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Moyo quits politics

RYDER GABATHUSE
Moyo
FRANCISTOWN: The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Tati East legislator, Samson Guma Moyo has declared intentions to resign from Parliament.

He told Mmegi last Friday he has communicated intention to quit Parliament and active politics to President Ian Khama and Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi, and that both were against the move. 

He said he was not being forced out by the recent troubles with the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP). Moyo insisted that the sole reason is to give attention to his Johannesburg-based assignment as a board member of the African Democratic Institute (ADI).

 “I have been thinking about resigning from partisan politics for a long time. I have been considering quitting politics as ideally I had wanted to serve only two terms as an MP,” Moyo told Mmegi last Friday.

“In everything one does, one should know where to stop. I am saying that is my consideration and I have to properly discuss my exit with stakeholders and that is, my constituents, office employees and everybody.”

On Sunday, Moyo confirmed that he met some of the stakeholders from his constituency and shared with them his plan to step down as Tati-East MP. However, Mmegi could not confirm that as both constituency chairman for Tati East, Douglas Letsholathebe and Francistown region Chairman, Sabelo Matikiti could not be reached.

He said his movement from the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) to the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) in 2010 and return to the BDP in 2013 could have delayed his retirement from politics.

He said quitting partisan politics allows him to serve at a different level.

“When this decision categorically comes, I will not be taking part in any partisan politics. I will rather participate on the international space as I am a member of the ADI where I have been playing a role silently,” is his immediate answer.

He said his ADI assignment is a service that he does without having to unnecessarily sweat in the freedom squares.

In the current Parliament, Moyo is a member of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) and chairs the Statutory Bodies and State Enterprises Committee.

“I would love to leave before the end of my term and I will have to discuss with my leaders and other stakeholders as that is work in progress actually,” he said without specifying the exact period he quits politics.

Moyo’s sudden announcement could have been precipitated by last week’s DPP application of the freezing of bank accounts of his company IRB Transport and those of his long time business partner and personal friend, Minister of Youth Sports and Culture Thapelo Olopeng.  Moyo conceded that he is under investigation but denied his impending exit from the National Assembly was related to the DPP saga.

“Unfortunately, I have signed a non-disclosure agreement with the DPP that I should not disclose any information on the nature of the investigation they are pursuing against me,” he told Mmegi.

He does not seem rattled by last week’s events. “As part of the society that we live in, we are also subjected to the same scrutiny that the ordinary people face as MPs.” He however, stated that if everything was in order, “it should not worry anybody.”

Moyo insists that contrary to perceptions, his position as MP does not give him access to the corridors of power nor does he use his position to enrich himself wrongly.

He also explained that he may have been a child born exposed to poverty, “but, what I have (wealth) I really worked hard for it and it cannot be the proceeds of crime.”

Moreover, the outspoken MP says, “If anyone thinks he made me, he is sick to say the least”. Moyo also denied bad blood between him and Olopeng.

“I and Olopeng have known each other before joining politics and he (Olopeng) related with President Ian Khama in their own way. There is public work and how you relate at personal level,” he said.

Without any specifics, Moyo is

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of the view that one can be in business while holding office. “That is wrong because one way or the other, one has access to privileged information that the ordinary businessperson has no access to,” he declared worriedly.

Moyo explained that he and Olopeng “have been partners and when he joined cabinet, we split the assets.”

He vehemently denied there were personal differences between them, instead arguing that as public figures, they were bound to be judged publicly.

But one thing that Moyo openly speaks against is internal squabbles in the BDP.

“I seriously detest internal fights in the BDP. People lose the bigger picture why they are in the BDP. You can’t really mediate when you are already partisan,” said the former BDP chairman, who after a tense moment with the leadership before the troubled Bulela Ditswe resigned the post in December 2013. He was steadfast that it wasn’t true the factions have died in the BDP emphasising, “it has never happened in the history of the BDP.” Moyo stressed that the BDP as an organisation requires undergoing a revolution of values. “People are missing the bigger picture as in the BDP it’s mainly about individuals and not the organisation and the country first and that’s why I am saying we need a rethink.” He was also worried that as a country, Botswana is not doing well as there are serious concerns such as youth unemployment, the economy that is not doing well and others. He also denied reports that he has fallen out with President Khama. “I have never been a personal friend of Khama. How I relate to him is one thing but not to the extent of befriending him.

How can you advice him when you are that close really?” He emphasised that he had never lied to him (Khama) or spoken things that he wants to hear, as if suggested there are people doing that. Lately, Moyo is alleged to have fallen out with Masisi after he was earlier declared a team leader in the VP’s camp.  That was before Masisi announced that Moyo was not leading/sponsoring his campaign team. Moyo explained that before Masisi declared his candidacy, “I duly supported another candidate Tebelelo Seretse for the party chairperson given her qualities as a leader. “When I learnt that the VP was in the race, I politely told her that I was changing my support to the VP as our leader as it was also difficult for me to disown my brother.”

His emphasis is that Batswana should know the consequences of giving support to the VP. “Otherwise, it will be a motion of no confidence on the VP, the BDP and the government if we don’t vote for Masisi,” he said.

Guma’s political journey

2004 – Samson Moyo Guma becomes BDP MP for Tati East after ousting former MP Chapson Butale in the BDP primaries

2008-  (April) Guma appointed Assistant Minister of Finance and Development Planning for only eight months before he was forced to step down following criminal investigations instituted against him. He would later be exonerated from criminal blame.

2009 -  (July)- Guma voted as additional member of the BDP central committee

2009 – (October) - Guma wins his second term as Tati East MP

2010 - Guma and others were fired from the BDP and he pioneered at the newly formed Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) and was elected the interim treasurer

2011 – Guma retained as national treasurer at the party’s inaugural congress in

2012- Guma rejoins the BDP from the BMD

2013 – (July)- Guma elected the BDP chairman

2013 – (December 2)- Guma resigns from the BDP chairmanship

2014 – Guma wins his third term as Tati East MP

2015 – Guma contemplates quitting partisan politics

 ne thing that Moyo openly speaks against is internal squabbles in the BDP.



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