Speakers at a Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) star rally in Maun over the weekend that the Botswana Congress Party leader Dumelang Saleshando should be seen for a tourist that he.
Speaking at the same rally Member of Parliament for Okavango constituency Bagalatia Arone said he had influenced the lineup of speakers at the event in a bid to expose Botswana Dumelang Saleshando.
Saleshando, a former Member of Parliament in Gaborone is now contesting in one of the Maun constituencies.
The lineup was made up of predominantly BCP defectors – Gaborutwe Thekiso, Lotty Manyepedza, Ditiro Majadibodu and Arone himself.
They took turns to poke fun at Saleshando who they labeled a “city boy” who has during his reign failed to bring the BCP together, leading to the mass exodus of its members.
“I have brought these people here today because they are the ones who know Saleshando best. These are the people who can attest to what led to us crossing over to the ruling party. These are some of the people who felt the heat within the BCP stable and fled. We were tired of a leadership which shunned advice, hence the decision to abandon the movement which we grew up in and once dearly loved”, said Arone.
He stated that there was much talk from fellow BCP members when he finally came to a conclusion to cross over to the BDP as he was branded a liar, a manipulator and a thief who stole thousands of BCP votes to his current party.
“I laughed off at the sound of this joke and refused to take the blame because I felt it was conflicting. If indeed I am a thief, then all of them are thieves and are equally to blame because they did the same when they defected from the Botswana National Front and other political parties. They were further joined by other people as well and they did just same thing”.
BCP was formed by people who defected out of the BNF.
He said it was even worse when the BDP government elevated him to a ministerial position, saying he was suddenly called names and discredited, with many from the BCP questioning his competence.
“What Saleshando forgets is that he had previously featured me in his shadow cabinet as Minister responsible for Basic Education ahead of the 2014 general elections. It clearly shows he had confidence in me and wanted me under his wing. And now he is in denial and cannot live with the fact that I serve in the same ministry he had predicted”.
Arone further applauded President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s cabinet which he says is unprejudiced in the sense that it has representatives from almost all tribes in Botswana.
For his part former BCP firebrand Gaborutwe Thekiso pointed an accusing finger at Saleshando, saying he is to blame for the BCP split and the many setbacks encountered since he became party president.
He said there is no way he can be trusted with addressing issues of concern in Maun because he knows nothing about what Maun residents are going through, their challenges and expectations.
“He is yet to learn. I don’t think you people have time for a learner MP who is yet to go through orientation. This man is a tourist, which is why he only comes here on transit to the Okavango Delta where we hear he is now a regular. You need to wake up and ask yourselves if you want to be represented electronically by social media. He must just do himself a favor and stay in Gaborone where he is better known among the city elite”.
Meanwhile Maun West Parliamentary candidate Reaboka Mbulawa said he is a happy man because of the many achievements he has made during his tenure as North West District Council (NWDC) Chairman. He said the BDP led government and by extension the NWDC responded well to a number of challenges in the district including the Foot and Mouth Disease. Even though the disease is not yet done with, he said they did everything possible to help contain it by availing resources, the much needed manpower as well as monitory assistance.
“I have personally worked with farmers in eradicating bont teak disease (lethobo) which invaded the Sehithwa area and was dealt with in no time because of my stepping in. I have assisted in the construction of bridges and many other developments in the district, which is why I plead with the people of Maun West to take me to parliament so that I continue what I have started”, said Mbulawa.