The former Botswana Democratic Party’s (BDP) Mogoditshane parliamentary candidate, Tshepang Mabaila says he got shock of his life when he was suspended for an offence, where no witnesses were called to testify against him.
BDP found Mabaila guilty of one offence, which is alleged to have tried to influence some members of parliament, especially Sethomo Lelatisitswe and Minister of Health and Wellness, Alfred Madigele to vote with opposition parties in the motion of no confidence that was tabled against President Mokgweetsi Masisi. BDP slapped Mabaila with a five-year suspension on Friday.
Mabaila has since declared that he will contest the upcoming general elections as an independent candidate, popularly referred to as mokoko, for Mogoditshane constituency.
The decision to suspend Mabaila has divided the BDP in the area. After the verdict, some party members vowed to support Mabaila in whatever decision he takes, with some declaring they are quitting the ruling party.
“I am only shocked that BDP National Disciplinary Committee (NDC) has found me guilty on an offence, while they failed to call their witnesses to testify against me in order to prove their case. What they are simply implying is that the letters written by Lelatisitswe and Madigele are enough to convict me,” Mabaila said.
“I have long seen this plan because the issue is that the BDP leadership believe that I like former president Ian Khama more than the current President Mokgweetsi Masisi.”
Mabaila said some BDP members had never welcomed him even after he won BDP Bulela Ditswe and they kept on finding ways to try and tarnish
One of the BDP members for Mogoditshane constituency, Tapologo Chabi said, “We do not accept the decision of the BDP disciplinary committee. The BDP is going to lose this constituency and we are going to de-campaign it. Our party has hurt us because it has decided to listen to petty issues. The party had no witnesses in their case even in the one that they claimed that constituency branch committee had written a complaint letter against Mabaila. It became clear during the disciplinary hearing that some members of the central committee had interest in this case”.
At the BDP office, when The Monitor crew arrived some sympathisers were throwing their party cards on the floor.
Mabaila was facing several charges said to have been committed against the rules and regulations and General Code of Conduct of the ruling party. Masisi had slapped Mabaila with two months suspension prior to the disciplinary hearing.
The offences include behaving in a grossly disorderly and unruly manner that might put the party name into disrepute contrary to General Code of Conduct number 11 and sowing seeds of discord in the party, using regionalism, tribalism or factionalism contrary to General Code of Conduct number 6.