LECHENG: Lerala/Maunatla parliamentary hopeful, Prince Maele has vowed to retain the Tswapong-based constituency in the polls soon to be called next October.
At a massive rally in Lecheng village Saturday afternoon where he launched his elections symbol as an independent candidate, Maele warned his opponents that they were in for a tough time.
Maele’s symbol is one of the Tswapong hills, which has significance to him in that as Batswapong they performed rituals for healing the sick at the hills.
Also, all the rivers in Tswapong emanate from the Tswapong Hills and as such the ecstatic Maele indicated that he and his team of civic leaders settled for the hills to show a sense of belonging and patriotism.
Maele is part of the 11th Parliament that recently wrapped up business ahead of President Mokgweetsi Masisi dissolving the August House and declaring election day.
He emphasised that the Tswapong hills are important in that they provide fertile land to graze their animals.
It is interesting how a few months ago, Maele shouted the BDP slogan of Tsholetsa Domkrag with a lifted clinched fist and now he came with a new slogan of ‘Re palama thaba’, which is emphasised by a kangaroo-like dance demonstrating a person going over the hills.
One person would shout, Thaba and the crowd would respond… re palama thaba…ya botshelo loosely translated it means we climb the hill of life.
It was very interesting how the whole rally of the young and the old had quickly acclimatised to the new symbol and the independent candidate’s slogan. Songs have already been composed in support and appreciation of Maele as the candidate.
A few months ago Maele was declared the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful in a hotly contested primary election where he beat his challenger, Sethabelo Modukanele.
A few months down the line, the BDP leadership slapped the Gootau-born politician with a suspension from the party that technically prohibited him from contesting the impending general election.
Maele’s main undoing was declaring his undying support for former president Ian Khama who is also the Kgosikgolo of GammaNgwato. Coming from the royal house in Gootau, a part of GammaNgwato, Maele also recognised Khama as his senior in terms of chieftainship hierarchy in GammaNgwato.
With Khama embroiled in political brouhaha with his successor President Mokgweetsi Masisi, Maele’s words hurt the Masisi-led administration and his attempts to protest the decision of the party could not bear fruit, as it was unsuccessful.
Since his failure to secure a BDP ticket to contest the 2019 general election, Maele has been fighting very hard to
If numbers were anything to go by, Maele’s weekend meeting was a success by any village standards as he was able to attract a good crowd. Literally, he had brought the village to a stand still as masses attended a rally from across Lerala/Maunatlala.
Maele’s departure from the BDP has literally crippled the BDP structures, as he seems to have uprooted everything including the main regional structures including youth and women organs.
Maele warned the constituents not to vote for his opponent and former BDP fellow, Modukanelo whom he presented as one of the plotters of his downfall from the BDP.
He would further warn the constituents of “eight witches and wizards” whom he accused of working against his political progress in the constituency.
He painted the wife of permanent secretary to the President (PSP) Carter Morupisi, whom he addressed as Pini Morupisi and Modukanele, with a red brush appealing to the villagers not to vote for them.
Just in a few months outside the ruling BDP, Maele is fast acclimatising to politics of opposition where bread and butter issues are combined with entertainment to send the message of the day to the people.
Maele objected to the election of Morupisi (Pini) and Modukanele saying that it will be akin to empowering PSP Morupisi, who has been at loggerheads with the civil servants over many issues.
Just a few minutes before the launch of the symbol commenced, a tent housing the top table was blown away by a whirlwind, which Maele blamed on his BDP opponents.
“That is the work of witchcraft, they had thought we were going to start our launch at noon as earlier announced and immediately at noon the whirlwind accomplished its destructive mission,” Maele said to a thunderous applause from the crowd.
Maele was quick to inform his followers that motor vehicles have been provided to cover the length and breadth of the constituency. He could not say where the vehicles came from.
The rally was well branded to catch the eye of a passerby. Villagers could have been impressed by the singular effort of Maele in an attempt to win the hearts and minds of the people.
Speakers before Maele presented him as a victim of circumstance at the hands of the BDP.
Khama who is the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) patron will launch Maele at a date yet to be announced.