Guma bitter, isolated

SHARE   |   Monday, 16 November 2015   |   By Phillimon Mmeso
Moyo Moyo

Out in the cold, he is lonely and ignored; almost a bystander in the greater scheme of things. And this is not something he has ever been used to - he is not taking kindly to that. Prominent businessman and MP for Tati East Samson Guma shocked many with an unusual outburst when he snapped on the floor of Parliament midweek, accusing his fellow democrats of sabotage and jealousy. 
No sooner had Guma taken the floor than he was already dropping names, accusing President Ian Khama's brother Tshekedi Khama of sabotage after the latter failed to turn up for a scheduled kgotla meeting in his constituency. It was clear that the former close ally of Khama was boiling inside and the lid of the keg was thrown aside as he expressed how he is being tormented by the current government. Guma, who is currently facing charges of tax fraud among others, let the cat out when he revealed that he knew that he is being sabotaged for political expediency. It is clear that Guma has been bottling up his frustrations as he bluntly stated that he is even ashamed of being a MP, let alone a citizen of Botswana.
Sources suggest that Guma’s explosive behaviour in Parliament was not surprising as he has been politically blackmailed after he threatened to resign as MP. Coincidentally his outburst in parliament on Wednesday came two days before he appeared in court on a tax related matter in which BURS investigated suspected wrong doing on his part. Shortly after he informed Khama and Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi about his decision to step down from political office which he said they were against, the Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) froze his accounts on suspicion of money laundering and tax fraud.
When his accounts were frozen Guma revealed that he was told by the bank manager that they were instructed by the Office of the President to do so. Sources have revealed that the tax fraud was used to politically blackmail him not to resign as MP as the ruling party was still at its lowest ebb. During the SONA debate, Moyo - who was literally venting out - said his wealth is not proceeds of crime as some people would want to believe. He called for the declaration of assets bill, saying he is not afraid to declare his. He even accused some politicians of wasting their money on alcohol while he accumulated wealth.
Guma's relationship with Tshekedi
Ahead of the BDP primaries in 2013 it was reported that relationship between Guma and Tshekedi Khama was not a rosy one. In one of the interviews with a local radio station, TK accused some members of the central committee of trying to rig the BDP primary elections. He said at the time that there were certain people who have surrounded President Khama and do not want anyone near him (President) except themselves.
On Wednesday the on-fire Guma accused TK of playing truant on him and his constituents after failing to turn up for a kgotla meeting which he was supposed to address. “Last week Thursday, Tshekedi Khama was supposed to address a Kgotla meeting. We waited for him to arrive at the airport. Back home the Kgotla was filled, waiting for him. But he was nowhere to be seen. One old woman came to me crying and asking; "Why are we being treated like this," hit out former BDP Chairman.
Guma said no cabinet minister has ever visited his constituency since 2014 and that there is abject poverty in his constituency and people are starving. “People were asking me, "What did we vote you for?" he cried out. Since he became active in politics, the outspoken businessman has always been dogged by controversies and resignations. After being elected BDP chairman in 2013 Guma resigned a few months after holding office, citing the need to clear his name from allegations that he was working with President Robert Mugabe’s ZANU PF to undermine President Khama’s succession plan. In addition, Guma was accused by some within the party of fiddling with the voters’ roll in an effort to ensure that his preferred candidates win Bulela Ditswe primaries.
The politician cum businessman resigned from the assistant minister of Finance and Development Planning post in 2008, after he was suspected of corruption. He was never charged. In 2010 he left the BDP and formed Botswana Movement for Democracy with the Late Gomolemo Motswaledi, Botsalo Ntuane, Sidney Pilane and Sonny Moatlhodi. He was appointed the interim treasurer and in 2011 flatly refused to be a member of the party central committee. He would later resign from the party and became independent MP and said that he would quit active politics but he changed his mind again and rejoined the ruling party and contested the 2014 elections.
Political analyst Anthony Morima said that it is clear that Guma is no longer the blue eyed boy of the BDP with indications that there has been a big fall out between him and party leadership. “It is no longer Guma whom Khama used to refer as ‘Letebele lame’ and is now isolated,” reasoned Morima. He said that since he resigned as BDP chairman, he has never enjoyed his stay in the ruling party and this was compounded by allegations which were never proved that he fiddled with the party’s voters’ roll.

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