The Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) descended on Maun over the weekend for an inaugural rally aimed at introducing the party to the Ngami and North West constituencies.
The rally, which was held at Magotho Freedom Square, attracted thousands of people who had come to hear what the BMD has to offer. The rally was also graced by BCP and BNF members who had come to show solidarity with the BMD.
Among the invited guests were veteran politicians, Motsamai Mpho of the BCP and former BDP MP for Maun/Chobe Bahiti Temane who later gave a motivational speech to the BMD.
First on the podium was the youthful Dimpho Mashaba who wasted no time in discrediting the BDP government for what he called negligence of the youth.
Mashaba said it was a shame that government can go around saying there are no sufficient funds to sponsor all form 5 leavers for further tertiary education yet they manage to spend lots of money on extravagant purchase of expensive furniture for their official homes.
He said he grew up knowing that P45 000 was enough to build a two roomed house but is now shocked to hear the same amount can purchase a fridge, in reference to the amount of money linked to a fridge that was procured for Minister Ramadeluka Seretse.
Mashaba also took issue with Khama’s statement that BMD was founded by people who like power. He said it was hypocritical of Khama to occupy so many powerful positions and sneer at others when they aspire for leadership positions.
Mashaba said Khama occupies all powerful positions like State President, BDP president, Chief of the armed forces, Paramount Chief of the Bangwato, patron of Mogoditshane Fighters, patron of the Botswana Football Association and the only position that Khama ran away from is that of UB chancellor.
For her part, the interim Women’s League chairperson, Ms Binkie Kerileng, told the audience that when change comes no one can stop it and as such no one can stop change of government as it is inevitable. She questioned Khama’s commitment towards women empowerment. Kerileng said Khama cannot claim to support women empowerment because he removed women cabinet ministers who had been appointed by former president Mogae and replaced them with men. She also accused Khama’s government for refusing to sign gender protocols at regional conventions.
BMD’s spokesperson, Sidney Pilane, warned that a dark era has enveloped Botswana. He said the problem was not the BDP but just one man in the BDP. Pilane said during his time at the Office of the President, where he served as special advisor to the president, he used to advice Khama who was Vice President then and Khama would heed advice but it now appears Khama was faking his acceptance for advice because after becoming president, Khama now abhors advice. Pilane said their expulsion from the BDP was a blessing in disguise for it allowed them work for the revival and restoration of Botswana to its former glory days.
When he took to the podium, the soft spoken Ndaba Gaolathe spoke about the BMD policies which they have decided for now to refer to as “People’s aspirations” as they want the people to have an input before the final policy document can be adopted. He put emphasis on economy, privatization and education.
Gaolathe said it is important for any serious government to diversify the economy.
On education, Gaolathe said much as it was exciting to pass and graduate, it would even be nicer to graduate and create jobs instead of looking for jobs.
The rally, which attracted an estimated crowd of four thousand people, was declared a success. According to one of the organizers, Moalosi Sebati, the rally achieved its intended purpose.
“Everything went smoothly and according to plan,” Sebati told The Telegraph at the end of the rally.