In what can be interpreted as a confession of colluding with opposition parties Botswana National Front (BNF) and Botswana Congress Party (BCP), a key member of the Barata-Phathi faction of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has made it public that the faction deployed Botsalo Ntuane and Kabo Morwaeng among others to lobby for Gomolemo Motswaledi and Pilane to be nominated as Specially Elected MPs after last year’s General Elections.
This comes in the wake of reports that Ntuane, Morwaeng and Pilane are likely to be booted out of the ruling party following reports that investigations by President Ian Khama had found the trio ‘guilty’ of teaming up with opposition parties.
This comes hardly weeks after opposition parties denied teaming up with Barata-Phathi in the run up to the nomination for Specially Elected MPs.
In a statement released yesterday Ndaba Gaolathe says there was nothing wrong untoward about lobbying for support from opposition parties.
“Indeed this is what our movement did and what we are doing and what we had assigned Mr Pilane, Mr Morwaeng, Mr Ntuane and others in our movement when we asked them to solicit support for capable potential specially elected members of parliament” states Gaolathe in his statement addressed to all media houses.
Gaolathe says that the dialogue with the opposition parties was first “conceived to forge the passage to parliament” of the party’s deposed Secretary General, Motswaledi.
He states that instead of focusing on urgent matters of policy, the BDP is caught in an unending quarrel which he says might cost the party its credibility.
“Despite urgent policy issues and matters for debate, we find ourselves embroiled in an endless ‘quarrel’ with our party’s leaders. What should have been a democratic dialogue or contest of ideas has degenerated into a quarrel,” states the young Gaolathe.
“Once again, whether or not our colleagues are suspended, these are extraordinary circumstances in which our party system seeks to disadvantage or even punish more of our leading young luminaries, for their deep and robust understanding and practice of the democratic process, at a time when our party should have been focused more on its mandate to uplift the lives of ordinary people,” he state.
Gaolathe says that his faction which of late has been reported to be planning to break away from the BDP will not accept any form of unfair treatment directed at one of their own.
He accuses the BDP leadership of adopting dictatorship tendencies in trying to instill discipline within the party rank.
“In extraordinary circumstances, such as when we feel the very marrow of our success is being drawn from us, our traditions allow democrats to communicate and canvas goodwill beyond the confines of our party, with all citizens, including with other political parties and other formations,” says Gaolathe.
“The deep and decisive streak with which our leaders seek to isolate our capable young leaders is, in our opinion, bordering on the ruthless, “adds Gaolathe.
Gaolathe says that keeping quiet about the ongoing events within the BDP only amounts to denialism
“To remain silent and to proceed as if this is normal or desirable, is an act of denialism under whose weight our party and country could collapse,” he quips.