At least eight members of the Botswana Democratic Party ÔÇô believed to be sympathetic to Barata-Phathi faction – voted alongside opposition members of Parliament on Friday in a failed bid to push through a motion by Botswana Congress Party MP, Dumelang Saleshando.
Conspicuous in his absence was Party Chairman, Daniel Kwelagobe, who disappeared from parliament shortly before voting time. The decision by the BDP members to break ranks with other party MPs comes at a time when the party Central Committee is considering disciplinary action against Botsalo Ntuane, Kabo Morwaeng and Sidney Pilane, for allegedly supporting an opposition attempt to block President Khama’s choice of nominated MPs.
The Friday motion tabled by Saleshando was for a private members’ bill aimed at amending the Local Government Act to do away with special nomination of councilors.
Among Barata Phathi MPs who voted for the motion were Gaborone South West MP Botsalo Ntuane, Francistown West MP Wynter Mmolotsi and Tati-east MP Guma Moyo.
Their bid was defeated by BDP MPs who garnered 31 votes against the opposition’s 20 votes and 10 abstentions.
Outspoken BCP parliamentarian, Dumelang Saleshando, could not obtain convincing support from the House and his motion had to be put to a vote.
After break time, during which voting was expected to resume, Kwelagobe was nowhere to be found.
There are currently 12 opposition members in parliament.