President Ian Khama’s joke during the Goodhope/Mabule by election campaign that he would join Botswana Defence Force (BDF) after his term ends in 2018 is reported to have resulted in the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) losing its councillor to opposition.
Former BDP councillor for Pitsane Lazarus Ncube who recently ditched the ruling party to join UDC said he was shocked when President Khama said he loves the military and he is going to make sure that the next President is flexible enough to appoint him as BDF commander once his term ends.
Ncube said this is the reason why he had to make a decision to leave the BDP.
He said after the remarks, he realised that what his former party President was saying was something not to be tolerated.
“Immediately after the star rally I contacted the leadership of the Umbrella for Democratic Change looking for a new political home. There was no how I was going to wait for Khama’s decisions. I decided to join UDC because I want freedom,” he said.
Ncube said he was not the only one who was not happy at the BDP. He said he has been accused by the BDP leadership of taking part in Lotlamoreng’s win last weekend.
“I have been accused of making sure that Lotlamoreng wins the constituency. This can never be true, it is not me. Members of the UDC are the ones who voted Lotlamoreng. The truth must be said BDP had no candidate in Goodhope/Mabule. Nobody wanted Molale in that area,” he said.
Ncube assured UDC leadership that they should expect more members of the BDP from Pitsane who will be following his footsteps.
“We should expect some in the leadership of the BDP to also join this movement,” he said.
Welcoming Ncube to Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), party President Duma Boko said apart from losing the by elections the ruling BDP is also losing their members.
“We are here today to show you our first evidence. The BDP is losing strong leaders who are also youthful. The UDC welcome Pitsane Councillor, Lazarus Ncube. He is the first councillor joining the UDC from Good Hope/Mabule. We believe that he is not going to be last to join Umbrella for Democratic Change,” Boko said.
The UDC president said his movement went to the by election faced with a big challenge as the area meant a lot to the ruling BDP, to an extent of using government resources on party campaigns.
“It was clear that President Ian Khama wanted to make sure that Molale wins the area. We believe that Molale was being prepared for a certain position. They went to an extent of using government resources. People were even wondering whether it was BDF day because of the BDF helicopters and cars that were used in the campaign,” he said.
Boko said all the Ministers of the current government relocated to the area to campaign for Molale. He said the UDC had no resources but had a message of unifying the country that they offered to the people of Goodhope/Mabule constituency.
He said unlike the BDP, they were not confused on who to field in the area because they already had a long serving member of the BNF, Kgosi Lotlaamoreng II.
“We knew that when situations were the way they were, we had to deal from the bottom of the deck and we dealt an Ace. We knew from the get go that we were dealing with an Ace. We had no doubt in our minds and from that moment we knew Botswana Democratic Party had lost the elections and if they didn’t know it we needed just to demonstrate to them on Election Day,” he said.