Robert Molefhabangwe’s public pronouncements about the quality of the Botswana National Front leadership have, behind closed doors, brought him into direct conflict with the people he is complaining about. A meeting that took place not long ago is said to have ended acrimoniously.
Matters come to a head today when the central committee meets and is most likely to discuss his issue. The worst that could happen, a source says, is the party recalling him as a parliamentary candidate for Gaborone West South.
Molefhabangwe denies that he has had a meeting of late with the executive committee but says that a meeting scheduled for December 15 last year could not go ahead because the committee did not form a quorum.
“I haven’t met the committee since,” he says.
Queried on this matter, party deputy executive secretary, Mokgweetsi Kgosipula, first wanted to know who the source of the information was before declaring: “I don’t want to comment on that issue. I don’t know where you got that information.”
The denials notwithstanding, such a meeting is supposed to have taken place but did not bear fruit because it degenerated into acrimony with ripe language and threats of physical violence being tossed about.
The source says that the stand-off does not exclude the possibility of the party leadership taking stern disciplinary action against the MP. Some members are already positioning themselves in the event that he is recalled and one who fancies his chances of replacing Molefhabangwe as a candidate has already began lobbying for support.
The term of party president, Otsweletse Moupo, ends next year and Molefhabangwe has publicly expressed interest in contesting for the position. In the process of expressing such interest, he has made some uncharitable comments about the quality of the party’s leadership, something that obviously did not go down well with those whom he criticised.
Following the suspension and expulsion of some party members last year, the party leadership is said to be under pressure to show evenhandedness. On numerous occasions, Moupo has announced that he would be tough on those who do not toe the party line. To prove that he meant business, Moupo expelled veterans Lobatse MP Nehemiah Modubule and former central committee member, Dr. Elmon Tafa for publicly feuding with party leadership, notably himself.
Molefhabangwe has served two terms in parliament and is hoping to start a third on the other side of this year’s general election.