Youthful Tshepang Mabaila, who up to Friday was Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary candidate for 2019 general elections in Mogoditshane constituency, has dumped the ruling party to contest as independent candidate after he was slapped with a suspension of five years.
Mabaila, who is former president Ian Khama’s blue eyed boy, has been serving a two months suspension after being suspended by the BDP’s disciplinary committee. He had been accused of committing offences against the rules and regulations and General Code of Conduct of the ruling party. He is alleged to have conspired and tried to persuade Minister of Health and Wellness Dr Alfred Madigele and Member of Parliament for Boteti East Sethomo Lelatisitswe to support a motion of no confidence against President Mokgweetsi Masisi, which was tabled before parliament by the Leader of Opposition, Duma Boko.
Addressing the media outside Tsholetsa House after the verdict, Mabaila said he was not happy with the decision as he was not given an opportunity to cross-examine key witnesses, among them Madigele and Lelatisitswe.
“The truth will come out one day and you can see by the loss of Madigele in the primaries that he is being punished for not telling the truth,” he said. Mabaila denied that he is against Masisi, saying he supports him and remains hopeful that with the passage of time he will realise the real truth.
According to Mabaila, one of the reasons he was pushed out – through what he calls trumped up charges – was that some democrats advanced the propaganda that he was not from Mogoditshane and as such cannot contest in the area.
“I am reliably informed that some party elders want Tumiso Rakgare to represent the party in the 2019 General Elections,” he revealed. Rakgare, a former Botswana Congress Party (BCP) Youth League president who dumped the party recently, has been very cagey with details when asked if he is joining the ruling party.
In the suspension letter, Mabaila was also charged for contemptuous behaviour towards the BDP leadership and other members of the party contrary to General Code of Conduct number 7. “As a party member, you were obliged to abide by the constitution, rules and regulations of the party, and are expected to promote the philosophy, policies and programs as stated particularly in Article 14 sub-section 1 and 2 thereof,” reads the charge.
“It is alleged further that you have also shown that you are against party president and promoted the interests of other parties against the BDP by mobilizing opposition members and BDP members to vote for a motion of no confidence tabled by the Leader of Opposition,” stated the letter suspending him in August 2018.