Thursday, June 4, 2020

Masisi grants Maele reprieve

BY THOBO MOTLHOKA

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) President Mokgweetsi Masisi has granted Member of Parliament for Lerala/Maunatlala Prince Maele a stay of execution following the decision of the party’s Disciplinary Committee to suspend him for a year.

The BDP legislator is reported to have crawled back to President Masisi begging for forgiveness following his suspension.

While details of the meeting between Masisi and Maele remain unclear, the President’s instruction that the DC re-evaluate its decision to suspend him suggest the self-proclaimed Ian Khama staunch supporter may have reconsidered his loyalty to the former President.

The BDP Secretary General Mpho Balopi told the media on Wednesday that President Masisi had instructed the Disciplinary Committee to give Maele an opportunity to present his case on the matter.

The Party had a couple of weeks earlier announced the suspension and expulsion of Maele and Tati East MP Samson Moyo Guma respectively for various offenses relating to bringing the party name into disrepute.

“Having considered both the gravity of the offence, the interest of the party, both in Lerala-Maunatlala and the party as a whole, the committee has come to the conclusion that the respondent should be suspended from the party and its activities forthwith, for a period of one year,” a letter from the Disciplinary Committee addressed to Maele read.

The letter said for the entire year of suspension Maele would not represent or hold himself as a member of the BDP, ordering him with immediate effect to surrender to the party headquarters all material belonging to the party in his possession.

The disciplinary action effectively ruled Maele out of the 2019 General Elections unless he ran as an independent or under a different political party.

It remains to be seen if his close relationship with former President Khama will be affected should Maele get a second bite of the cherry.

Part of the reasons for Maele’s suspension had stemmed from his utterances during a kgotla meeting where he pledged his allegiance to President Masisi’s now estranged predecessor. 

“Our Kgosikgolo and former president has been at the centre of issues. And some of these issues are surprisingly coming from those he groomed. But, for me I want to tell you people of Moremi who sent me to Parliament that I am the last person to forsake or dump him,” Maele was quoted by the media following the kgotla meeting at his constituency. 

“We have been seeing lately people distancing themselves from the former president. They can all do that, but I will never do that and I know what I am saying. Even if I cannot be denied positions in this government it’s fine. Especially if it’s done because of my utterances that I support my Chief … I know what am saying and those who have any intentions of reporting me anywhere, please do so quickly,” he was quoted in the Weekend Post.

Meanwhile, it seems to be the end of the road for Tati East legislator Guma, as BDP Deputy Secretary General Shaw Kgathi announced the party would be preparing to hold primary elections in his constituency to elect a new party parliamentary candidate for the 2019 General Elections. 

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