SEROWE: A throng of Bangwato tribesmen and women have given their Paramount Chief and past immediate State president, Ian Khama the green light to leave the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).
This follows what Khama himself described as “unbearable and tumultuous relationship” with his former protégé, President Mokgweetsi Masisi and his administration.
In particular, Khama said he was irked by the current crop of the BDP’s leaders for allegedly breaking the provisions of the party constitution. He perceived the new leaders to be ruling with impunity and possessing undemocratic tendencies. He particularly mentioned President Masisi and Vice President and party chairman, Slumber Tsogwane as leading troublemakers.
He however, chose to await his exit from the BDP until two to three weeks to further consult an array of stakeholders, duly hand over his BDP membership card and move on with his political life. He did not specify where he intends to go, but promised to shed more light on the issue in two to three weeks.
Khama told thousands of people who had thronged his meeting last Saturday that since the vast Central District was the stronghold of the BDP; it was his new plan to ensure that his new political movement takes it all and paralyse the ‘undemocratic’ BDP.
Without elaborating, Khama promised to unleash a strategic direction for the envisaged political movement and how he was going to lead the masses of GammaNgwato into his life post BDP and the plan he says is to target the period of the impending general elections.
Khama kept reminding Bangwato who had come from the four corners of the tribal territory of GammaNgwato that their votes are most important to a bazooka rifle in the impending October general elections.
In the interim, he would meet a lot of strategic partners including non-BDP members as the bigger plan to return democracy to Botswana is to include other political players including Umbrella for Democratic Change, Alliance for Progressives, Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) independent candidates otherwise known as mekoko and other interested BDP activists.
“I want to be free to work with others and I know within two to three weeks they might have suspended me from the BDP and that’s not my concern as the bigger picture is to talk about the future of this country, unity and peace which are under threat under the Masisi regime.”
He condemned the BDP-led government for its recent grounding of UDC leader, Duma Boko’s campaign aircraft that were impounded by the tax agency Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) as an act of intolerance and an endeavour to disable the UDC from mounting a powerful 2019 general elections campaign.
Interestingly, Khama highlighted that once Boko’s aircraft returned, “because they deny me their aircraft, I am going to request for a lift from Boko to campaign around the country. If you see me flying an aircraft inscribed Duma Boko for president you should know the reason.”
He also shouted that his tribal people should not be surprised from now onwards if the State could intensify its troubles against him.
“Tomorrow you will see. They might want to do something. But, I tell you, your vote is the greatest weapon against these people.” When the massive meeting commenced, Khama’s initial mission was to share with the masses his plan to leave the BDP.
Even before he could continue with his address, his subjects were seemingly agreeable that their Paramount Chief should quit there and then, promising to follow him en-masse.
“Yes, we agree!” shouted the excited crowd that promised to leave the BDP as well to follow
The tribe did not seem worried by the chief’s incessant butchering of their language. Sample this: “ Mme ga ke bata go mo togela, ga ke bate go mmolaya (If I leave the BDP, my motive is not to kill it)”. He wants to see the BDP alive and kicking with a plan to meet it at the point of need.
Khama was hopeful that those who will remain in the BDP as others migrate to the new political home would duly do something to resuscitate the waning party fortunes.
Without mentioning names, Khama indicated that he wanted to go and work with others who will uphold democratic ideals as the current regime continues to trample upon the rights of the people.
He told the partisan crowd: “I came here to consult you and didn’t just want to come here to tell you I am simply leaving the BDP without giving you background to my troubles with the Masisi-led government and party leadership.”
Even when he repeated the question whether he should leave the BDP or not, the answer was a repeated thunderous yes.
Khama’s problems with the current regime are well documented and his latest trouble with the BDP leadership he said was their tendency to violate the provisions of the party constitution with impunity.
“They are driven by power hunger to the extent that they want to remain in party positions at all cost by postponing elective congresses so that they can remain in power,” he said.
He repeated the Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi incident in which her nationality became an issue for speculation and even challenged at the courts of law when she was a known Motswana who has served the government for about 40 years just because she was challenging Masisi for party presidency.
“I will continue to defend democracy even post my days at the army where I was a commander. Even when Masisi threatens democracy, I will still talk about it and I encourage you to defend our democracy,” said Khama to a thunderous applause from the elated crowd.
Within the Central District, Khama promised to give amongst others, Vice President and Boteti West MP Slumber Tsogwane, Sefhare-Ramokgonami MP Dorcas Makgato and Bobirwa parliamentary candidate, Francisco Kgoboko a torrid time.
He stated how he was disappointed with the manner in which the trio and others continue to conduct themselves after seeking political assistance from him.
He has promised to go all out, “to teach them a political lesson as a political solution.” In particular, he felt betrayed by the trio as he indicated that at some stage Makgato and Kgoboko came to him in dire need of his assistance and the next thing he saw them on the videos presenting Masisi as their Messiah after they had registered concerns with his decision-making.
As for Tsogwane, “It’s only a matter of time before I go into his constituency and teach him a lesson because I used to see him as calm and a real gentleman until recently when he chose to decampaign me in Palapye. He will have to pay.”
In Sefhare-Ramokgonami, Khama has promised to meet the constituents, “and fix their MP who is driven by politics of the stomach.”