In an unexpected turn of events, Botswana Democratic Party legislators will meet today to caucus over a planned motion by their Tati West MP, Biggie Butale, who wants a national monument named in honour of late opposition icon Gomolemo Motswaledi.
Tati West legislator, Biggie Butale plans to bring a motion to Parliament this week to request government to name a major government facility after the late opposition leader, Gomolemo Motswaledi.
The ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) MP says this would be a way of recognising Motswaledi’s “immense contribution to the nation of Botswana in the fields of music and politics”.
The motion was due to have been debated last week, but was postponed due to time constraints.
“I believe Motswaledi played a big role in our society especially in politics and music,” Butale said yesterday. “I will be consulting my party members about the intention of my motion this week and I hope they will support it.” Butale’s move represents one of the few times a legislator has formulated a motion likely to get total support from the opposing camp. The BDP and opposition camps in Parliament have been starkly divided for years, with the animosity reaching fever pitch ahead of elections. “I don’t see anything wrong with this motion except that I could have discussed with my party members before bringing it before Parliament,” Butale said.
“I hope that both sides in Parliament will discuss the motion with open minds.”
Butale said Parliament is best placed to honour people who have contributed immensely by naming government facilities after them.
The BDP chief whip, Fidelis Molao said the party will be holding its caucus today and that is when it will take a stand on motions.
“Every MP will present his motion and give reasons why we should support it. I hope Butale will convince us just like other MPs on why we should support him. I cannot say the MPs will agree or not because we are going to discuss it first,” Molao said.
He said BDP would take a stand on the Motswaledi issue after the caucus. “We are not only going to talk about motions, but a number of issues that concern BDP MPs,” he added.
“The caucus is very important because it helps us work as a team cooperatively,” he said. Before crossing over to the opposition in the BDP’s first split in 2009, Motswaledi was a prominent member of the party after rising to the position of secretary general. Earlier he had served as the BDP youth wing president and choirmaster. Mostwaledi died in a controversial road accident last year on his way from South Africa.