Mochudi East and BNF’s betrayal

SHARE   |   Monday, 28 August 2017   |   By Staff Writer
 Mochudi East and BNF’s betrayal

Botswana National Front (BNF) spokesperson, Justin Hunyepa, has conceded that they are not aware of the reasons that made Mochudi East MP, Isaac Davids ditch the party. He won the seat in 2014. He said as much as they wish the MP could have stayed, they cannot keep him against his wish. "We thank him for his contribution to the growth of the party and the Umbrella. Obviously we are disappointed with the resignation, as it translates to a loss of a member. It is even more painful that he goes away with a Parliamentary seat to which he was voted by our (opposition) members," said Hunyepa, adding that they however wish him well in his future plans. A disappointed Hunyepa said they remain confident of winning back the constituency in 2019 elections because their structures remain intact. "We will regroup to strengthen our structures. We have able members who can helps us retain the constituency," said Hunyepa, citing examples from the past. Before he defected on Monday, Davids was accused of having a poor working relationship with councillors in his constituency who are all from the UDC.  At one point he is said to have locked up the constituency office and blocked councillors from using it. He has also been accused of involvement in a fist fight with one of the councillors from Boseja ward. At 2014 general elections Mochudi East had an impressive turnout of 86.06% poll where Davids garnered 6 824 votes to defeat three opponents being Isaac Mabiletsa of BCP (4 528), Mpho Moruakgomo of the BDP (5 941) and an independent candidate Japhta Radibe (159).    

Mochudi East is probably the leading constituency where MPs voted under the BNF banner have defected to other political parties during their term of office. The resignation by Davids on Monday is a repeat of another defection by him to the BDP after being elected area MP again under BNF ticket. Another MP Isaac Mabiletsa who was voted to Parliament under the BNF ticket in 2009 in the renamed Kgatleng East constituency, also defected to Botswana Congress Party (BCP) later. Mabiletsa had secured 6768 votes to defeat Davids' of the BDP with 5101 and Phillip Monowe of the BCP with 3894 votes. It was not the first time Mabiletsa had betrayed the BNF voters after he defected, together with several other MPs to form the opposition BCP after the infamous BNF split of 1998. When the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) endured a split in 2010 attempts were made to come up with a law that prohibited floor crossing but nothing much was done ass the ruling party perhaps felt that it will be denying itself an opportunity of recruiting opposition’s sitting MPs. At the time while they had been caught napping when about 10 MPs left their party they were glad to welcome a good number back within a few years. Davids becomes the second MP from the opposition to join BDP in recent years following the Bagalatia Arone who left Botswana Congress Party last year citing lack of developments in his constituency – Okavango.