A Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) councilor in Molepolole North constituency on Friday defected to the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD).
Moses Mmualefhe of Boribamo West Ward said he could not stay at the BDP where the leadership was steering the party in the wrong direction.
“I am particularly disappointed that the recent party retreat failed to address problems within the party as it was the expectation of many democrats. Instead, the leadership decided to devote time on Bulela Ditswe,” said Mmualefhe on Friday, a day after an in-house meeting was held to announce his defection to the BMD.
It is alleged that about 500 people turned up for the meeting. The Sunday Standard could not ascertain the veracity of the claim nor allegations that the BDP structures in the constituency had collapsed.
A long time serving councilor, Mmualefhe is credited for having not only convinced the Assistant Minister of Health, Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri, to stand as a parliamentary candidate for Molepolole North while he served as Botswana’s Ambassador to Namibia but also formed part of his campaign team that delivered him to parliament.
“Mmualefhe is a political veteran. He was pivotal when Matlhabaphiri was under threat from opposition. He is capable and was influential in the constituency,” a former secretary of the Kweneng region, Kgang, told the Sunday Standard.
Matlhabaphiri said he was in a meeting by the time of going to press. Matlhabaphiri has had a long association with those who were previously members of Barata-Phathi faction of the ruling party, which formed the break-away party.
He became more and more detached from the faction after being offered a cabinet position and has not publicly flirted with Barata-Phathi ever since.
The BDP executive secretary, Dr. Comma Serema, would not confirm or deny whether Mmualefhe had tendered his resignation letter with the party. What he did confirm was that he heard allegations to the effect that the councillor had defected to the BMD.
Since the departure of two legislators from the BMD to rejoin the ruling party, the splinter party has been making small but significant gains from the BDP in a space of less than two weeks. The BMD recently welcomed into its ranks former senior civil servants, a former brigadier. The BMD has six MPs in parliament.
There was no immediate comment from the BMD.