Robert Molefhabangwe, the estranged former Botswana National Front Member of Parliament for Gaborone West South, will soon be receiving a baptism of fire in his new political home.
Molefhabangwe, who recently defected to the Botswana Democratic Party, could find himself at the centre of that party’s internecine factional battles if he agrees to become the leadership’s poster boy in their pitch to get him become Mayor for Gaborone City.
Old faces in the BDP are, however, already bracing themselves for a fight over what one of them has termed “brazen favouritism”.
Many of the Councillors, loyal to Barata Phathi faction see Molefhabangwe as President Khama’s blue eyed boy, and therefore a potential member of the A-Team Faction.
Early this week, indications were that Molefhabangwe would be made a specially nominated councilor in Gaborone.
Further indications were that his stay at the Council would be intended to be only a temporary stopover on his way back to parliament.
The Council seat is seen as a way of preparing him for a big battle in 2014 where he would be expected to recapture Gaborone West South from Botsalo Ntuane.
Ntuane is among the BDP leadership’s least liked MPs.
Dismissed by many as a blast from the past, Molefhabangwe used to keep the executive on their toes with his well researched and well debated motions that won the support of his House colleagues from across the political divide.
He was sacked by the BNF leadership after he publicly criticised the current leadership and made known his intention to contest the position of party president at a Congress due mid-next year.
Recent news of his defection to the BDP came as a shock to many of his faithful admirers.
After his sacking from the BNF, Molefhabangwe stood as an independent only to lose to Ntuane.
While some inside the ruling party were still celebrating him as a big catch, already there are murmurs that the vanquished Barata Phathi are jealous of him being made a Mayor, especially since he is barely a week old as a BDP card carrying member.
Barata Phathi are also worried that Molefhabangwe’s elevation to the position of City Mayor will put him in a spot light position that could work positively for him as to be able to oust Ntuane who is one of the faction’s best brains.
As a result, councilors from Barata Phathi who are in the majority have been trying to strike an alliance with the Botswana Congress Party to stop Molefhabangwe.
“We are not interested. Barata Phathi is in the majority. They can manage without us. After what they did to us, we cannot cooperate with them on anything,” said a BCP member, in reference to a recent chickening out by Barata Phathi to team up with opposition in parliament to come up with their own four Specially Elected MPs.