The case of Botswana Democratic Party’s (BDP) aspiring candidate for Mogoditshane constituency, Tshepang Mabaila was on Friday postponed to September 28, 2018. The BDP disciplinary hearing committee could not form a quorum for Mabaila’s case, who was slapped with a two-month suspension for different offences.
Despite time running out for him to start his campaign as a candidate or the party finding another in his place, members of the disciplinary committee failed to show up on Friday. The matter got worse when BDP National Disciplinary Committee (NDC) vice chairperson, Yame Kebabonye, made the accused person and his witnesses wait for 40 minutes thinking that the disciplinary committee members would show up. The embarrassed chairperson had no choice but to postpone the hearing.
This gave rise to suspicion amongst Mabaila’s sympathisers that it could have been deliberate to further frustrate him. Some of the members who attended the hearing included Kebabonye, secretary Lindiwe Ntingane and Lesedi Dintwe, secretariat. Kebabonye confirmed that the matter was postponed to next month.
“I cannot divulge the reasons for the postponement of the case. This is an internal process of the BDP and that is why you guys were not allowed to go in,” Kebabonye said.
The vice chairperson of NDC, Kebabonye had written, “We invite you to, within 14 days of receipt of this notice, furnish us with your written statement of defence. The statement must be furnished to us through the party secretariat, at Tsholetsa House and kindly serve the complainant”.
President and ruling party leader, Mokgweetsi Masisi, had alleged that Mabaila who is Mogoditshane constituency’s candidate has committed offences against the rules and regulations and party’s General Code of Conduct.
Some of the offences listed include behaving in a grossly disorderly and unruly manner that might put the party’s name into disrepute contrary
Another offence is contemptuous behaviour towards BDP leadership and other members contrary to General Code of Conduct number 7.
“As a party member you were obliged to abide by the constitution, rules and regulations of the party, and expected to promote the philosophy, policies and programmes as stated particularly in Article 14 sub-section 1 and 2 thereof,”
Mogoditshane branch secretary, Ikanyeng Tshiamo had said.
“He does not regard nor respect the existing branch committee and only uses the chairperson and the branch treasurer to push his own agendas, addresses public BDP meetings without involvement of branch committee as a whole. He has actually established a faction, which is mostly made of his primary elections campaign team. This is against article 8 and 9 of the general code of conduct, as if this was not enough Mabaila posted on Mogoditshane WhatsApp group that former president Ian Khama would visit Mogoditshane on August 10 and he would meet with democrat veterans”.
Tshiamo said this was done without proper consultation with relevant structures like neither the regional committee nor the branch.
It continued: “He does not hide the fact that he is against our President Masisi as he has publicly declared that he has so much respect for Khama as he has mentored him and made him what he is and so does his loyalty lie with him.”