• Declares he is resigning from party only to chicken out in hours of story publication due to pressure
• This was an unsolicited interview; he wanted story to be published
The words of Raheel Farooq came running like flash floods water on Wednesday when he said that “Politics is the only art whose artists regularly disown their masterpieces” when Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Member of Parliament for Nata/Gweta Polson Majaga disowned a statement he made in an interview with The Patriot on Sunday on Tuesday afternoon that he wants to join the opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).
In an interview on his way to a National Assembly meeting which took place at around 1530 hours after parliamentary session on Tuesday, Majaga revealed that he is frustrated with the BDP-led government because his constituents are wallowing in poverty and worse they don’t have portable water.“Ke ya go joina party ya bo malome am tired of this government and can’t be associated with a party that does not keep their promise (Am going to join my uncle’s party),” said the frustrated Majaga.
Asked which party was that, the Nata/Gweta MP revealed that it is UDC and reiterated that he has already made up his mind. The unapologetic former Dukwi councilor said that what pains him is that people of Nata/Gweta are the ones who voted BDP into power yet the government is not ready to help them. Majaga who was investigated by the police over stock theft case before the elections, revealed that he did not attend a budget workshop organised for legislators a week earlier because it would not benefit his constituents in any way. “Mosola wa teng ke eng because batho ba kgaolo yame ga ba ye go benefita sepe mo go yone (What was the point of attending the workshop when it doesn’t address my constituents' concerns?” he asked rhetorically, throwing hands in the air with exasperation. The former deputy council chairman for Tutume Sub District even threatened that if The Patriot on Sunday does not publish the story he will take it to other media houses.
Sources within the ruling party have revealed that immediately after the story appeared on The Patriot on Sunday online edition, Majaga was called to the office of the Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi to explain his alleged decision to dump the ruling party. “This was the most difficult time for him as it was clear that the party leadership was not happy that he discussed his frustrations with the media. He was then forced to distance himself from the utterances,” said a source.
It is alleged that on Wednesday afternoon Majaga was called to the office of the leader of the house where a member of the communications committee brought a letter distancing him from the interview to sign. The letter from Majaga, circulated across all media houses, is dated 4th February 2014. He denied ever discussing his planned defection with The Patriot on Sunday. He accused the publication of twisting his statement because he had only discussed the concerns raised by his constituents such as shortage of water in some villages with the reporter. Without clarifying Majaga claims that he had a valid reason for not attending the budget workshop for MPs, and had duly excused himself.
On Thursday Majaga did not attend the parliament and did not answer his mobile phone when called.
The Patriot on Sunday had on Tuesday reported that the BDP will soon lose some members of Parliament to the opposition, soon after the party was humiliated in election re-runs in Goodhope, Moshupa West and Ngware losing in all three council wards. Majaga was quoted confirming that he is ready to resign from BDP and join the opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC). “I am ready to defect to UDC because of frustration my constituents are suffering from the government they have voted for,” said the visibly frustrated Majaga.
He said that there is total lack of development in his constituency and seems the issues are far from being addressed in the current National Development Plan 10. “There is water crisis in the whole area and Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) have literally told me that there is nothing they can do as they don’t have money, and imagine that we have school going children and lack of water means there is no learning. They promised to construct a dam in Mosetse but now we have been told it has been deferred to NDP 11 despite that NDP 10 has been extended to 2016,” he said, shaking his head in disbelieve.
Asked if he has consulted the BDP about his defection, Majaga said he will inform the party when the time is right. Two other BDP MPs have hinted at the possibility of leaving the party in the near future for the oppoisition UDC due to frustrations in the ruling party. The BDP popular vote declined from 53 to 47 per cent at the 2014 general elections.