The MP for Gaborone Bonnington South Ndaba Gaolathe is one, if not the only, opposition MP who enjoys respect across political divide due to his calmness. However, on Tuesday he had a rude awakening when the Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Patrick Ralotsia fired the first shot at him for forming the Alliance for Progressives (AP), an offshoot of seven year old Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD). Gaolathe has enjoyed respect and admiration from Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi who has publicly declared he is going to ensure that Gaolathe joins Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) while the Minister of Finance and Economic Development Kenneth Matambo has indicated that if he had his way he would appoint him his assistant minister. Ralotsia broke the ranks with his colleagues as he hit out at Gaolathe labelling him an undisciplined politician who is always on the move from one political party to another. “Honourable Ndaba Gaolathe has suddenly become a political nomad. He has been a Vice President of three parties already; he has been president of two parties already, if not three,” hit out Ralotsia, adding that it is a sign that he lacks political discipline. The Kanye North MP said people who lack discipline cannot be satisfactorily democratic as they always find a reason to move from one party to another under the guise that they were being oppressed. “When you do these things, when somebody is as mobile as Honourable Ndaba Gaolathe and his people are, you know that these people lack some discipline. They don’t want to be reprimanded. When you do this Madam Speaker, immediately you have a formula to desert; you will always desert,” he said to the laughter of MPs especially from the ruling party and those of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).
Efforts by the MP for Gaborone North Haskins Nkaigwa to call on Ralotsia to stop attacking Gaolathe as he was not in Parliament hit a snag as he continued with the onslaught. He said that he was demonstrating that their perennial desertion from one party to another was because they don’t want to be reprimanded. In September this year Gaolathe announced that they have left both BMD and UDC and have formed a new party known as AP. This came after they were not satisfied with the verdict of UDC leadership regarding the leadership impasse at BMD which resulted with violence at Bobonong where they were hosting an elective congress. This according to Ralotsia is lack of discipline, insisting that they (AP) have developed a formula for desertion as such they will find reasons to form a new party. “Wait and see; he will be in another party tomorrow. Take your time, you will come back to me,” he hit out. He shocked parliamentarians when he said indiscipline is in Gaolathe’s genes. “In his Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA); he cannot succumb to pressure,” he said, adding that he won’t be surprised if he comes to the ruling party which he said will be his final political destination. The MP for Selibe Phikwe West Dithapelo Keorapetse rose on a Point of Order and asked that he withdraw the statement that political indiscipline was in Gaolathe’s genes as it was too deep. Ralotsia reluctantly withdrew but said the appropriate word was ‘culture’.