Wednesday, July 6, 2022

Party lawyers give Moyo thumbs-up to stand for BDP Chairmanship

A Senior Counsel that had been instructed by Botswana Democratic Party to provide a second opinion on whether or not Samson Moyo Guma should stand for the Chairmanship of the party has concluded that Moyo is eligible.

President Ian Khama had called for a second opinion after it became clear that there were some dissenting voices within the party who did not immediately agree with party lawyer, Parks Tafa’s conclusion that nothing stopped Moyo Guma from standing.

Tafa had earlier given an opinion that because Moyo Guma was not rejoining the BDP from any political party, the clause in the BDP constitution, which called for a two-year cooling period did not apply to him.

Before coming back into the BDP, Moyo Guma had been at the Botswana Movement for Democracy where he was a founding member.

But ahead of rejoining the BDP he had served as an independent Member of Parliament for a few months.

Ironically, it is those few months in the wilderness during which he served as an independent Member of Parliament that gave him a reprieve.

In his opinion, Tafa had also added that because Moyo Guma rejoined the BDP under circumstances similar to those of Reggie Reatile, formerly of Botswana National Front and Odirile Motlhale, formerly of BMD, they too could contest for any position in the BDP if they so wished.

The same, however, does not apply to anybody else, specifically Botsalo Ntuane, who it is said had his application to rejoin the BDP approved before he could formally resign from BMD, all of which happened in a space of less than a day. Ntuane, it is pointed out, is for the moment ruled out of contesting for any position because he rejoined the BDP directly from BMD, unless the Central Committee decides to issue him with a waiver.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Tafa confirmed that a Cape Town-based advocate, Johan de Vaal (SC), has already submitted the opinion that had been sought.

Tafa said there was no reason to doubt the impartiality of de Vaal.

“While he is quite familiar with BDP constitution, he is detached enough from the party’s internal politics,” said Tafa.

The opinion by De Vaal will put paid spirited attempts by some voices within the BDP that had campaigned passionately against Moyo Guma’s shot at the party Chair. From a position of laws, this section of the party had held that the BDP constitution was very clear on people joining from outside.

As it stands, Moyo Guma will contest against Pelonomi Venson, who has since made it known that she will be standing for the position that is being vacated by her mentor, Daniel Kwelagobe.

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