Nkange Member of Parliament, Dr Never Tshabang, has cleared any lingering doubts about his political allegiance.
Dithapelo Keorapetse, Kenny Kapinga, Dr Never Tshabang, David Tshere and Onneetse Ramogapi were expelled at a BCP National Conference held in Mahalapye on 18th July.
Kapinga quickly retraced his steps to the party following mediation and reconciliation efforts from his constituency while speculations about the quartet’s political future continue to swirl.
However, speaking at a rally held in Tutume last Saturday, an emotionally-charged Tshabang told voters that BCP had no choice but to mend fences with Kapinga as his supporters had made it very clear that they’ll vote for no one else but him.
“They tried to introduce an Alliance for Progressives (AP) candidate, but he was outrightly rejected,” revealed Tshabang.
The MP said, for him and the three others, there were never any reconciliation attempts.
“When they went for the conference in Mahalapye, their new candidate was there representing the constituency. I’m here to let you know that I’m no longer a BCP member. I was expelled, and the party has a new candidate,” said Tshabang, triggering murmurs.
Giving reasons for their expulsion, Tshabang said their crime was to stand up to the party’s National Executive Committee and President Dumelang Saleshando in support of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) collective.
“Eleven of us were against the idea of leaving the Umbrella, a decision taken by the NEC. We argued that it was morally wrong and thuggery to reject a party that sent us to parliament.”
“In parliament, after the Botswana Democratic Party, follows the UDC. So, we told President Saleshando that he had no choice, whether he liked it or not, he had to sing from the UDC hymn book, or else step down as Leader of Opposition (LOO) since it was a position reserved for UDC,” narrated Tshabang.
The MP said their stance seemed to have infuriated Saleshando so much that he influenced the NEC to expel them.
He told the Tutume gathering that they were of the opinion that the moment Saleshando announced that he was no longer a member of the UDC, a party he referred to as a tuck shop, it meant he had to vacate the LOO seat.
“We had to bring in Keorapetse, because he’s unwavering in his UDC politics. Keorapetse is not holding fort for anyone, he’s the rightful LOO until we go for the general elections,” fired Tshabang.
The Nkange MP said their message as UDC is simple, it is to unseat the ruling BDP.
“We do not want to talk about anything else, but taking power from BDP. That’s our simple message as the UDC,” he said.
Meanwhile, Tshabang took a swipe at President Mokgweetsi Masisi for his failure to improve the living standards of Batswana.
“He spends time touring the world under the pretence that he’s luring investors into the country. We don’t need such. We already have abundance of land, cattle, water and human resources, which should be enough to take care of 2 million people,” said Tshabang.
Unemployment in Botswana, Tshabang noted, is engineered by bad policies, citing a recent example of nurses who were denied an opportunity to work overseas for having under two years work experience.
“The BDP government is failing to employ its graduates, but also stands in the way when the graduates find employment opportunities outside the country. The BDP is killing and burying its citizens,” fired Tshabang.