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I am BNF – Lotlaamoreng

BIDDING HIS MORAFHE FAREWELL: Kgosi Lotlamoreng II of Barolong resigned from his Bogosi duties this week. The former deputy chairperson of Ntlo Ya Dikgosi is expected to represent the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) in the Goodhope-Mabule constituency bye-election following the resignation of Member of Parliament for area, James Mathokgwane.


The Paramount Chief of Barolong, Kgosi Lotlaamoreng II has admitted that he has always been a member of opposition politics.


Speaking in an interview shortly after his resignation from the royal crown, Lotlaamoreng revealed that he joined the Botswana National Front (BNF) when he was still a very young boy in the mid-1980s. However he could not remember whether he joined as a life member or the membership had since expired.


“I have not been paying annual contributions so I am not sure about the status of my membership,” Lotlaamoreng explained.


This was shortly after his tribe grudgingly allowed him to temporarily step aside from the royal throne. The decision was made during a well attended kgotla meeting in Goodhope following his request to be released.


Although he did not openly tell the gathering where he is headed, it is an open secret that the Paramount chief has accepted a request by the opposition, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) to contest for the coming Goodhope Mabule by-election. His Party, BNF, is a group member of UDC.


The constituency was left without a Parliamentary representative after James Mathokgwane of UDC resigned in pursuit of greener pastures.


Lotlaamoreng has promised to continue serving his tribe albeit from a different forum and maintains that he would not be intimidated by rivalry talks.


Despite rumours that certain individuals close to the top are plotting to keep him out of the royal throne once he is launched as a candidate of a political party in the run off to the elections, Lotlaamoreng and his uncles maintained that, “a chief derives its right from birth.”


Kgosi Lotlaamoreng further revealed that nobody is pushing him out of the royal seat and he does not anticipate any trouble when the time comes for him to reclaim his chieftaincy.


 “Nobody is pushing me out and there has never been confusion over the rightful heir of Barolong chieftaincy. When the time comes for me to return to my seat, I will do that,” Lotlaamoreng said in a brief interview on Tuesday this week in Goodhope.


Lotlaamoreng appointed his Uncle, Botiki Motshegare as Barolong chief regent.


Meanwhile some of his tribesmen who have the experience of politics on the ground fears that Lotlaamoreng may return to the royal throne sooner than the four years he had anticipated.


Boniface Lesomo, a Councillor for Ramatlabama ward, suggested that Lotlaamoreng’s winning chances are slim given that the constituency is vast and include larger areas that are not under his chieftaincy.


“For instance, his kingdom goes as far as Mokatako and beyond that it is Ngwaketse South. This means that areas such as Mabule and Phitshane-Molopo, which hold large numbers of electorates are not under him. He has no direct influence on such voters,” Lesomo contended.


Another argument by Lesomo who is a member of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), is that Lotlaamoreng would be contesting under the UDC ticket, a party whose MP has just resigned. Lesomo’s contention was that Lotlaamoreng would be succeeding Mathokgwane who was marred with controversy including betraying the struggle. According to him voters would not be interested in voting for quitters.


However the UDC sympathisers maintain that Lotlaamoreng would help the party retain the constituency as he is well known in the area as opposed to the current Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Eric Molale who is said to be the preferred candidate for the BDP.


Nonetheless, primary elections are yet to be held to determine the candidates for various political parties but Lotlaamoreng says if he is to contest for the elections, he stands a good chance of winning.

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