A former senior minister and Secretary General of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party has called for a time of reflection and introspection with the party.
Jacob Nkate says following the resignation of Kentse Rammidi from the BDP, it cannot be business as usual.
Rammidi resigned from the BDP earlier this week. He was serving as the Secretary General of the BDP. He has since announced that he will for the time being remain an independent Member of Parliament until such time that he has made a decision.
Speaking to Sunday Standard, Nkate said it is “highly regrettable” that a party like the BDP could lose such a talented individual like Rammidi.
“There is no question that Rammidi is a very talented politician who rose to the highest ranks. What remains now is for the BDP to prove that as a party they remain united and relevant despite the challenges that they are going through,” said Nkate.
He said the strategy will be to remain focused.
Nkate said he will in time announce whether or not he was re-joining active politics.
“What I cannot deny is that politics remains my passion. I will make a decision in time,” he said.
On whether he supported floor crossing, Nkate said he would not support it because it undermined public trust but also contaminated politics.
“If you are elected in a constituency using the party slogans, resources, choirs, and manifestoes and it be honest for you to later on turn around and say you were elected as an individual? I don’t think floor crossing is right,” said Nkate, in reference to a number of Members of Parliament who have lately been crossing from one party to another without allowing the process of a by-election.
On that score Nkate said he supported a law that barred floor crossing.
On another matter, he said he looks forward to a day when Botswana parliament will pass a law on the declaration of assets by Members of Parliament.
He said he has been a victim of the absence of such a law.
Too often in the past, he has been wrongly accused of things he did not do, he said.
If there was such a law it would have protected him, he said.
“I support the declaration of assets. I know the majority in the BDP is against it, but my experience is that such a law would actually serve the interest of Members of Parliament,” he said.
Nkate said on this law, his position has been known throughout and it has remained consistent.
“It would be a redemption and liberation for some of us who have in the past been blemished by allegations that were never verified,” he said.
Though he rose to the highest ranks, Nkate’s career has not been without controversy. He was at one point forced to resign from cabinet after allegations of conflict of interest.
Things did not get any better for him during his stint in the corporate sector.
He has recently had to resign as Chief Executive of the export agency, BEDIA. This was after an audit alleged impropriety and flawed governance at the government owned parastatal.
But he was not personally held liable.