Hardly a week after suffering criticisms from his party colleagues over undemocratic tendencies, President Khama was on Monday lambasted for the same tendencies by opposition parliamentarians.
Responding to the President’s State of the Nation address, Lobatse MP, Nehemiah Modubule, fired salvos at Khama, accusing him of practicing double standards of preaching democratic ideals which he himself tramples upon.
“I find it completely absurd for President Khama, the leader of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party, to talk about the importance of democracy and tolerance when he does not walk the talk. President Khama suspends his party colleagues purely because they hold different views from his. Could the suspension of Motswaledi, recalls of ‘botate’ and Botsalo Ntuane’s issue be viewed as democratic and tolerant ideals as preached by President Khama?” asked Modubule.
He said that when former MP Oliphant Mfa warned about what awaited us when Khama joined politics, people took Mfa for a joker.
“Today, Mfa’s prophecy is in the works with President Khama doing as he wishes, trampling on the rights and privileges of those with dissenting voices,” said Modubule. “President Khama and his BDP institution are the worst enemies of democracy. I implicate the ruling party and not other parties because it is the one ruling this country and thus is answerable to all the problems afflicting this country.”
Ironically, Tonota South MP, Pono Moatlhodi, who also tasted Khama’s wrath and was on the receiving end of what Modubule was saying and to whom the ‘botate’ was referred to, interjected, saying Modubule was disrespectful to the President.
However, Speaker of the House, Margret Nasha, insisted that Modubule continue with his debate.
Modubule, calling Moatlhodi “a bootlicker promoted to a deputy speaker”, accused Khama of driving this country away from democratic principles.
“O ne a re thlhomola pelo a raya ngwana a re botate. Se ke sone bolope,” Modubule said.
He continued: “BDP under the leadership of Khama is off the democratic rails. These suspensions, recalls and the resignations do not augur well for our democracy. People should be allowed to make their independent decisions as nobly demonstrated by Lobatse voters.
When he wanted to stand for Gweta constituency, Ntuane was barred from doing so and so was Motswaledi in the Serowe North West constituency, reserved for the royalists. Our country is no longer democratic.”
He poked holes at the Constitution but congratulated the government of the day “for at least we go to the polls every five years”.
Neither would the intervention of veteran ruling party chairman, Daniel Kwelagobe, that the elections were held in normal periods deter Modubule.
“You should go and visit your arithmetics to see the elections were not held within the five year period,” Modubule scornfully said to DK.
Talking about development, Modubule called on the President to immediately retract his statement, which he made in Lobatse, insinuating that the constituency was underdeveloped because it was under the influence and control of the opposition.
“The president should not have uttered such words. It is disturbing to learn that developments are destined to constituencies in which the BDP won. By telling the people of Lobatse that the constituency is underdeveloped because of their persistent vote for the opposition, the president is almost ordering the people to vote for someone they do not want just for developments to come their way. Why can’t he declare this country a one party state where there are no opposition parties? The president should retract his statements with immediate effect,” he said.