Former Botswana National Front political ideologue and Temporary Platform spokesperson, Elmon Tafa, has accused BNF President Otsweletse Moupo of colluding with the ruling Botswana Democratic Party to ensure that the BNF does not win the 2009 general elections.
Speaking to The Sunday Standard last week, Tafa launched a scathing attack on the BNF president saying that his actions strongly suggest that he leads a central committee that has absolutely no ambitions of taking over governance of the country, but is rather dancing to the ruling BDP’s tune and only working to create more discontent by sowing seeds of discord and confusion in constituencies where members of the temporary platform are in control, apparently leaders in a bid to purge them.
“If you want to rub Moupo the wrong way, just suggest reconciliation. The man’s actions over the last few years, and his continued refusal to accede to the masses’ demand for reconciliation even in the face of clear indications that the BNF is going to the dogs, gives credit to increasing suspicions that he is sleeping with the enemy,” said Tafa.
The Francistown South independent parliamentary candidate also revealed that he spent the whole of last month in a whirlwind house-to- house campaign in Francistown South, also expressing confidence that his continued campaigns will bear fruit.
“We will be holding political rallies at ET (Blocks) on Saturday and at Somerset East on Sunday. What is really inspiring though is that BNF members can see what we are up against and they support us vigilantly. The truth is out that Moupo is a BDP sell-out,” charged Tafa.
He went on to say that the BNF’s modus operandi in the build up to the 2009 general elections shows that they have absolutely no ambition of taking over governance of the country.
“While the BNF has not fielded any candidates in Francistown East and West, they rushed to head hunt a little known BDP activist to stand as a BNF parliamentary candidate in Francistown South as soon as I declared that I will be standing as an independent candidate. This shows that the objective is not to win elections but to ensure that members of the Temporary Platform do not win at all costs,” charged Tafa.
The BNF is barely visible in Francistown, where the fight is largely between BDP and Botswana Congress Party. But they retain a semblance of visibility in Francistown South where parliamentary candidate Joseph Mumba and council aspirant Chingombe Modikwa have mounted campaign posters on street poles.
Tafa further explained that the same situation prevails in all other constituencies where members of the Temporary Platform have successfully stood as parliamentary candidates. He said that the BNF expelled Nehemiah Modubule, a long time BNF champion in
Lobatse and appointed Otlaadisa Koosaletse in his stead, who he says has very slim chances of putting up a good showing.
“In the same vein, the BNF is busy fighting to remove Akayang Magama as the Gaborone South parliamentary candidate because they want to find a political home for their deposed leader Otsweletse Mopuo who could not even defend his seat in primary elections,” charged Tafa.
He added that it is a foregone conclusion of the temporary platform that the BNF central committee is looking to oust Magama, especially after they insisted on continuing with their court appeal even after his challenger Tebogo Sebego expressed satisfaction with the court’s ruling that Magama was indeed the rightful BNF candidate.
Tafa also expressed his wishes that Magama realizes that he will never be able to eat from the same plate with Moupo and the present BNF central committee, and start making plans to stand as an independent candidate.
“The fact is Moupo and his friends will never let Magama win the Gaborone South seat under the BNF banner. It is also a pity that the outcome of the June 17th hearing has been postponed to August, at which point it might be too late for Magama to launch a significant campaign as an independent. This has been the grand plan of Moupo and his cohorts from the word go. They have sold out to the ruling BDP, and many comrades are now starting to take notice,” said Tafa.
Tafa and Lobatse MP Nehemiah Modubule were expelled from the BNF after a series of drawn out brawls between Moupo and his central committee on the one hand and the temporary platform on the other hand.
The two, together with other temporary platform members were either suspended or expelled in a sweeping move that Moupo said was largely meant to restore order and discipline in the party, especially since the wayward members had repeatedly flouted party rules, behaved in a grossly disorderly way and organized factional groupings.
The temporary platform would later pour water on the central committee decision, saying that they remain staunch members of the BNF.
“No one can expel me from the BNF. I joined on my own volition,” Elmon Tafa was quoted as saying.