Sunday, September 27, 2020

Mmolotsi denies Khama recall threat

Francistown South parliamentary candidate and newly elected Botswana Democratic Party Deputy Secretary General, Wynter Mmolotsi, this week vehemently denied reports that he has been given a last warning by President Seretse Khama Ian Khama, and threatened with a recall should he once again put the party in disrepute.

Speaking to The Sunday Standard on Friday, Mmolotsi confirmed receiving a letter from President Khama, but quashed reports that the letter was a strongly worded warning letter threatening him with a recall and probable dismissal from the BDP should he be seen to be acting in any way that is detrimental to the party’s image.

“The president merely informed me that he has decided to let me continue with my campaign as the BDP candidate for Francistown South. There is nowhere in the letter where he threatened me with a recall. In fact, the letter was very comradely and not strongly worded as alleged,” said Mmolotsi.

Mmolotsi’s woes started when he fell out with the immediate past central committee during the run up to the BDP’s July congress in Kanye. A thorough-bred barati-phathi man, Mmolotsi defied President Khama’s call not to stand for any central committee position as he is campaigning in a marginal constituency, choosing to stand for the deputy secretary general position under the Kedikilwe-Kwelagobe axis.

Together with the youthful duo of Botsalo Ntuane and Gomolemo Motswaledi, he was a key player and notable speaker in the barata-phathi’s trail blazing campaigns, making immense contributions in the launch of Tati East MP Guma Moyo and barata-phathi supremo Daniel Kwelagobe. These two launches are widely perceived to be the ones at which the Kedikilwe-Kwelagobe faction asserted their authority and gained an edge over the A-team.

Ahead of the Kanye congress, Mmolotsi was dealt a deafening blow when his arch rivals in the Francistown South constituency, A-team sympathizers Godknows Robi and incumbent MP Khumo Maoto, wrote to the central committee calling for him to be recalled and accusing him of being a volatile and divisive leader whose actions continue to tear the constituency and the BDP asunder. They also accused him of attacking the BDP leadership at numerous party forums at which he was given an opportunity to speak. The two were also quoted accusing Mmolotsi of thumping his nose at them and sidelining them from party activities after winning the primary elections.

Robi and Maoto lost to Mmolotsi in the last bulela-ditswe primary elections.

The BDP central committee would later deploy Executive Secretary Comma Serema and BOMASE (Bobirwa-Mmadinare-Selibe Phikwe) regional chairman Nathaniel Moribame to Francistown to investigate the allegations. The central committee would later find Mmolotsi guilty of contravening the party’s vetting policies, further referring the matter to President Ian Khama to deliver the final verdict.

During his visit to the Francistown region before the Kanye congress, President Khama disappointed many who had expected him to deliver a final verdict on Mmolotsi’s candidature, rather slamming the outspoken Mmolotsi for concentrating on the divisive central committee elections instead of pointing his canons at the Francistown South constituency campaign, where BCP’s Vain Mamela remains a tangible threat.

After his faction swept the BDP central committee elections, emboldened barata-phathi supporters dismissed Robi and Maoto’s maneuvers as a failed coup and predicted that President Khama would not recall Mmolotsi. They also said that Mmolotsi’s recall will effectively hand the constituency to the BCP on a silver platter.

“The president has called for unity and mending of bridges. By dismissing the central committee’s findings, he will in effect be walking the talk and extending an olive branch to the Kedikilwe-Kwelagobe faction,” they said at the time.

Their theories were proven last week when President Khama re-endorsed Mmolotsi as his preferred candidate for Francistown South, in the process snubbing supporters of a faction which he publicly endorsed as his own ahead of the BDP congress.

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Sunday Standard September 27 – 3 October

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 27 - 3 October, 2020.