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Yesterday evening the Motswaledi fiasco took another turn when Gaborone Central Botswana Democratic Party members gathered in an improptu meeting characterised by emotions and palpable anger. The electorate in Gaborone Central vowed to rally behind the suspended BDP secretary general and parliamentary candidate Gomolemo Motswaledi for their constituency.
In a highly charged gathering organised by the Gaborone Central Constituency Committee at Ben Thema Primary School hall, the electorate expressed shock and disappointment at the way their parliamentary candidate's suspension was handled. Motswaledi, who was flanked by the constituency committee, opened the floodgates of emotionally charged comments and suggestions when he briefly told his side of the story to his constituents.
Armstrong Dikgafela said as concerned members of the party they have to write a letter to the party president, Ian Khama demanding that Motswaledi be reinstated in his position as secretary general of the Central Committee and parliamentary candidate for Gaborone Central. Dikgafela added that if their request is turned down, they will not leave the issue lying down and will approach the courts of law. Dikgafela was also concerned that members of the party and the youth would lose trust in the party if the issue was not addressed immediately.Others who commented on the issue accused the BDP leadership, more specifically Khama, of sidelining them when the decision to suspend Motswaledi was taken. "There is no one who can replace Motswaledi in this constituency.
We have been working with this man since 2007 and we don't have time and energy to start from scratch finding a candidate to fill his shoes", one member of the
They added that they are standing by Motswaledi and will not accept any candidate until there is a hearing and he answers to the allegations levelled against him.
They wondered what wrong Motswaledi did when he questioned the engagement of Collins and Newman law firm in the party affairs, adding that if one needs to be blamed it is the president as he broke the party tradition of consulting the central committee before any decision is made. The group further warned any parliamentary aspirant in their constituency that they would not support him until Motswaledi's issue has been addressed 'properly'. At the end of the meeting the constituency committee chairperson Kathrine Thupayagae told the audience who were mostly constituency councillors and the electorate that they would not accept the suggestion that calls for demonstrating.
Thupayagae said in turn they, as the constituency committee, will write a letter that will be signed by everybody in solidarity with Motswaledi and hand it over to the president and party leadership. She emphasised the need to take urgent action on the matter noting that there is not much time left to prepare for elections.
The meeting attracted party followers not only from the Gaborone Central Constituency but the larger Gaborone area who came to show support to the embattled Motswaledi who many within the BDP believed was a perfect challenger to the current area MP and Botswana Congress Party member Dumelang Saleshando.