FRANCISTOWN: Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) primary elections loser, Fankie Motsaathebe, plans to leave the ruling party, his home of 25 years.
Motsaathebe said yesterday that he was considering options of crossing the floor to a new political home after an encounter with the BDP Goodhope/Mabule parliamentary by-election loser, Eric Molale.
“It’s high time I considered my options because I can’t stay in a party where there are such attitudes,” he said. “I have been abused and violated by the people for a long time.”
Motsaathebe said because the BDP was not his mother, he was destined to part ways with it and search for peace in the opposition bloc.
His decision to look for a new political home resulted from the BDP’s post by-elections meeting in Goodhope where Molale thanked eight out of 10 councillors for their role in the by-election and “told me to my face that he had nothing to thank me for and if I wanted to know the reasons I should come to see him”.
The two BDP councillors that Molale reportedly could not thank were Aron Mothibi of Rakhuna and Lazarus Ncube of Pitsane because they were loyal to Motsaathebe.
“Worriedly, Molale recommended that Mothibi and Ncube should be chased from the party although he could not state reasons for such an action,” declared Motsaathebe.
Motsaathebe said Molale’s action could have been informed by intelligence information gathered by the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Service (DIS).
“My supporters are up in arms that I should take proper action including the option of leaving the party,” he said. “If Molale’s attitude is the attitude of the party leadership, then I better leave. The BDP is not my mother after all.”
Motsaathebe said he had started to consult family and friends regarding his intention to join the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC). He added that he did not have a future with the BDP, especially after the Monday meeting. “After 25 years of my history with the BDP and loyalty to the ruling party it’s a painful thing to be treated so shabbily by party elders,” he said.
Quizzed about his problems with Molale, Rakhuna’s councillor Mothibi said: “What I know is that when we started campaigns for the by-election we were informed to support Molale but I didn’t know where this directive came from and I instead supported Motsaathebe”.
Mothibi said Molale would later tell him to his face that he hated him for supporting Motsaathebe in the party primaries.
“I had agreed to support Motsaathebe because of what he promised to offer to the constituents, which is offered in a democracy oblivious that I was in fact setting myself a political trap that is exploding today,” he said. Pitsane’s councillor Ncube also said he was aware that Molale had nothing to thank him for.
The meeting was attended by a member of the BDP central committee responsible for Goodhope/Mabule, Botlogile Tshireletso, who yesterday told Mmegi: “For now I will remain non-committal about what transpired at the party’s post-elections meeting in Goodhope that was addressed by Molale amongst others. As the party’s MCC responsible for Goodhope/Mabule, I have an obligation to report to the central committee anything that is reportable during the by-elections and after”.
Quizzed about the Goodhope controversial meeting, BDP secretary general Botsalo Ntuane said yesterday that he was awaiting a report from the campaign manager, Mbaha Kambimba.
“Otherwise, I feel hamstrung to respond to reports seeking to know if Molale indeed said he will not thank some party diehards including Motsaathebe,” Ntuane said. Efforts to get Molale’s comment were fruitless.