Sunday, April 5, 2020

Even in the wilderness Mogalakwe remains defiant

Almost a month after his expulsion from the Botswana National Front, Mosolotshane ward councilor, Mogalakwe Mogalakwe, remains as defiant as ever and wants to take the fight to the leadership that expelled him from the party.

His feelings about party leader, Otsweletse Moupo, and those around him have not changed.

“I am going to fight until I dislodge all of them from their positions,” Mogalakwe says of central committee members.

He plans to do that by taking the matter to the High Court to challenge the constitutionality of a special congress that Moupo unilaterally called in May this year in Molepolole. At press time (Friday evening) Mogalakwe said that he was still working on the case with his lawyer, whom he would not name.

Mogalakwe still maintains that the central committee which sat in judgment over him had no powers to do so and that its action was unconstitutional.

The Molepolole congress elected South East North MP Olebile Gaborone into the central committee. That central committee appointed a disciplinary sub-committee that is chaired by Lemogang Ntime.

The indiscipline charges that Mogalakwe faced were brought by the central committee and he had to appear before Ntime’s committee.

In addition to his views on the constitutionality of the special congress, Mogalakwe says that Gaborone and Ntime do not qualify to be members of the committees they serve in.

As late as July this year, Gaborone’s name cropped on a membership list of the Botswana Democratic Party. The latter party says that was an oversight as Gaborone has long left the party. Mogalakwe is adamant that is evidence of “dual membership”. With regard to Ntime, who rejoined the BNF eight months ago, Mogalakwe argues that he is yet ineligible to chair any arm of the central committee.

Ntime’s committee had recommended that Mogalakwe be suspended for a period of six months but the central committee decided to expel him.

The saga could not have come at a worse time. A congress was scheduled for next year but was brought forward to end the stalemate in a central committee in which Moupo was not on the same wavelength with colleagues as well as avoid a situation where both the election of the party leadership and primary elections candidates for the 2009 poll would occur in the same year. Generally, elections are divisive and it was deemed that the level of acrimony would double if both electoral processes were undertaken in the same year.

However, this strategy does not seem to have worked as had been intended. With only two months before the party starts its primary elections, senior party figures (former vice president Dr. Kathleen Letshabo and Lobatse MP Nehemiah Modubule) have publicly expressed support for Mogalakwe.

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