament.
NORTHREN CAUCUS WANT ELEPHANTS KILLED
Still at the meeting, a resilient block of MPs from the northern part of the country are unanimous that Batswana be allowed to shoot elephants as they frustrate agricultural efforts by the locals. “Voters are angry they say if we don’t approve shoot to kill, then elephants will vote in October,” one MP reportedly said at the meeting. The issue of elephants has been a hot potato with several MPs including Tati East legislator Guma Moyo criticising the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism and other stakeholders for laxity on the matter.
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.