A considerable number of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) members are said to have lodged a complaint with the party’s leadership following former President Sir Ketumile Masire’s speech at the funeral of Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) Gomolemo Motswaledi in Serowe.
Masire is quoted as saying that “A revolution happens when you lose confidence in a government and there is no alternative.”
Masire is also quoted as saying: “Spread the message. The future of our country is paramount. We need visionary people on the future of the country not those who want to create a name only for themselves.”
It is understood the former President’s speech has not gone down well, with some members of his party calling for the party leadership to rein him in as they believe that he diverted from the ‘general rule’ by discrediting his former party.
BDP Secretary General, Mpho Balopi, confirmed in an interview that some BDP members had expressed concern and shock and were unhappy with the former President’s speech.
“As for now we do not have a position on that as the party. But what I can say is that some BDP members from the rank and file of the party were not happy with Rra Gaone’s utterances at the funeral of Rre Motswaledi,” said Balopi.
He said Masire was one of the respected members of the Council of Elders of the BDP, adding that age could have take its toll on the statesman, hence he would not have intended to make such utterances.
“As a party we respect freedom of speech as long as it does not affect others and we have respect for Rra Gaone as an elder. But some other party elders felt that his speech was harsh and even those who are not necessarily old felt the same way. The rank and the file of the party expressed shock at Rra Gaone’s speech,” said Balopi.
Balopi said Motswaledi’s funeral was a wrong platform for Masire and other political leaders to have made such comments.
“The platform was meant to unite us as people and not to divide us. Even according to our culture that is not the right platform to make such utterances. It is unfortunate that such statements were uttered at a platform like that,” he said.
However, Balopi said despite some concerns from party members that Masire’s utterances were in bad taste, they get comfort from the fact that he continues to contribute immensely towards the party and give advice where necessary.
“We are not that much worried. We respect his views as an elder. He is one of the founding members of the party,” Balopi said.