Back in the days when I visited Bobonong as a primary school going kid, there was a widespread lingo ‘Legadanga” singular and “Magandanga” plural. I had the courage to ask Uncle Key what “Magadanga” were all about. He quickly produced a picture portraying Legadanga, a creature in camouflaged codes, caped in a beret. Uncle explained that Magadanga are freedom fighters waging a liberation war to topple Ian Smiths apartheid regime in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.
Soon thereafter I picked some Newspaper and rushed to Uncle, ‘Uncle, here is another legadanga’. “Nope, that is not legadanga, but Daniel DK Kwelagobe the Secretary General of the ruling BDP”. Afterwards, I picked another copy of the Newspaper and back to Uncle once again, “Surely this time I have got a Legadanga Uncle”. “That is Comrade Dubs Modubule, the vivacious, full-of-life BNF Youth member”.
Back in the days, Comrade Nehemiah Modubule was prominent in the trademark camouflaged army regalia, the beret a distinguishing feature. So let no one tell you that Julius Malema is the architect of berets in the Southern Africa political landscape, Comrade Modubule and DK Kwelagobe are the notables. Nehemiah Modubule has had a tumultuous and turbulent political journey ducking and diving from one party to the other: from BNF, to his own United Socialist Party (PUSO), then BMD and now UDC ÔÇô God knows where he will be “tomorrow”.
He was a firebrand BNF Leader during the chaotic and turbulent years of Dr Kenneth Koma’s reign. In his peak, he had a rare nerve for debate and intellectual grit he could take the BNF Leader head-on, which was anathema in the BNF fold. Not only did he have running battles with Dr Kenneth Koma, but Koma’s successor Otsweletse Moupo as well. I cant comment on his relationship with the current BNF/UDC leader Duma Boko, but basing on history, it’s a matter of time before the camel’s back snaps.
A self declared socialist, Modubule did not take kindly to BNF cadres who lived luxurious lifestyles. This line of argument he persisted with despite Kenneth Koma’s constant argument that “Party ya rona ya BNF, ga se Party ya Socialism, ke gore nna ha ke eteletse BNF, ga nkita ke leta gore e nne ya Socialism” as said during one of the Round Table interviews hosted by Andrew Sesinyi. Taking the brunt of Modubule’s sting was none other than the late Paul Rantao, he labeled “le koba mpa” (a petty bourgeoisie). This and other transgressions led to Modubule being kicked out of the BNF. He then formed United Socialist Party (PUSO) and after some time applied and was granted BNF group membership.
The enigmatic Nehemiah Modubule went on to win the Lobatse Constituency as representing BNF via PUSO. It did not take long for Crde Modubule to show his controversial true colours this time when BNF was under the tutelage of Otsweletse Moupo. In April 2008, the BNF Lobatse branch suspended Modubule from the party after he publicly stated that the party was supposed to hold a national congress that year rather than a conference as announced by the party leadership.
In September 2008, BNF expelled Nehemiah Modubule. Then BNF President, Otsweletse Moupo told a press conference that Modubule had been found guilty of serious acts of misconduct. The expelled members, he said, constituted themselves into a faction which waged a disloyal and “slanderous campaign” of destabilization against the democratically elected party leadership, occasioning grave harm to the party’s cohesion and unity. The United Socialist Party (PUSO) was also found guilty of serious misconduct, hence the termination of its affiliation to BNF. Crde Nehemiah Modubule was not to be outdone by the BNF, as he registered as an Independent Candidate. He proceeded to make history by becoming the first independent candidate to win a parliamentary seat netting 4,175 votes. The BDP’s Moggie Mbaakanyi secured 4060 votes, thus loosing by a margin of 115 votes. BNF’s Otlaadisa Koosaletse was third by a miserable 1,018 votes.
The BCP was nowhere in the picture probably raving and ranting after their former leader Otlaadisa Koosaletse decamped to the BNF. I wonder if the BCP has recovered from the ordeal, and hopefully they have now fielded a Parliamentary candidate in Lobatse. What I know for certain though is that they, together with UDC will not be fielding a houseful of 57 candidates contesting the 57 constituencies. This is a disgrace!!! I mean out of a population of around 2 million, Opposition Parties fail to field 57 candidates to contest the 57 constituencies, and they lay claim they are ready to govern? Kana I mean five seven!!! In my next article I will be exposing “pimples and pitfalls” of the opposition’s failure to field 57 candidates in all 57 constituencies.
In Lobatse, the winds of change are now sweeping through and the 115 margin Nehemiah Modubule garnered over BDP has faded away. This is also considering that Modubule had benefited from the sympathy vote against Otsweletse Moupo’s leadership, made even more pronounced by the fact that people even revolted against the BNF leader Moupo himself as he lost the BNF Primary Elections. Furthermore, the BCP was incapacitated in the area, but for now I hope they are fielding a candidate if they want to be considered a serious political party.
I shouldn’t be unkind and mean to the BCP, as I indicated in one of my articles, at best they will help the BDP wipe out some UDC constituencies and Lobatse is one such. The aforesaid, coupled with the fact that the BDP has fielded an influential, commanding and prevailing, no holds barred youthful candidate in Sadique Kebonang, one can with utmost confidence pen Modubule’s political obituary. I hypothesize that Nehemiah Modubule as representing BNF/UDC is going to secure the BNF’s paltry 1,018 votes that Otlaadisa Keosaletse secured in the 2009 elections, nothing more, nothing less.
Amongst many of his success stories, the BDP’s candidate Sadique Kebonang is a down to earth Lobatse guy who rose to become the Executive Director of Choppies Group of Companies, responsible for all legal franchise, and HR matters in the Group. He is also the Executive Chairman of the Patriot Newspaper. Furthermore he was a Board Member of National Food Technology Research Center, Chairperson of the PEEPA HR Committee, and was appointed a Member of the Botswana Police Council from 2012. With all these traits, people of Lobatse have a master class to send to Parliament. He shall through experience and youthful exuberance, bring about much needed developments people of Lobatse have been yearning for. Having been at centre stage during the South African liberation struggle, the Town of Lobatse by now could be a thriving City instead of a ghost town its turning out to be, if only they had an innovative and creative MP for the past 15 years. As the UDC slogan goes, “Embrace Change”, let the people of Lobatse ‘embrace change’ by voting in the youthful, energetic and dynamic Sadique Kebonang.
Fingers crossed the incoming Minister of Local Government and Rural Development will be kind enough to appoint Nehemiah Modubule Specially Elected Councilor and with a bit of luck he shall take over the Mayoralship reigns in Lobatse. I am imagining Crde Modubule seating boisterously in the back seat of the Mayoral Car donning the Mayoral Chain, a far cry from the trademark Che Guevara style beret and the ‘legadanga’ look of yesteryear. The Heavens have now opened for people of Lobatse they now have a resourceful and ingenious Parliamentary candidate, Sadique Kebonang.