The immediate past deputy speaker of the National Assembly, Pono Moatlhodi says he has unfinished business with politics. In a candid telephonic interview with Weekend Post, the former Tonota legislator spoke at length about his political career and how he intends to deliver victory for Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).
Though most politicians of his age are considering retirement from politics, Moatlhodi at the age of 65 still has zeal and ardour to try it out for a second time after he lost to his arch rival, Thapelo Olopeng in the last general elections.
“I still have some pending projects in the constituency that I would like to complete. There is still acute shortage of water at Shashe Mooke though the village is located 7km from Shashe dam. Tonota as a peri-urban area needs infrastructural development including a primary hospital and streets lights,” he stated.
Moatlhodi maintained that he was proud of the developments he brought to the constituency since he was elected area MP in 1999. He said that Tonota subordinate district council, internal roads in the village and the sewerage system are amongst the developments he strongly advocated for at Parliament.
He also told this publication that he has already started the campaign for the next general elections. Moatlhodi declined to comment about his relations with his successor, Olopeng.
Any chances of rejoining BDP?
Moatlhodi said as long as he lives, he will never rejoin the BDP. “When Mpho Balopi was still the party’s Secretary General, he boldly told me and Moeng Pheto that we were a bunch of useless people. His distasteful words are still etched in my heart,” he added.
Moatlhodi served as a BDP councillor for 15 years in Francistown and as an MP for 15 years having joined the party in 1975. He accused BDP of lacking discipline explaining that the party secretariat decided to remain silent when Olopeng ferried people from Gaborone in order to win the party primaries.
Impression about opposition politics
‘Triple P’ as he is affectionately called says at UDC he feels at home since he has absolute freedom of speech. He said as a backbencher during his tenure as ruling party MP, he was intimidated and threatened by party leadership.
“At BDP I was unable to freely advocate for my constituents and Batswana at large because I was often accused of towing the party line. I was even afraid of debating many issues in Parliament because I did not want to be victimised.
Moatlhodi reiterated that he will do whatever it takes to ensure that UDC wins the 2019 general elections. He also mentioned that he will not be seeking any party position in the upcoming BNF elective congress which will be held in Francistown in six months time.
Fallen BDP heavyweights joining UDC
Political scientist, Dr. Kaelo Molefhe told this publication that opposition needs people like Moatlhodi since they have vast of experience in governance. Of recent, longest serving BDP members including Margret Nasha, Vistor Maruti and Moeng Pheto all joined opposition parties.
“Politics is like football. When a team from lower division is promoted to premier league, it will need experienced players for it to avoid early relegation. UDC leaders are inexperienced about issues of governance and needs the likes of Moatlhodi to win state power but it will not be a case of replacing BDP by BDP” he remarked.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) Tymon Katholo has revealed why he took a decision to engage private lawyers against the State. The DCEC boss engaged Monthe and Marumo Attorneys in his application to interdict the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) from accessing files and dockets in the custody of the corruption busting agency.
In his affidavit, Katholo says that by virtue of my appointment as the Director General of the DCEC, he is obliged to defend the administration and operational activities of the DCEC. He added that, “I have however been advised about a provision in the State Proceedings Act which grants the authority of public institution to undertake legal proceedings to the Attorney General.” Katholo contends that the provision is not absolute and the High Court may in the exercise of its original jurisdiction permit such, like in this circumstance authorise such proceedings to be instituted by the DCEC or its Director General.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has gone through transformation over the years, with new faces coming and going, but some figures have become part and parcel of the furniture at Tsholetsa House. From founding in 1962, BDP has seen five leaders changing the baton during the party’s 60 years of existence. The party has successfully contested 12 general elections, albeit the outcome of the last polls were disputed in court.
While party splits were not synonymous with the BDP for the better part of its existence, the party suffered two splits in the last 12 years; the first in 2010 when a Barataphathi faction broke ranks to found the now defunct Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD). The Barataphathi faction was in the main protesting the ill-treatment of then recently elected party secretary general, Gomolemo Motswaledi, who had been suspended ostensibly for challenging the authority of then president, Ian Khama.
Mr Abdoola has known Mr. Uzair Razi for many years from the time he was a young boy. Uzair’s father, Mr Razi Ahmed, was the head of BCCI Bank in Botswana and “a very good man,” his close associates say.
Uzair and his wife went to settle in Dubai, the latter’s birthplace. He stayed in touch and was working for a real estate company owned by Mr. Sameer Lakhani. “Our understanding is that Uzair approached Mr. Abdoola to utilize their services for any property-related interests in Dubai. He did some work for Mr.Abdoola and others in the Botswana business community,” narrates a friend of Mr Abdoola.