President Ian Khama on Friday pardoned former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Parliamentary primary elections candidate for Tlokweng Elijah Katse and his councillors; Tidimalo Motlhose, Stella Matlapeng and Amantle Matlapeng.
Katse and his team have been involved in a legal wrangle withKhama after the party set aside their primary election victory, alleging vote rigging. Speaking at a star in Tlokweng last Friday Khama said, “because I am the one who have suspended these people from the ruling BDP, I can now confirm that I have pardoned their suspensions, they are now fully members of the BDP. I expect them to play a role in marketing the party towards the elections. They are now 100 percent members of the BDP,” he said. On the other hand Katse who was not present at the rally told the Sunday Standard that, “the pardon is appreciated but the pain remains in our hearts.
The fact remains that I am not happy. I have missed a life time opportunity. Look at me now I am aging I am not sure whether I will ever get the same opportunity. I was supposed to be representing Batlokwa in Parliament after the election. At the end of the day the party is not mine and it is not his, it is for Batswana,” Katse said. Katse told this publication that there was nothing official yet from the party about the pardon, “I only learnt about the pardon from my councillors who were part of the rally. I did not attend because I went to the cattle-post,” said Katse. Councillors who were suspended with Katse also accepted the pardon.
They confirmed the pardon to Sunday Standard, Tidimalo Motlhose said, “I confirm that I am a member of the ruling BDP, I will contribute and work with the President as well as Gaborone to and beyond the elections. We expect the party to officially write to us as to confirm the pardon,” she said. Amantle Matlapeng shared the same sentiments. Khama also said his party experience crisis every time they go for primary elections. He added that the crises are fuelled by people who put their interest first than that of the party. “These people have long been masquerading under BDP colours, they have cheated us.
They are impatient; Bulelela Ditswe is coming again in four years time; I was hoping that because they did not do well in the past Bulelela Ditswe they can always try again in the next one,” he said. Khama told the rally that, “I came here today to unite Batlokwa who are members of the ruling BDP. Personally I am a forgiving person. That is why I even forgive those who attack me all the time. Even though I am a soldier I don’t like to fight. I prefer to prevent fights and if things do not go the way we would have wanted there is what we call reconciliation,” He said.