Sunday, September 20, 2020

Who’s going, who’s staying? The plot thickens

With parliament reopening on Monday, speculation has reached new heights about legislators who are likely to cross the floor in the new parliament.

Members of Parliament for Mogoditshane, Patrick Masimolole, Philip Makgalemele of Shoshong and Maun West MP, Tawana Moremi, are some of those mentioned as candidates for crossing the floor from the ruling Botswana Democratic Party to the newly formed Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), Sunday Standard understands.

The legislators who spoke to The Sunday Standard played their cards close to their chests and brushed aside the allegations as speculative while Moremi said whatever he could share with the media is embargoed for a year. Moremi gave the rather startling response when asked if he was crossing to BMD.

“I will grant a media brief after one year,” Moremi told the Sunday Standard.

“People will always speculate. We are at a stage in the BDP where everybody is suspicious of one another that they are leaving the party on the basis of who you associate with. People may also speculate because they know your views about certain issues,” the South East South MP said.
“I remain a BDP member. But at the end of the day, there are certain things in the BDP that I feel must be treated differently. I remain hopeful of that,” Makgalemele told the Sunday Standard on Friday without disclosing what the “certain things” were.

“We anticipate that numerous MPs currently of the BDP will, in the course of time, crossover to the BMD. We are not troubling them because they must prepare and cross to us when they are ready. Of course, it must not take too long because of the dynamics on the ground,” the BMD spokesman Sidney Pilane said on Friday.

Pilane said mobilization work continues in all constituencies.

“We cannot ignore the need for future leaders in constituencies and wards to emerge. However, we do understand that some councilors and some MPs do have to take time to get ready to join us. It is not a question of whether they will, but more of when they will do so,” Pilane said.

BMD already has four sitting MPs who have still to officially cross the floor when Parliament resumes on Monday. They are Botsalo Ntuane (Gaborone West South), Gilbert Mangole (Kgatleng West), Wynter Mmolotsi (Francistown South) and Samson Guma Moyo (Tati East).
The BDP Executive Secretary Dr. Comma Serema, said his party was not aware of any of its MPs who may be crossing the floor next week.

BMD needs three more MPs to become the official opposition in parliament.

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Sunday Standard September 20 – 26

Digital copy of Sunday Standard issue of September 20 - 26, 2020.