The MP for Kanye North, Kentse Nchi Rammidi, must be a troubled man. Mps who join BCP from the BNF are all trend setters and history makers. He has made history by being the first Mp in Botswana parliament to have defected to two political parties within six months.
It has been tradition and even legendary for everyone who leaves BNF to disparage the leadership and the party itself. Surprisingly even those like Rammidi who were in transit, and now claim to have been part of the organisation, have the audacity to vilify the organisation that they hardly know or belonged to. Rammidi comes across as an arrogant politician, undemocratic and a man who detests leadership. He seems to always want things to go his way and his way only.
It is always good to provide background information to any scenario like Rammidi’s. When Rammidi left BDP he had always wanted to join BCP. His situation was precarious. If he had to maintain his seat in Kanye North, Rammidi, by necessity, had to join BNF. At the back of his mind it was always about maintaining the position of Member of Parliament. It was all fine then because BCP was part of the umbrella negotiations. It became problematic when BCP left the umbrella. He had to find an exit strategy.
Rammidi never attended any meeting of any structure of the BNF in his short stint with the BNF. He only addressed political gatherings in Molepolole, Jwaneng and at bus rank, in Gaborone. He did not even contribute financially to the BNF.
Rammidi never showed any commitment to the BNF, never recruited anybody to the BNF and was never officially welcomed into the BNF. He always found excuses not to attend party official meetings like the BNF MP’s press conference and the BNF Congress in Mahalapye where he claimed that he was in Bulawayo while he was in Ranaka the same weekend attending a funeral. He was always in transit, was never a BNF member and only wanted to use the BNF to preserve his position in parliament.
His decision to leave, in my opinion, is highly welcomed.
Dear reader, it must be mentioned that there are other factors that Rammidi had to consider which he rightly indicated were personal. Personal my foot!
Rammidi is very broke and his friends can attest to that. He has been unable to sustain his lifestyle and, unfortunately, BNF, unlike the BCP, does not have benefactors to assist him out of his predicament. BCP provided him with a lease of life. This man was a minister, his rent was subsidized, his kid educated by government, used official vehicle and was closer to the seat of power and had economic influence. He is not used to the poverty experienced by some of us in the opposition. It was always going to be easy for him to fit like a glove in the BCP.
BCP is a surrogate and an extension of the BDP. Members of both parties have benefitted extensively from the government tenders. Dumelang Saleshando and his dad can attest to this.
The departure of Rammidi is not about what he says in the papers. In fact, he accuses BNF of the sins of BCP. BNF is serious about attaining state power and its involvement in the umbrella project is evidence of that. This is a national project involving opposition political parties, labour, civil society organizations, students etc. By refusing to be part of this national project, BCP delays the much awaited regime change. Who is not looking at a bigger picture between BNF and BCP? BNF will not condone indiscipline within its leadership and rank and file for the convenience of Rammidi.
An indisciplined cadre like Rammidi was never going to survive in the BNF. In his six months with the BNF, he has displayed high levels of indiscipline with the hope that BNF will take him to task on that. He was looking for an exit strategy and BNF could not fall for his trap.
You will remember Rammidi’s outbursts in the papers and his rebuke of Cde Boko and the BNF. All BNF members remained calm and quiet. It is well with us and the conscience of the organisation is clear that Rammidi’s departure is not as a result of BNF but because of his personal reasons. The BNF will never nurse the BCP’s ego as expected by Rammidi. If his expectation was that the leadership will disregard congress resolutions and embrace BCP he was going to have to wait for the second coming of the messiah. It was never going to happen.
BNF does not take instructions from either Rammidi or BCP. BNF takes instructions from its principals, the general membership and those instructions are binding even to those who behave like Rammidi. It is called democratic centralism.
It would appear that Rammidi dissents leadership. I now realise that, unlike comrades who formed BMD, his issues with Khama were not genuine but had to do with his general attitude towards people who are in position of authority. He must learn to subject himself to the wishes of the majority and accept that other people are given the mandate to lead and lead they should!
I cannot understand Rammidi’s beef with the BNF and its leader. What he must know is that it is his credibility that is at stake. I always insist that people like him are power mongers and that is why his move is associated with Gaborone South. Is it not possible for Rammidi to join BCP without any assurance of a position of leadership? The move is not principled. I know I expect a lot from a man who does not understand what a principle is.
Finally Rammidi must not behave like a street girl who washes the linen of her former boyfriend in public, more especially that he never knew this girl. I pity the residents of Kanye North. They wasted their votes but they must not despair because God has a way of doing things.