- Says he long knew about the plan - BCP MPs defy instruction on attending UDC caucus
President of Botswana Congress Party (BCP) Dumelang Saleshando says he is not worried by the decision to remove him from the position of Leader of Opposition (LOO).
Saleshando who is also the Vice President of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) is currently serving a three-month suspension together with the BCP Secretary General Goretetse Kekgonegile which they were slapped with during a National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting last month in Palapye. The duo is challenging the suspension.
On Sunday (10th of July 2022), some UDC Members of Parliament wrote a letter to the Speaker of National Assembly indicating that a decision has been taken to remove Saleshando as LOO.
The letter comes after a UDC Parliamentary caucus meeting which was chaired by the UDC leader Advocate Duma Boko. The UDC has decided to appoint MP for Selibe-Phikwe West Dithapelo Keorapetse as LOO pending disciplinary process against Saleshando and Kekgonegile.
The announcement for Saleshando’s removal which was to be made on Monday this week when Parliament business started was delayed as Deputy Speaker of Parliament Pono Moatlhodi said the legal team is still handling the matter.
Saleshando who is in Malawi for the SADC Parliamentary Forum Plenary Assembly got removed after some BCP MPs defied an instruction not to attend the UDC caucus meeting.
“For the people of Maun West, I will continue in my role as your representative in Parliament, no need to panic. For members of the public who count on my office to assist with the challenges you face, I am still at your service.
“Developments around Leader of Opposition in Parliament have not come as a surprise. We all saw this coming and many people long told me of the meetings that commenced over a year ago (some held in South Africa) to hatch a plan for the current developments.
“Like Julius Caesar when his friend Brutus warned him to beware the Ides of March, I may have appeared not to have heeded the warnings, but it was important to allow the plan to unfold,” Saleshando wrote on his official Facebook page.
BCP secretary-general Kekgonegile who is also MP for Maun West wrote to all the 11 BCP MPs on Sunday not to attend the meeting. He said the party had been briefed about the BCP Parliamentary caucus discussions upon which no decision was taken in relation to the LOO position and related correspondences from the UDC president.
The MPs were then directed that “all BCP members who serve in Parliament of Botswana should not participate in the proposed caucus scheduled for 10th July 2022 or any subsequent caucus intended to or the agenda of which is to deal with any matter affecting the Leader of Opposition in Botswana Parliament until after the direction of the party conference scheduled for the 15-18 July 2022.
“All members of the BCP who are members of the Botswana Parliament are to see to it that no such changes to the LOO position takes place and shall take such measures as are in their power to give effect to this decision.”