One cannot help but wonder whether this is a blessing for BNF or a loss. It is however clear what it says about “honourable” Member of Parliament Kentse Rammidi. Rammidi could well have good reasons for leaving BNF, we do not know because according to the BNF he has not given reasons for his departure. We can only speculate that he may not be a man too fond of party congresses after all that is the one constant that we can establish on his leaving political parties. He left the BDP after a congress and he leaves the BNF after a congress. We could speculate that the gentleman does not like congress resolutions; we could be wrong but hopefully with time Rammidi will clear the air. We can speculate as to whether he is going to be an asset to the BCP or not. After all he rejected their overtures prior to joining the party he now dumps unceremoniously.
As a voter one cannot help but ask themselves what politicians like Rre Rammidi want. What is it that made him join the BNF from the BDP just weeks after he won the position of BDP secretary general? This is a position he coveted so much that he gave up a cabinet position to contest for it; ok fine in the end it was handed to him on a silver platter but the point is even after he got it he left it one suspects even before he held a single meeting. So the story we are told is that he was bemused by his party’s decision to make that infamous amendment the schedule which made teachers (among others) essential service workers. While I thought the move by the BDP was a no brainer (I still do actually) I did not think that this was a good enough reason for anybody to leave a party they had loved and worked for over such a long time. In any case, I respected that the issue was closest to his heart and as such could not live with himself if he did not make a move.
His departure certainly embarrassed the ruling party, a whole Secretary General leaving the party so soon after his nomination was something you simply dismissed. Following his move from the BDP he took his good time to make a decision on his political destination. He chose BNF. Speculation was rife that he went there because his constituency was a BNF stronghold. Anyhow he was largely seen as an asset to the opposition movement regardless of where he was. Those were the heydays of Umbrella talks; the honeymoon period. He declared around this time that he would quit politics should the Umbrella fail. The Umbrella failed. He did not quit. Boko and Motswaledi bought him time by promptly launching Umbrella 2 talks. He now had an excuse to stay in politics which he did though he quit a party that had just shown a commitment to the umbrella. A project he supposedly believed was the only solution to dealing with the strength of the BDP. Mind you this comes weeks after being part of a press conference that was meant to refute reports of their imminent departure. Now Rammidi has joined BCP. They are pretty chuffed at BCP, this means they can now wrest that leader of opposition seat they have been coveting from the BMD. Just when he will quit the BCP remains to be seen but one is left wondering what exactly is it that this man Nchi is looking for? What attracted him to the BNF in the first place such that within so short a time he saw the need to move on?
While any would argue that there is a lot wrong with BNF at the moment, can the party be blamed for Rammidi’s defection? Is it possible, just possible that there is something wrong with the politician himself and not the organizations he leaves behind?
From just the few examples given here the ultimate question to be asked is what is it about Botswana politicians that make them change parties so casually? Is it because the electorate just does not care or is it because the politicians themselves do not care? What drives our politicians here in Botswana? Is it principle? If so what principle? What is it that Rammidi will tell the people who voted him into power in the first place?
We may never get answers for some of these questions but the Rammidi saga does not call for the BNF to introspect, it does not call for the BCP to question Rammidi’s motives. It does not even call for Rammidi himself to introspect, nor does it call for the media to put on the spot such a politician! It calls for the voting public to ask themselves what it is they are doing that gives them fickle politicians. What are some of the powers that they have to deal with party hopping as exemplified by Nchi Rammidi…In the end only the electorate can cleanse Batswana politics of such behavior.