Political alliances have been broken and friends have turned into foes permanently or temporarily, in the volatile Francistown region. Mmegi Staff Writer RYDER GABATHUSE reports that a party senior official strongly feels that the party region requires spiritual intervention with individuals exorcised of political demons bedeviling them
FRANCISTOWN: By any standard, this has been the most active party region with a lot of exchange of negative energy. From time immemorial, peace has been eluding this region giving the party a bad name.
Party diehards have fought, insulted and some are no longer in talking terms after heated exchanges.
The recent political noise that engulfed the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Francistown City Council (FCC) caucus targeted ousting the current mayor Sylvia Muzila is a culmination of issues that have been boiling stealthily.
The council saga is just but tip of an iceberg. The bigger narrative of the story is that party diehards have had unresolved issues for far too long.
The anger to oust Muzila is a sign of issues that have been bottled up for far too long. Even the party senior official in the region has owned up that may be their interventions have not been good enough. Now, they have to deal with the problem head on including seeking God’s intervention.
This is also indicative of a party that handles explosive issues casually failing to diametrically nip the problems in the bud. Mayoral ‘coups’ have become a permanent issue in the FCC raising fears that there is a lot to it than just meets the eye.
Sometime last week, party deputy secretary general, Shaw Kgathi was dispatched to quell political fires in the FCC and was accompanied by the Member of the Central Committee (MCC) responsible for the Francistown region, Slumber Tsogwane.
Kgathi and Tsogwane, Cabinet colleagues are part of the teams that have come to the city for the umpteenth time to quell political fires without success.
For starters, it was in this region two years ago that former councillor Ford Moiteela assaulted Francistown West MP, Ignatius Moswaane during a party meeting which was in preparations for the Phillip Matante East by-election in the Francistown South constituency.
In revenge, Moswaane’s allies attacked Moiteela leaving the meeting in a chaotic state.
Moswaane and Moiteela are long time bosom political buddies who allowed minor political differences to metamorphose into a fully-fledged fight. BDP diehards hated each other and exchanged political bile whilst the assault matter was taken to a court of law before it was withdrawn when the two were reconciled.
Reports are that the party’s top leadership intervened to lead the duo to make peace. Just last year July during the preparations for the party’s elective congress in Tonota, a party activist in the Francistown-West constituency, Otto Masogo was assaulted by Moswaane’s supporters.
Yes, these are factional wars very common within the Francistown region and have already tarnished the good name of the party.
In the past, it was former mayor and now nominated councillor Peter Ngoma and the late former Francistown–West MP, Tshelang Masisi who set the area alight with politics of character assassination and mudslinging. The duo fought so bitterly that the party intervened albeit without success.
Ngoma also had relocated to the Tati West before he reemerged as a nominated councillor in Francistown after the 2014 general elections where he has joined Muzila who is not the mayor after she was nominated into the FCC as a councillor as well.
Former presidents and their deputies, former secretary generals and chairmen have made endless trips to the BDP Francistown region in company of other party leaders without help as party faithfuls are still at each others throats.
Former president Festus Mogae had addressed the region before. BDP veteran politician Daniel Kwelagobe had the difficult task to address the Francistown region as both secretary general and chairperson.
Former vice president and party chairman Ponatshego Kedikilwe has been here as well to seek peace without help.
President Ian Khama has been to the region as both party president and chairman and his attempts for peace did not yield the desired results.
Botsalo Ntuane and Dr. Comma Serema have been to the region as party executive secretaries whereupon they prayed for elusive peace without success. Ntuane would later get a term as the party secretary general where he saw it all.
He has done his best during his term but the reality is that the region remains volatile. The story of elusive peace in the Francistown region takes a new shape every time there is an internal party elections.
Elections or no elections, there have been a lot of political brouhaha with party faithfuls at each other’s throats. Even Vice President and BDP chairperson, Mokgweetsi Masisi has a story to tell about the volatile Francistown region.
BDP Francistown region chairman, Baemedi Medupe was philosophical in the beginning when he responded to Mmegi inquiries: “These issues of differences are there even in the families and that is why some of us believe in God for spiritual intervention”.
Medupe said that issues bedeviling the Francistown region require spiritual intervention now by exorcising political demons that trouble individuals.
“This one is a curse and it definitely requires deliverance. The problem is that these issues are perpetrated by different people and their issues are completely different,” Medupe declared worriedly.
He thinks party activists in the region need deliverance now by taking them to a bigger place like the stadium and invite pastors from different denominations to pray for them.
“Yes, these people do reason but they don’t necessarily convince. Now, with the recurrence of these political battles, it is showing that may be our interventions are not helping at all. We need God’s intervention,” he concluded.