“BDP is finished. They’re going down!” – Moswaane
On 4th August 2020, Francistown West Member of Parliament (MP), Ignatius Moswaane resigned from the Botswana Democratic Party following his 60-day suspension for allegedly bringing the party’s name into disrepute.
The maverick MP would later cross the floor to the opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change on 17th September.
For seven months Moswaane kept people guessing about his political home as he delayed joining any member of the UDC’s contracting parties. He was linked with all the parties, including the newly formed Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF).
However, speculation was finally put to rest in Tati Siding last Saturday when the veteran politician was welcomed into the Botswana People’s Party (BPP).
In this interview with Voice Reporter Kabelo Dipholo, Moswaane talks about his love/hate relationship with the BDP, government corruption and his decision to join the oldest opposition party in the country.
For the last seven months, there has been much speculation about which party you’ll eventually join. On Saturday you were announced as a member of the BPP. What informed your decision?
I took a decision to join the BPP after a lengthy consultation with my constituents. When I joined politics in 1987, the constituency [Francistown West] that I currently represent in Parliament was a BPP stronghold. The party had been in charge of this constituency for 34 years and I managed to dislodge it from them and win it for the BDP.
Remember, I became a member of the UDC before I joined any political party, so the key thing here is I’m an opposition legislator under the Umbrella.
I’m now looking forward to working with all opposition parties to remove BDP from power!
Wasn’t your choice of party influenced by the constituency allocation within the UDC?
Well, Francistown West belongs to the BPP, and me choosing any other party would be akin to retiring from politics.
I believe in this party because of its Pan-Africanism philosophy.
It’s a party that speaks bread and butter issues and you’re going to witness a lot of changes in Francistown West under the BPP leadership, changes which will usher in a new government in 2024.
Take it from me, UDC is taking power in 2024.
Francistown West has been under BDP’s grip since 2009. Why would you refer to it as a BPP stronghold?
I’m the only person who’s been standing between BPP and their imminent victory.
I’ve been their stumbling block, and now that I’ve joined the party you’ll see exactly what I meant when I say this constituency is a BPP stronghold.
There’s no other person who can win in Francistown West.
There are allegations you’re eyeing the BPP Presidency?
I’m not eyeing the BPP Presidency because we already have a President. But if going into the Congress members want me to contest I wouldn’t say no.
However, for now my focus is working with other parties within the Umbrella to prepare for the 2024 general elections.
Your arrival at the party is also seen as the reason for former BPP Vice President, Mbaakanyi Lenyatso’s departure. What’s your take?
That can’t be true. Lenyatso was actually the first person to recruit me to the BPP.
He told me that he liked my approach to issues and believed I could add value to the party, and was even willing to try his luck at another constituency.
Now I heard rumors that he’s on his way to BDP, he can’t function there. He’s a Pan Africanist and none of his ideas would be welcomed into the BDP.
His political journey will die a natural death.
Take us back to your days in the BDP. Why did you resign?
I was no longer wanted in the party. After winning the constituency, the leadership began a mission to bring me down.
I was accused of bringing the party into disrepute by voicing my concerns about corruption.
This was shocking because that’s what the party leadership preached on the campaign trail.
Corruption escalated under this regime, where toilets were built at a value of P2 million and more millions spent on a useless ‘phoko’ campaign.
I became a target for being the people’s voice. There was no way I’d remain silent when BDP leaders behaved like masters instead of servants of the people.
The reality is once these people get elected and elevated to Cabinet, constituents are no longer a priority. Ministers who should be providing oversight now dance to the tune of the President who only has to dangle a carrot now and then.
That’s why I’m in support of a cabinet that is selected from members of the community, which will then be answerable to parliament.
What does the future hold for Botswana?
The future is bright. BDP is going down, they are finished.
It’s time for churches, trade unions and the business community to rally behind the UDC because the BDP is the biggest problem in this country.
The BDP masters rejected the P3, 000 minimum wage, but they buy groceries for their dogs worth the same amount.