The Central Committee of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party has rescinded its earlier decision to recall Member of Parliament for Tonota South, Pono Moatlhodi, as its candidate for next year’s General Elections.
The BDP Secretary General, Jacob Nkate, said on Friday that the decision to withdraw Moatlhodi’s recall was taken after the Tonota South Constituency sent a high powered delegation to the party pleading for clemency on behalf of Moatlhodi.
Two weeks ago, the party high command recalled Moatlhodi.
The punishment against Moatlhodi was meted after he expressed concerns at the militarization of public institutions.
In particular, he took issue with the decision by government to second a military officer to head the Prisons Department.
The outspoken Member of Parliament was contributing to the State of the Nation Address made by President Ian Khama.
Nkate said during the Friday meeting it was unanimously agreed by all present, who included the Central Committee members and the senior party members from the Francistown and Tonota regions, that what Moatlhodi had said in parliament was wrong and had the potential to play into the hands of the BDP enemies.
Nkate said what Moatlhodi said in parliament about the militarization of state institutions was a popular refrain among BDP enemies, which cannot be expected from a loyal member of the party.
Nkate said not only was the manner in which Moatlhodi expressed himself wrong, the Member of Parliament had also defied the caucus decision which had set a certain time limit on MPs to make presentations in parliament.
“It must be remembered that Moatlhodi had also been given a warning from past transgressions.”
Moatlhodi had been vetted out by the constituency branch, a decision that was to be overturned by the Central Committee.
Nkate said the Central Committee acted against Moatlhodi because they did not want to create an “impression that we had lost control.”
Nkate said no new conditions have been set on Moatlhodi.
The Secretary General said the BDP will make sure that Moatlhodi’s enemies inside the party do not use recent events as a pretext of creating fresh false charges against him.