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BY THOBO MOTLHOKA
Minister of Basic Education and former Botswana Congress Party (BCP) Member of Parliament Bagalatia Arone took no prisoners last week as he went off on a tangent during his response to President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s State of the Nation Address (SONA), attacking his former party and labeling its leader Dumelang Saleshando a “dangerous dreamer”.
He said the BCP should be the last party to talk about opposition unity because they are completely disingenuous and cannot be trusted. He said during his time at the BCP he was one of the people who were hated and singled out because he advocated for the umbrella model.
“Shaleshando knowing him because he is a dangerous dreamer assisted by people like (Dithapelo) Keorapetse as if they are playing-house talking about who can be President and who can be Minister. They saw themselves taking over power. How can you come up with a slogan saying that you are ‘ready to lead’, even mathematically, it is a completely dangerous ambition. When you only have five Members in the House, how can you take over power?”Arone lambasted his former party.
As part of their ‘games’, Arone said, the BCP asked him to go to parliament as a shadow Minister of Education and observe how it is done.
“An image of a Minister of Education,” Arone said, to the amusement of his fellow legislators. “So, because I am a serious Member of Parliament, I take myself serious in the responsibility bestowed upon me by my people, I then took a decision that no, I cannot go on. You cannot spend the rest of your life o tshameka mantlwane (playng house).”
Arone , who left the BCP in 2016 and eventually graduated from being a shadow Minister to realizing his and the BCP’s dream of being a real Minister of Education, went on to launch another scathing attack on the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) coalition.
He said the UDC was made of fragmented pressure groups that parade themselves as parties. “The Umbrella for Democratic Change cannot come into this House and claim that they are a Government in waiting. How can you be a Government in waiting when you are fragmented? How can you be a Government in waiting, when you are conflict-ridden? How can you be a Government in waiting, when Honourable (Duma) Boko cannot not even just run a party? We have heard reports of Botswana National Front (BNF) failing even to address its leader attending to Central Committee meetings. How can there be a Government in waiting, when Honourable Dr (Tlamelo) Mmatli is not aware whether he is part of the UDC or not? How can you be a Government in waiting…?” Arone asked as the House burst into laughter. He said there is a difference between reality and dreaming. “We (BDP) are in Government, we are not dreaming to be in Government. We know what we are talking about and the BDP Government is in power and has got the experience to do that.”