Parliament on Friday fell into agonizing, heart-breaking silence as Kgalagadi North MP broke down in tears as he delivered his farewell statement in parliament.
Barely had he started his statement than he burst into tears as he reminisced the thorny political road he traveled as the Member of Parliament for the opposition Botswana National Front in the allegedly intra-tribal strife of Kgalagadi North constituency.
“Mr Speaker, last and by no means least, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my wife, children and extended family….” Moumakwa ran out of words as he struggled boisterously to remain calm but in vain until he fell into the swivel chair, with the statement he was reading falling on the table and a handkerchief held to his face.
Those were the last words his fellow parliamentarians would remember the parliamentarian who made his debut into politics in 2004 under the BNF ticket.
Moumakwa admittedly informed the local media he was resigning because Kgalagadi North constituency is suffering from some form of intra-tribal strife which holds one ethnic group superior to others.
“Why are you leaving after only 3 years? The question is revealing of a concern that, on account of brevity of my tenure, there may not be sufficient accomplishments for me to claim any sort of legacy. It was, I think, President JF Kennedy in his inauguration speech who said “To some generations much is given. Of others much is expected”. These words encapsulate my approach to national development. National development is essentially a “work in progress”.
Some of us may initiate developments but which may only come to fruition at a later date and possibly during a successor’s term of office. It is not an obligation that you the originator remains in harness solely for the purpose of overseeing and taking credit for the completion of what you may have set in motion. As such, I consider I have planted or initiated various improvements or measures and I leave here with the fullest confidence that my efforts and industry will ultimately bear fruit,” said the former UB lecturer.
Moumakwa said he had confidence the people of Kgalagadi North shall, when the time comes, identify and elect someone who shall build on what he started or continue where he left off.
“It is vital for all of us as elected representatives to disabuse ourselves of the notion that we, as individuals, are indispensable to our constituents. We all have our entrances and exits.”
He, however, thanked the people of Kgalagadi North for the great and singular honour they bestowed upon him by electing him as their representative.
“Even as one departs to embark upon new undertakings, I am ever mindful of great distinction and responsibility attendant upon the office I am vacating. I cannot readily imagine a higher calling or a more noble vocation than that of public service, especially the representation of people. I sincerely regret that on account of circumstances that have subsequently arisen, I am unable to continue in the active service of the aspirations and interest of the people of Kgalagadi North constituency. Let me assure you though that their welfare will ever remain near and dear to my heart.”
He acknowledged, “In a world where electorates are demonstrating increasing cynicism and disdain for politicians, I want to acknowledge the affection, encouragement and goodwill which was demonstrated to me by multitudes of my compatriots. Throughout my service as an MP and irrespective of whether I was in my constituency or elsewhere in this country, including where I thought I could pass for anonymous, I was warmly acknowledged, greeted, welcomed and afforded every possible assistance that could be rendered”.
Moumakwa said in other countries politicians have emerged as a distinct, privileged and pampered elite who are removed from the populace and are not accountable to anybody except perhaps the high-ranking party bosses to whom they owe their positions.
“In all that this country may hereafter do by way of political and electoral reform, I hope that our MPs will always remain the servants of our people and will continually strive to retain our people’s confidence, love and trust.
“My tenure as an MP, brief though it has been, allowed me to travel and, in the course of such travels, to gain exposure and insights on how things are done elsewhere. On a continent where for the most part the competition for political power is essentially a contest between individuals for the biggest or most generous slices of the national cake, I am proud that our politics is driven by the national interest.
We do not always agree on what that national interest is nor do we always perceive the national interest from the same standpoint, but I am heartened that the welfare of our people has remained the centre-piece and focus of all that we endeavour to do. Let us continue to be driven by that national interest,” Moumakwa pleaded.
“We are particularly fortunate to have succeeded despite the adversarial nature of our politics in subordinating our differences to the higher ideals that unite and bind us. Despite the occasional sharp barbs and epithets which have been traded across the floor of this House, I have never had cause for apprehension that this is anything more than just the banter of our adversarial politics. I want to congratulate members of this house for their maturity and patriotism and I urge you to retain this spirit as a continuing hallmark of our politics.”