Monday, January 25, 2021

Rammidi joins BNF

Former Secretary General of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party has formally put forward an application to be admitted as a member of the Botswana National Front in the Kanye North constituency.

Speaking to Sunday Standard, Kentse Rammidi confirmed that he was awaiting the outcome of his application.

Rammidi resigned from the BNF after he fell out with his former party over a decision by government to declare teaching an essential service.

While Rammidi said on Saturday that the BNF was still processing his membership application, the party Constituency Secretary in Kanye North said the process was only a formality, as there was no way the BNF could reject a person of Rammidi’s caliber.

“There is absolutely no chance of us rejecting Rammidi’s application. Everybody wants a person of his caliber,” said Joseph Masala.

Rammidi said he joined the BNF after a lot of consultations with his constituents.
He said joining the BNF makes life much easier for the Umbrella party.

“If I had joined any other party there was going to be unnecessary instability for the Umbrella,” said Rammidi.

He said his choice ultimately was informed by what was going to be good for the Umbrella, given that traditionally his constituency, Kanye North, is a heartland of BNF and the BDP.

Rammidi’s decision to join BNF brings to an end a protracted era of jostling for his attention between the three main opposition parties in parliament ÔÇô BNF, BCP and BMD.

At one point the BMD came out openly to say they expected Rammidi to join them because he was coming from the BDP from where many of them originated. They said as a former BDP man, he had had closer social and political ties with many of them.

Not to be outdone, the BCP also wanted him to consider them ostensibly because they were the most stable of the trio.

Although the BNF was muted and less public in its canvassing for Rammidi’s attention, the party has emerged triumphant in the contest.

His joining of the BNF will, however, not tilt the scales of opposition leadership in parliament after Tawana Moremi of Maun West formally joined the BMD.

Gaborone West South legislator and deputy leader of BMD, Botsalo Ntuane, is expected to retain the position of Leader of Opposition.

While the BMD and BNF have made numerical progress, celebrations will be subdued by little headway made at the negotiations where a deadlock has been declared between BNF and BMD and also between BMD and BCP over constituencies.

There are also reports of instability, not only within the opposition collective but also at the BMD in the Kweneng region.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper