NO PATRIOT AT BPF
Former Member of Parliament (MP) for Gaborone West South, Robert Molefhabangwe is disappointed that former President Ian Khama has failed to respect his own word when he remained politically active after retiring as President of the country.
Khama was president from 2008 to 2018.
“When he was recruited from the army to become the leader of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and later President of Botswana (BDP), Khama did not waste any time before declaring his disdain for politics.
“I was disappointed that he failed to retire at the end of his term in 2018. I expected him to retire at the end of his Presidency because I had thought he genuinely despised politics," Molefhabangwe said.
He added that instead of retiring, Khama formed the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) which for all intents and purposes, is a tribal party.
The Botswana National Front (BNF) veteran is not happy that even to this day, Khama has not seen addressed the Bangwato, to whom he is Kgosikgolo, on his problems with President Masisi.
“He should have addressed us and asked for advice from Bangwato,” suggested Molefhabangwe, who wonders why Khama remains active in politics more than four years after his retirement despite his claims that he does not like politics.
Molf, as he is affectionately addressed by his comrades, believes that because the BPF has neither ideology nor policies beyond the removal of Masisi from office, it is a tribal pressure group with no national appeal.
"Political parties should be national and not tribal. Regrettably, the BPF is a tribal party whose agenda is to defend Khama, while removing Masisi from power. If the BPF wants to cease being a Serowe party, it must spread beyond the Central District,” he said, adding that he sees neither patriotism nor patriots in the BPF.
Molefhabangwe is of the view that because the party was formed out of anger following the historic fallout with Khama’s successor, Mokgweetsi Masisi, it should not be listened to because all it does is divide the nation along tribal lines. He noted that the party exists only in Serowe and not in the other parts of the country.
According to Molefhabangwe, should the BPF fail to shake off the tribal tag, it cannot bank on tribes such as Babirwa and Bakalanga due to the historical injustices they suffered at the hands of Bangwato back in the days.
“Some among the tribes were victimised by Bangwato leaders, and have not forgotten the painful history hence remain wary of the BPF. They might get even by decampaigning the party and isolating it,” he averred.
His view is that Khama must seriously consider leaving the party and active politics for the sake of national unity.
“He should allow politicians such as Samson Guma and Master Goya to run it. For the longest time, Bangwato have not had a substantive traditional leader. We have been led by regents for over 90 years now. This is the time
for Khama to leave politics to politicians and go back to his tribe and lead it."
Molefhabangwe believes that the time has come for the country to interrogate policies, practices and systems and determine whether they remain relevant in this day and age.
"My view is that Botswana should just do away with chieftainship once and for all, because the practice is a relic of feudalism yet Botswana is a democracy,” he opined.