The Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) Secretary General and Member of Parliament for Francistown South, Wynter Mmolotsi, has accused the government of dividing tribes, citing Minister Lebonaamang Mokalake after he derecognized Kgosi Kgafela as Paramount Chief of Bakgatla.
Addressing a BMD mass rally in Molepolole, Mmolotsi said Mokalake has undermined a traditional leader who unites the tribe and who is leading by example. He said the decision taken by Mokalake has created tension among different tribes.
Mmolotsi also criticized the government for not consulting other Dikgosi and the tribe before making decisions. He stated that for a long time, Dikgosi have been complaining that government is sidelining them, whittling away their powers and making them irrelevant.
“Mokalake recently clashed and insisted that Kgosi Malope II is a public servant during his inauguration which was not necessary to mention,” said Mmolotsi.
According to Mmolotsi, these kinds of clashes divide tribes and he accused the government of not running this country in partnership with Bogosi, as they hardly consult Dikgosi at the House of Chiefs. He said chiefs’ jobs are to foster nation building and, therefore, every tribe should have a leader who is free to express him or herself.
“Hitting back and forth of Ministers and Dikgosi does not show peace and unity, and let the tribes recognize their own Dikgosi,” said Mmolotsi.
Meanwhile BMD President, Gomolemo Motswaledi, has confirmed that the negotiating teams are indeed currently discussing the allocation of constituencies and wards to their respective parties (within the “umbrella” model) in preparation for the 2014 elections.
Motswaledi also rubbished reports that the talks had collapsed because of the BMD’s unreasonable demands. He said all the negotiating teams bargained as hard as they could in an effort to achieve their respective objectives, “which is to be expected in any negotiations, given the importance of the subject to all four parties”.
“We need each other as opposition for power in 2014 and we cannot recruit members from the opposition,” said Motswaledi.
He said BMD has agreed, together with the Botswana National Front (BNF), Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and the Botswana Peoples Party (BPP) to use the Umbrella model to contest the 2014 general elections. He expressed his support on the unity of opposition parties and added that he observed that there is massive progress in the involved political parties.
“The ruling party is the weakest link in democracy,” said Motswaledi.