The Councillor for Boshabelo North in Selebi-Phikwe East, Bathaedi Mponwane, has quit the Botswana Congress Party and joined the opposition Botswana Movement For Democracy (BMD).
Mponwane revealed to the Sunday Standard that he is joining BMD because, for him, the BCP is no longer an attractive political home.
He said he is quitting the party because it played a role in his ousting as the town’s deputy mayor.
This week, Mponwane was toppled as deputy mayor after a motion of no confidence on him was passed by the town council following a special council meeting.
“The party was involved in my ousting,” he said, adding that the party leadership had not taken any action against party members that were instrumental in his ousting.
“At one point when I complained that some councilors teamed up with the ruling Botswana Democratic Party to remove me from office, Taolo Lucas said that I am power hungry.
He added that another reason he had decided to quit his former party is that the party leadership had informed him that he, along with others, will not be allowed to contest the party’s primaries ahead of the 2014 general elections.
He said this was due to the fact that they did not support the BCP’s candidate for Selebi-Phikwe East in the past General Elections.
The BCP’s loss has also been confirmed by the party’s general secretary, Dr Kesitegile Gobotswang.
“Our office has received his resignation letter,” he told the SundayStandard in a separate interview.
Gobotswang said that Mponwane’s fate as Selebi-Phikwe deputy mayor was sealed when the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) councilors started reconciling.
He said that BDP had always had the numbers, and that Mponwane became the town’s deputy mayor at the pleasure of mayor Lekang Mukokomani.
“He himself was not at that meeting that elected a new deputy mayor,” said Gobotswang.
He also denied that the BCP was in any way involved in removing Mponwane from his position.
“He got that position at the sympathy of Mokokomani and he should look at Mokokomani; it has got nothing to do with the BCP.”
Gobotswang criticized politicians for giving an embellished account to justify their defection. He said that what the BCP had observed is that Mponwane, along with others in the Selebi- Phikwe East constituency, had formed a faction and was on their way out of the party.
He said that the defection would not threaten his party’s working relationship with BMD.
“If anything, BMD would have to restrain such individuals so that they do not cause any unnecessary problems at local level,” said Gobotswang.