“I thought the president should be challenged. I even told him that he must be challenged because that will put him under pressure because he would know that other people can take that position.”
Those are the words of Maun West Member of Parliament and Batawana Paramount Chief, Kgosi Tawana Moremi, as quoted in the Gazette newspaper after a meeting of the then Barata-Phathi faction of the BDP held at the Big Five Lodge in Mogoditshane in March two years ago.
The newspaper further reported that Tawana revealed during the meeting that had he understood the Party procedures before the Kanye congress, he would have contested the presidency.
It is because of those reports that I now wish to remind Tawana that the opportunity that eluded him two years ago has once again presented itself. Tawana can no longer claim ignorance of the Party procedures pertaining to the election of Party president.
Two years back he allegedly said he did not understand the procedures. Tawana is certainly not a dunderhead.
By now I expect him to be well versed with those procedures. You see, I have noticed one thing that has become common when it comes to the election, or rather selection, as Khama wants it, of the BDP central committee members.
Whenever central committee positions are to be contested for in the BDP, it has become a norm that the position of Party President is never included in the race despite the fact that the party constitution allows for competition for the presidential post. Whereas the position of Party president should be the focal point during party congresses, especially in political parties that suffer leadership crisis like the BDP, the race never goes beyond party chairmanship.
This is why I want Tawana to challenge Khama.
I have never known Tawana to be a coward. I know him as independent minded. He doesn’t even suffer from inferiority complex. Not even in the presence of the glorified Ian Khama.
Yes, this is the man who once asked Khama why he was still flying army airplanes after the Ombudsman had found it inappropriate. Of course, he later paid the big price for being loose-tongued as he was barred from contesting BDP primary elections in that same year.
However that did not diminish his opinionated character as he continued to express his views freely without favour and probably without fear too. Remember how he went on national television and asked the nation to assist Motswaledi in the legal burden that befell him at the hands of the dreaded Khama. Surely it takes balls of steel to publicly declare support for Khama’s ‘perceived enemy’ while you still consider yourself a member of Khama’s fan club. The only problem with Tawana is his unpredictability.
Even as I encourage my chief to resuscitate his ambitions of challenging Khama for the presidency, chances are he has already gone back on his Mogoditshane declaration.
But I’m on bended knees. Khama has been president for only three years but already it feels like thirty, hence I pray that someone, especially Tawana who has already declared interest, must come forward and take the bull by the horns. Even if he loses to Khama, it will be a great achievement.
To challenge someone who has never encountered any challenges in their life should motivate Tawana.
Tawana has confided in me before that he counts among the few people who can claim to know Khama better. That should be an advantage.
Even as he contemplates challenging Khama, Tawana should not be deterred by his blood relations, if any, with Khama. Not even business relations, if any, should stand in his way.
Tawana and his wife had already bought BMD regalia and had already booked a flight to Maun where they were expected to be welcomed to the BMD during the party’s launch in Maun sometime last year.
They cancelled at the last minute after being convinced, or rather confused, by the party big wigs, amongst them Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi.
In fact, rumours say coercive measures were applied on them. After their no show in Maun, I sat down with Tawana and his wife, our beautiful Mohumagadi Tsitsi, to establish what could have led to their sudden change of heart.
Their explanation left me in incessant yawns.
During this past Christmas break, I received news from Maun to the effect that Tawana had gathered his councilors and bid them farewell as he had now made up his mind over his defection from the BDP. He is said to have told them that he was leaving because he had come to the realization that the BDP was in short supply of brainy people. They probably believed him because that was after he had told Kitso Mokaila and Mompati Merafhe off at the Maun Kgotla.
The unpredictable Tawana is yet to cross the floor.
I recently spent the whole night with my Chief and I asked him what led to the U-turn this time around.
His reasons were, yet again, disappointing.
It would seem Tawana has problems not with the BMD or the BDP but rather, he has ‘beef’ with certain individuals in those two political parties hence his indecisiveness.
Themba Joina may as well court my indecisive chief.
Ok, before I get carried away and invite a few lashes on my back at the Goo-Tawana Kgotla, let me reiterate my earlier plea to Tawana for him to try his luck at the BDP presidency. When we parted last week, Tawana was still a BDP member and that is the only qualification required to stand for the position of BDP president. Tawana is lucky to have other added advantages that he may wish to exploit.
Just like Khama, Tawana is a Paramount Chief.
Unlike Khama, Tawana has a Degree qualification and is a trained commercial lawyer.
Unlike Khama, Tawana has a wife by his side to provide undivided support and loyalty.
Tawana can add to his qualifications and train to become a pilot. Unlike at Law school where he toiled and sweated for five years, it will take him only a few weeks to become a qualified pilot.
If Tawana has to have multiple names to become president, we will call him Kgosi Mathiba Moremi Tawana Moremi.
But really one needs not go to such extreme levels to become BDP president (eventually State President).
That is a position that even the popular Paparamba can fill.
The recipe is to be amenable to advice. To become president only requires a putative father figure who surrounds himself with pundits instead of puppets.
My last advice to Tawana is for him to watch against being seen as unpredictable and indecisive because that will make him no different from the man he will be (I pray) contesting against in July.
To Tawana, I say, Chief, you said you want the presidency and now is the time to go for it.
Don’t be such a chicken.