Arone offloads gun

SHARE   |   Monday, 11 July 2016   |   By Phillimon Mmeso

In his usual militancy – a character he used to torment the ruling party MPs with – the recently defected Botswana Congress Party (BCP) MP Bagalatia Arone took the war to his former colleagues in the opposition. In his maiden speech as a member of the ruling party MP, Arone didn’t waste time and fired the first shot, accusing opposition MPs of behaving like frustrated castrated bulls. “Honourable Members on the other side fired a few japs at me and I just want to say to them I am not concerned because that is just the frustration of a castrated bull,” he hit out as the other side of the aisle roared in disapproval of the term castrated bulls. On the first day of parliament opposition MPs led by Gaborone North Haskins Nkaingwa poked at Arone, saying he had been given a new suit. Arone was putting on a blue suit. “Re lebogela suit e ntšha yaga Honourable Arone,” joked Nkaingwa throwing the house into fit of laughter. Nkaingwa took a swipe at the BDP for recruiting opposition MPs by promising them positions, which was a direct jibe at Arone. “I do not expect any favour from a human being but from God. I am not that person who can be bought and be given a blue suit,” hit out Nkgaigwa.

However when MP Arone hit back, Nkaigwa was the first to seek Speaker Gladys Kokorwe’s protection, accusing Arone of using un-parliamentary language. “Honestly speaking I did not mean to take a jap at anybody, fela jaaka ba ba buang Setswana ba a tle ba bue ba re, “fa o metsa thapo tsa morula o a bo o ikantse boathamo jwa marago.” Kana golo mo is a lesson,” said the unremorseful Arone. Opposition MPs did not take kindly to Arone’s statement of comparing them to castrated bulls with Nkaingwa asking him to withdraw the words. National Assembly Speaker Gladys Kokorwe tried to play down the statement but Nkaingwa rallied, saying the castrated bulls were on the other side, referring to the BDP MPs. Kokorwe appealed to the MPs to use palatable words but didn’t order Arone to withdraw his statement. Next on Arone’s verbal onslaught was his former colleague at BCP Dithapelo Keorapetse, saying he was a frustrated young man who has never set foot in Okavango. Keorapetse in his debate has started to wish Arone good luck in his new political home and informed him that unlike him he won’t be bought by blue suit. “The political journey on this side is still continuing and I have informed some MPs that it is better they dream me dead than putting on something red,” he hit out.

“Ee mme gone gatwe he has been blessed. Fa e le gore ga go a nna jalo, le intshwarele I withdraw. Mme kgang e ya to be blessed e ne ya umakiwa (We heard that he has been blessed. If it is not the truth I am sorry but the issue has been mentioned),” he said. Arone, who was in his element, likened Keorapetse to a puppy that was barking at an elephant. “I mean when people like bo Keorapetse talk, you liken them to puppies. I mean what effect would they have?” hit the second shot to his former colleague leaving the whole house in stiches. Next to land on Arone’s sharp spear was the maverick Opposition chief and MP for Francistown South Wynter Mmolotsi who wanted clarification on why the Okavango MP defected to the ruling party. Arone would have none of it and refused to yield. “You know Honourable Mmolotsi, if I was to ask you honestly, when you left the BDP, did you leave the BDP on a principle that there is something that you want to correct or because you left as an angry young man?” During his debate on the Trade Dispute Bill, Mmolotsi thanked people of Philip Matante East for voting UDC and choosing not to be bought by money. “They managed for vote for the truth and didn’t allow themselves to be bought by alcohol and food just like some people who were bought by blue suits which we also saw during the campaign for the council ward,” Mmolotsi said. But Arone insisted that he made the right decision to join the ruling party and does not regret it. “My constituents were sad when I left,” he said. On his defection to the ruling party, Arone said that he is the first MP to consult his constituents before he jumped ship. “I had gone to all the 32 villages.  I have talked to my constituents, they were sad, but at the end of the day they understood my position,” he revealed. After constant appeal from Maun West MP Tawana Moremi, Arone withdrew the castrated bull statement but still insisted that Keorapetse is like a puppy barking at an elephant.