Pastor sets Motswaledi memorial ablaze

SHARE   |   Sunday, 02 August 2015   |   By Keitebe Kgosikebatho
Mampane Mampane

• attacks BDP, supports UDC
• likens BCP to biblical fools

A firebrand clergy man at Evangelical Lutheran Church in Botswana Reverend Thabo Mampane, who was on Thursday officiating at the Gomolemo Motswaledi Memorial Service and Death anniversary hosted by the UDC in Gaborone  has called for unity among opposition parties and declared his support for the movement who he says are Batswana’s only hope. Contrary to  clergymen’s conservative and reserved conduct the charismatic pastor did not shy away from throwing political salvos and jabs at the ruling party and condemned the opposition for failing to seize the moment and use the ruling party ‘shortcomings and failures to their advantage. “ This is your chance to take power from the ruling party, don’t just sit there and let the moment pass,” Mampane said.

Mampane relayed his concerns about how the ruling party was failing the nation which he says has in turn led to the distasteful and disheartening living conditions that  the larger part of the nation is in. He bemoaned what he says was the collapse of democracy in the country which he says can only be rectified by a regime change. According to Mampane Botswana has now been turned into a nation  grappled by fear and he labeled this a doing of the ruling party. “UDC is the only hope left for the nation,” Mampane said. “ Re ya go le tlhopha ka 2019, mme fa le ka dira maragaraga re ya go le ntsha,” he said.
The Botswana Congress Party did not escape the man of cloth’s wrath too. He implored the BCP to fast track its efforts to join the UDC, saying only a united opposition can wrestle power from the BDP.  He warned that if the BCP thinks going solo will work for them, then they might as well stop aspiring to be in power someday. “ Arone bua le bagaeno le tlhwafalele mogopolo o,” he said addressing MP for Okavango Bagalatia Arone who was the only BCP leader in attendance at the memorial service.  “ Earlier on today I was at some conference in Ramotswa and I met MP Rantuana, I told him point blank that if you are not going to join the UDC, then you are a pack of jokers,” he said.

Citing the holy bible he likened BCP members to Galatians who the apostle Paul labeled foolish for refusing to listen and abide by the word of God even though they knew it was the truth. " It is said Paul cried out loud said “O foolish Galatians, I have brought you the true Gospel, and you received it with eagerness and gratitude. Now all of a sudden you drop the Gospel. What has got into you?" Mampane said.  “ In your case one would say, Heelang Batswana ke lona ba dieleele, why are you refusing to embrace change,” Pastor Mampane said, receiving a standing ovation from attendants. Meanwhile BMD President Ndaba Gaolatlhe also paid his respect to his former colleague. He described Motswaledi as a man of beautiful speeches and words which he used to inspire an entire nation. Gaolatlhe praised Motswaledi for his humble and friendly attitude to all, which he says not only worked to his advantage but assisted in growing and attracting the masses to the BMD and the UDC. He likened Motswaledi’s greatness to that of other great African Political leaders like Steve Biko, Kwame Nkrumah and  Oliver Tambo. “As much during his life as in his physical absence, his spirit as a builder and liberator continues to be the thread that holds the fabric of our existence together as a movement and as a people,” he said.

For his part, the UDC leader Duma Boko also reminisced on Motswaledi’s life as his running mate, a colleague and a friend.  He said Motswaledi lived what he described as ‘an examined life’ a painful life that required courage, sacrifice, self discipline and dedication. According to Boko, Motswaledi lived true to his convictions  to the end. He encouraged UDC members and the nation to honor Motswaledi even in his death by ensuring that his dream of  seeing a free Botswana is made possible.