WEF Horizontal

Tensions high as Motswaledi report pops out 

SHARE   |   Tuesday, 03 October 2017   |   By Phillimon Mmeso 
The late Motswaledi The late Motswaledi

The infighting within the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) which eventually affected Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) leading to the birth of Alliance for Progressiveness is slowly showing its ugliness. After three years of dilly dallying on the release of the report on the circumstances that caused the death of the founding President of Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) Gomolemo Motswaledi, it has now been leaked. Motswaledi died in a car accident in July 2014, three months before the General Elections, leading to suspicion that he was assassinated by security agents. Report by the Forensic Pathologist Dr. Reggie Perumal and accident scene expert, Tom Wolmarans   who were engaged by UDC has shown that there was no foul play in the death of Motswaledi. The outcome is similar to the one released by government that he sustained head injuries. The report just like the government one indicates that fatigue was the main cause of the accident as he lost control. All the reports from both government and private forensic pathologists indicate that the death was a result of a road accident – un-induced by any foul play. The report is in contradiction to a statement released by UDC leader Duma Boko during a press briefing in 2014 when he told members of the media that preliminary reports indicate that there was foul play in the death of Motswaledi. He said that there was a blunt force trauma that resulted in Motswaledi’s death indicating that it was not a normal death. “On our private side, our multi-disciplinary team, comprising pathology experts, forensic experts, ballistic specialists and satellite scientists continue to forage information, a process that will take time given the details involved and the need to marry the analysis into a single cohesive explanation,” he said in a moving eulogy. UDC appealed to the public to help in funding the investigations and an account was opened to help in raising the funds. Highly placed sources within UDC have revealed that over P2 million was raised to fund the investigations. “The only people who were engaged are Pathologist and accident scene expert,” said the source.

The death was Motswaledi was used as a campaign issue for the 2014 General Elections as UDC I produced a hit list, saying they were targeted as opposition leaders. It was even said that Boko was next on line after Motswaledi. The issue caught the attention of the international media other stakeholders around the world. Some political pundits are adamant that the death of Motswaledi is one of the reasons that helped the UDC to garner public sympathy and do well in the 2014 general elections. Contrary to the position held by UDC that their leader was assassinated, his family maintained that it was fatigue that resulted with the road accident, distancing themselves from the private investigations. During the funeral, Motswaledi ‘s younger brother Gape give a hint on what could have caused the death of his elder brother. Gape said it was not the first time his brother was involved in an accident and that he could have long died but was protected by God, appealing to the UDC to accept the tragedy. “He used to drink a Red Bull to the extent that it also gave up. He denied himself rest so that he might accomplish his vocation and he has done so, as such there is no need to cry for him,” said Gape to the emotionally wrecked mourners at the highly emotionally charged funeral in Serowe. The Motswaledi family were briefed by both pathologists after they completed their investigations. Contacted for a comment, Gape Motswaledi said that as a family they still maintain that it was time for Motswaledi to leave the earthly life as he has completed his mission. “We are a spiritual family and believe that God has done his will whether they have been some foul play or not,” he said, adding that they still believe it was fatigue that claimed his brother’s life. On whether UDC leadership has briefed them on the progress regarding the report, he answered in negative “maybe they are still compiling it.”

In 2015 UDC promised to release the report indicating that they are still compiling the documents. Sources within the UDC and its offspring have revealed that the delay in releasing the report and informing Batswana that there was no foul play is one of the main causes that created the mistrust within UDC. Former UDC Vice President and founding President of AP who was a very close friend of Motswaledi took a swipe at members of the public who demanded the report as they have contributed financially for it. In his uncharacteristic response, the soft spoken AP President Ndaba Gaolathe said that if they want their money back they should furnish the party with proof so that they can be refunded. In February this year Maun West MP Kgosi Tawana Moremi resigned from UDC stating that he cannot be associated with party led by thugs. He said one of the issues that made him uncomfortable with UDC is failure to tell the nation the truth about the death of Motswaledi and how the money was used. AP Secretary General Dr Phenyo Butale said as far as they know the team of experts who have been engaged by UDC have not completed their investigations. He said when the report is ready they believe it will be shared with the public. “You should be aware that this is a very delicate issue which of course will take some time before it is completed,” he said. Efforts to get comment from UDC Publicity Secretary Moeti Mohwasa hit a snag as his mobile phone was offline.