April 14 2010: Maun West MP, Tawana Moremi, has denied ever apologizing to President Ian Khama over his participation in a factional meeting held in Mogoditshane.
“I have known Khama for 31 years and there are many instances where I could have apologized to him but not this one,” he told The Telegraph.
Tawana said that he only expressed regret at the ‘public nature’ of the resolutions passed at Barata-Phathi’s Mogoditshane summit, which among others, resolved that the faction should form a breakaway party.
Tawana said that while in principle he is still with Barata-Phathi he is altogether opposed to the speed at which the faction is moving.
He said that he would have preferred a situation where both sides made concessions for the interest of the party.
He said he remains a BDP member and, following Barata-Phathi’s meeting last week, he has been mandated to brief his constituents.
“Right now what I can say is that I have to go to my constituency and consult them on the way forward,” said Tawana.
A BDP official was quoted in one of the local newspapers saying Tawana and Kweneng South East MP, Mmoloki Raletobane, have apologized for attending the Mogoditshane meeting.
Meanwhile, expelled Barata-Phathi spokesperson, Sidney Pilane, said in a separate interview that the group is pressing ahead with forming a new party.
“We ask our supporters and members of the public not to worry about whether we are having second thoughts. We will form a breakaway party,” he said.
He said that MPs and councilors have to consult their constituents to rope them on board on the new project.
“This is a composite process that has many elements, an important part is that MPs must consult their constituents and must be given time to do so,” added Pilane.
Barata-Phathi members facing charges of illegally calling a factional meeting have agreed not to respond to the BDP charges.
“We agreed that everybody who attended the Mogoditshane meeting and had received charges from Kwerepe should ignore them,” said Pilane.
The BDP’s general secretary Thato Kwerepe has dragged seventeen activists, among them six MPs and councilors, before the party disciplinary committee accusing the group of embarrassing the party and defying the party leadership.
“Our meeting was lawful under the Botswana Constitution and we had the right to meet and associate as Barata-Phathi to discuss matters of common concern,” said Pilane.
“The A-Team meets all the time and the central committee and President are aware of these meetings and they have never complained about those meetings being unlawful.
“The BDP has had factions for decades, factions have always met and it has never been an issue,” he added.
At the time of going to Press BDP’s executive secretary Batlang Serema was unavailable for comment as his phone rang unanswered.