Almost eight years ago he dropped a bombshell and announced that he is resigning from the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) where he was the Secretary General and cabinet minister due to disagreement over how the party was treating public sector workers.
From BDP he had a short stint at the BDP’s first offspring Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) and later joined Botswana National Front (BNF). This prompted the then Vice President the late Lieutenant General Mompati Merafhe who by then was heartbroken by Rammidi’s defection to chastise him. “Madam Speaker Honourable Rammidi is a lost young man, he is confused. In one month he moved from one political party to the other. He now says he is a member of the BNF, I have never seen a man a gaisiwa ke peba ka botlhale, you can never see a rat running towards a sinking ship,” he hit out when Rammidi crossed to BNF.
The statement didn’t deter Rammidi who by then was the MP for Kanye North to move to another political party being Botswana Congress Party (BCP) where he rose to become the Secretary General and instrumental for making them to join the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).
On Wednesday as he was welcomed into the BDP, the earth beaten Rammidi with his red blazer jacket hanging on his body, one could well relate with the biblical story of the ‘Return of the prodigal son’. As his name was called and the whole hall erupted into ululations those who were close to him whilst he was still at BDP stood on their seats emotionless with Member of Parliament for Sefhare-Ramokgoname Dorcus Malesu battling to control her emotions as her friend jumped on the stage and punched the air with ‘tsholetsa domkrag!’.
Just behind Malesu was Fidelis Molao whose political life especially as an MP was duly due to Rammidi was consumed in emotions and kept his head down probably reminiscing the good old times. It was in 2010 when the BDP was at its lowest point after the formation of BMD when they lost their MP for Tonota North Baledzi Gaolathe which led to the bye elections. The BDP faced the combined opposition and Molao was their candidate against Habaudi Hubona of BCP. Rammidi was roped in as the campaign manager and delivered the constituency to BDP against all odds. It was understandable on Tuesday when Molao nearly broke into tears as he saw the man who made him return to the party earth beaten and broke.
Next to Fidelis on the front seat was Rammidi’s campaign manager in 2009 who is also his protégé Alec Seametso who kept on licking his lips and restless on his seat probably thinking that he was dreaming.
The crowning moment came when he moved to take his seat with everyone on their feet and one of the Late General Merafhe’s daughters Reobonye stood up passed the photojournalists hugged Rammidi and held him tightly like the picture of the father holding tightly to his prodigal son. Rammidi who is now a political vagabond after joining almost all political parties in Botswana said that he allowed himself to be controlled by his emotions hence he found himself in political wilderness.
“I was on a self-imposed exile and am now back and want to thank all those who persuaded me to come back to the BDP even those I was a threat to their positions,” he said as the democrats said ‘ao shems!’
On why he went back to the BDP which in the past has said it is on its knees, the former BCP Secretary General said he was moved by the inauguration speech by President Masisi.
Rammidi is credited with making BCP popular in the Southern part of the country especially Kanye where he performed relatively well in the 2014 General Elections.
In the 2009 General Elections, Rammidi won the Kanye North constituency with 7004 to the BNF candidate’s Calvin Batsile's 5601 while BCP’s Koorapetse Mokopakgosi tailed behind with 309 votes.
In 2014 constituency returned to BDP with Patrick Ralotsia garnering 5 726 followed by Kwenantle Gaseitsiwe who got 5 654 Rammidi was voted by 4 030 and independent candidate Victor Makuku got 473.
BCP was the most improved party as they increased their votes by 3721 and this was credited to Rammidi.