The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP)’s Secretary General, Thato Kwerepe, whose party is faced with mass exodus of members to the newly formed Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) raised the stakes Friday as he indicated that his party is most likely to sponsor a motion calling for the banning of floor crossing with seats.
“I think we will cross the bridge when we get there. I think, motions are brought up when there is a troubling issue and I don’t think Batswana are happy with people crossing floors with seats won under the BDP ticket,” he said.
Four members of parliament have already crossed the floor to the BMD with seats won under the BDP ticket, prompting the party and its president to call on them to surrender the seats.
“The BDP members are not happy with what is happening because these people were elected under the BDP ticket,” he said.
In the 1980s and 90s when the opposition Botswana National Front (BNF) brought up the motion to ban floor crossing with parliamentary seats at a time when it was faced with a torrent of defections to the ruling BDP, the motion was bitterly opposed by BDP members.
The motion was later tabled by Gladys Kokorwe but never saw the light of the day.
Now the BDP, which is losing sitting MPs to the new party is all for it.
Thato Kwerepe was speaking in Francistown on Friday ahead of the BMD rally this weekend, which is billed to welcome new members who are crossing from the BDP.
The BDP further put a brave face of denial at the briefing, saying that the recent developments in the party do not in any way threaten its position in power.
“This is a blessing in disguise. These people have for a long time shown some indiscipline and I think it is a good thing that they left,” the Executive Secretary of the BDP Batang Serema said.
He asserted during a press briefing in Francistown last week that although the party decided to expel some members who they deemed as undisciplined, the party is still intact and strong to win the coming elections. Serema stated that the party recently expelled Guma Moyo, who has since been associated with the BMD, because he was not towing the party line and so stern measure had to be taken against him.
He also mentioned that although he is no longer a member of BDP he will have to leave his seat in parliament as he was elected by the people with their hope in BDP and not the newly formed BMD.
“The other purpose for this meeting with the media is to make a formal presentation to BDP members that Guma Moyo is no longer a member of the BDP and no longer a legislator in the constituency,” he said.
Serema went on to attack Botsalo Ntuane and Wynter Mmolotsi, saying that it is a blessing in disguise for them to go to the BMD “as they had been a pain in the neck for a long time in the BDP and have been conniving with the opposition to try and bring the BDP down”.