Odirile Motlhale’s defection from the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) to its splinter Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) has been described by one of his erstwhile campaigners as “deceitful”.
A specially-elected councilor, Thabang Keakile, told The Telegraph over the weekend that he was disappointed by the legislator’s move. Keakile said this after Motlhale addressed residents of Otse, in the south of Ramotswa over the weekend at which he told his audience that he had made a decision to join the BMD last Saturday.
“I am disappointed with him,” said Keakile.
“My worry is that we brought him from Gaborone and introduced him to Balete in 2003 and delivered him as the parliamentary candidate,” he continued.
“A lot of councilors did not support him. They had preferred Minister Lesego Motsumi. But after┬áMotlhale won Bulela ditswe, all council candidates gave him full support. That is how he won the general election,┬áthough without a significant margin. This goes to show that he was relatively unknown in the constituency,” Keakile told The Telegraph.
The councilor said it was disappointing for the MP to have taken a personal decision to quit the BDP.
“I have no hard feelings. I respect his decision as an MP and brother and we continue to be friends,” he said.
Motlhale’s response to Keakile was brief and blunt.
“The BDP should focus on addressing its problems and not blame other people for its mistakes. I apologise to anybody who may be disappointed by my move and that soon they will understand why I had to take the decision I made,” Motlhale told The Telegraph.
The BMD interim constituency secretary Julius Kobe said BMD was blessed and pleased to have Motlhale join the party.
“Balete must come alive to the political reality that is sweeping across the country. This is the beginning of the end of BDP in the constituency. The tired claim by the BDP that we left the party because we are power hungry will not survive. If we were power hungry, we would have stayed at the BDP where it is easy to be given positions if one is a bootlicker,” Kobe said.
Motlhale’s defection to the BMD has increased the number of MPs from the new official opposition to eight.
He is to address a press conference today (Wednesday) in Ramotswa to officially announce his defection.