Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) chairman Daniel Kwelagobe has said his party has no parliamentary candidate for Gaborone Central.
Kwelagobe states in an affidavit filed yesterday for a special sitting of the court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal is expected to hear the case in which Gomolemo Motswaledi is appealing the High Court decision that President Ian Khama who suspended him from the party in August cannot be sued.
Motswaledi wants to be reinstated.
He also wants the Court of Appeals to declare him the party’s rightful parliamentary candidate for Gaborone Central.
In his affidavit, Kwelagobe says that while Kgomotso Mogami submitted her name to be considered as a parliamentary aspirant for the party at Gaborone Central, the constituency committee vetted and disapproved of her candidature.
“The central committee was not called to meet and consider the need for the party ‘s parliamentary candidate in Gaborone Central, nor to consider and make a decision upon the proposed candidature of Mrs. Mogami,”Kwelagobe states.
He says that it was Khama’s duty to call a central committee meeting to decide on the candidate for Gaborone Central adding that no explanation has been forthcoming as to why a meeting was not called.
Kwelagobe’s affidavit comes as a response to an affidavit filed by the party’s executive secretary Dr Batlang Serema on behalf of the BDP and President Khama.Serema who is fighting on Khama’s corner contends that Motswaledi’s Appeal is a futile exercise because the party has already nominated Mogami as the party’s parliamentary candidate.
However, Kwelagobe is of the view that in terms of choosing the party’s parliamentary candidate for Gaborone Central, the party constitution has not been followed to the letter following Motswaledi’s suspension.
“In so far as the central committee is concerned, the process did not happen in the process by which which Mrs Kgomotso Mogami purportedly became the party’s parliamentary candidate for Gaborone Central Constituency in replacement of the appellant. Dr Serema offers no explanation why the Central Committee was not called to perform this function, nor does he say who did so in the place of the central committee, and why,” he states
“It is the central committee, and not the Executive Secretary or anybody else who makes the announcement and invites prospective candidates to offer themselves by completing the appropriate form,” says Kwelagobe.
Turning his attention to Serema, Kwelagobe says that Serema has no authority to swear to an affidavit without permission from the Central Committee that Kwelagobe maintains supervises the party secretariat.
“Dr Serema has not been authorized by the central committee to do all that he says he did in respect o the Gaborone Central constituency, nor to swear his affidavit on behalf o the first respondent, the central committee having not met to take the decisions concerning which he writes,” argues Kwelagobe.
Kwelagobe says that Motswaledi’s appeal is still relevant because BDP has not approved Mogami’s candidature for Gaborone Central
Also fighting on Motswaledi’s corner is the Gaborone Central constituency committee chairman Obert Keabetswe, who himself has also deposed an affidavit on behalf of the constituency which is cited as the third respondent.
Like Kwelagobe he contends that Mogami is not the party’s parliamentary candidate for Gaborone Central because the constituency committee vetted her out
According to Keabetswe the constituency supports rather than opposes the appeal by Motswaledi.
The case is set for hearing today.