Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Lotlaamoreng refutes rumour that he is quitting politics

The Goodhope-Mabule MP, Kgosi Lotlaamoreng II, has sought to squelch a rumour spreading in his constituency that he will not seek re-election in next year’s general election.

Ever brief and to the point, the MP simply replied when asked to confirm this rumour: “Ba a go aketsa” which means that “They [your sources] lied to you.” Whatever the case, there is a rumour fast spreading in the Goodhope-Mabule constituency which claims that Lotlaamoreng will step down as MP next year and resume his royal duties as the supreme traditional leader (Kgosi, plural Dikgosi) of Barolong. Until 2015, that was actually the job that he held and had held in his entire adult life before he was recruited by the Botswana National front (BNF).

Like other diKgosi (Ian Khama of Bangwato and Tawana Moremi of Batawana) who have leveraged their royal influence to burnish their political credentials and as the Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, Eric Molale, can well attest, Lotlaamoreng is a formidable political opponent. The full extent of the rumour that is peddled on the Goodhope-Mabule grapevine is that Lotlaamoreng’s exit from politics would enhance Molale’s chances of winning in next year’s general election because UDC is less likely to field a candidate as formidable. A deal of such nature presupposes that the Kgosi-MP has been fraternising and cutting backroom deals with the ruling Botswana Democratic Party. Indeed rumours of such fraternizing and backroom dealing have been so rampant that alongside another BNF MP, Mohammad Khan of Molepolole North, Lotlaamoreng have been implicated in a plot to cross the floor with seats they got with BNF votes. Sunday Standard learns that such rumours reached the BNF Central Committee. Anxious to get to the bottom of the issue, the Committee asked the top leadership (the Executive Committee) to verify the rumours by speaking directly with both MPs who denied the veracity of the claims.

A fortnight ago, government officials met with tribal leaders in the constituency to notify them of plans to build a multi-purpose sports complex in the infrastructural development-deprived area. At street level, the interpretation of this development in an election season is that the BDP government wants to entice people to vote for Molale whom voters rejected in 2015 and only got into parliament as a Specially-elected MP.

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The Telegraph December 2

Digital edition of The Telegraph, December 2, 2020.