Former Botswana Alliance Movement (BAM) Vice President and now the ruling Botswana Democratic Party member, Comfort Molosiwa, says that lack of tolerance for different views, lack of consultation and marginalization in the ruling BDP has made him to resign from the BDP, a party he joined after defecting from BAM in 2000.
Molosiwa has now joined the Botswana Congress Party.
According to Molosiwa, intolerance, lack of consultation and margnalisation of other party members started in 2003 and was recently highlighted when President Festus Mogae referred to those with different views from the executive as diphokwana, uncastrated male goats.
”This, in my view, is intolerance at its highest point and I do not think I can stand for it,” Molosiwa said.
He said the lack of consultation within the ruling party was also recently shown by the pushing through Parliament of the “Security Bill” although it is obvious that there was no full consultation on it.
What amazes him most, he said, was that efforts by others such as opposition parties and civil societies to get the bill deferred to allow further consultations were brushed aside whilst the same calls for the liquor bill to be deferred was accepted.
“I just do not know if this means that liquor, whose bill was deferred, is more important than the security bill, which deals with people’s liberties”, he said.
On why he had left the opposition back in 2000, Molosiwa said that when he decided to leave BAM in the past to join the BDP, he was frustrated by the lack of willingness of opposition parties to work together to oust the ruling party from the government.
At that stage, he said, he saw being a member of the opposition parties as a waste of time as it was obvious that the only way to beat the ruling party was by opposition parties working together to avoid vote splitting which has seen them losing elections in the past.
Molosiwa said the fact that BCP and BAM have now agreed to work together made him believe that they have come to the reality of the fact of uniting if they hope to oust the ruling party.
This realization, he said, is very encouraging and is why he had decided to join the BCP which “is currently at the forefront of this encouraging development.”
Molosiwa denied that he had left the BDP after realising that he would not be given a free seat in his home town of Palapye.
According to him nobody ever promised him that.
”Nobody has ever made such a promise to me and I have never considered doing that whilst in the BDP. Had I wanted to, I could have done so in the past elections, but I did not,” he said.
On the future of the opposition in the country, Molosiwa said it was bright mainly because the opposition leaders have now realized the need to unite and work as a team whilst, on the other side, the ruling party is alienating its members by growing more and more intolerant which he said is a recipe for its demise.
“If this momentum of opposition parties working together continues, there is no doubt that the ruling party, which is continuously at war with itself, will sooner, rather than later, lose to the opposition,” he stressed.
Molosiwa said that he has already handed his letter of resignation to the party’s secretariat. Assistant Executive Secretary of the BDP, Fedelis Molao, has denied receiving such a letter, adding that the letter might have been handed to the Palapye constituency and had not yet reached them.