Executive Secretary of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), Ame Makoba has asked the party’s disciplinary committee to take action against controversial outgoing Francistown West MP, Mokwaledi Ignatius Moswaane.
Just a week after BDP spokesperson Kagelelo Kentse denied the fallout between Moswaane and some within the party, which led to the cancellation of his launch two weeks ago, Minister of Land Management Water and Sanitation Services, Kefentse Mzwinila has lodged a complaint against Moswaane at Tsholetsa House. Moswaane’s troubles started after he was one of the ring leaders who objected the P900 million water pipe line tender from Masama to Mmamashia. In his complaint letter to Makoba, Mzwinila said by objecting to the award of funds for the project Moswaane defied the guidance of the party and the leadership. He added that Moswaane also defied a cabinet directive and party caucus. Under the BDP it is unlawful to defy the party caucus; normally those who are found guilty of such an offence are slapped with suspension.
“Moswaane attacked and maimed my integrity by alleging that I engaged in corruption and also brought the party into disrepute in terms of corruption allegations. He also denied the nation and the party a strategic and emergency resolution to the urgent and present water supply challenge,” reads part of Mzwinila’s complaint letter. Mzwinila recommended that the party should take disciplinary action.
In response to the allegations levelled against him, Moswaane penned a letter to the party president in his defence. “I have never brought the name of the party into disrepute instead I have vehemently defended the party the party against any allegations of corruption in regards to the Masama project. Recordings can be produced to attest to the above statement,” Moswaane said in his letter as he tries to save his political career which now hangs in the balance.
Moswaane further argued that as a legislator, he only presented the findings and resolutions of the Finance and Estimates Committee as stated in the report and the committee made a recommendation of which it was up to parliament to reject or approve. He added, “It must be note that BDP has more than double the number of opposition legislators and it must be noted that during the said day the BDP had numbers to reject the findings and resolutions of the committee.”
Shooting from the hip, Moswaane said Mzwinila failed the nation by failing to implement the Masama-Mmamashia water project which was funded at the tune of P1.8 billion and that project is the one that was to solve water shortages that the southern part of the country is experiencing. “His lack of knowledge about the two tenders ran by his Ministry and Water Utilities Corporation meant that he was clueless and therefore misled cabinet and failed to convince the committee beyond reasonable doubt of the urgency to warrant a supplement. I therefore wish to humbly request President Masisi to reject Mzwinila’s appeal for disciplinary action against myself as it may bring the party name into disrepute and it might open a can of worms,” he declared.
Suspending Moswaane might lead to the ruling BDP loosing Francistown West constituency to the opposition. Moswaane is very popular especially at his base, Monarch location. His supporters have threatened that they will follow him to his new political home.The new kid on the political block, Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) is said to be following the developments with kin interest and the party will poach Moswaane and appoint him their parliamentary candidate in the constituency. However, a source within the BDP claims that the party leadership plans to slap Moswaane with a suspension after Masisi has issued a writ of election to block him to contest for the elections.
Political analyst, Ndulamo Morima posits that it will be detrimental for the BDP to suspend Moswaane at this crucial moment, with a month left to the general elections. “It will be suicidal for the BDP to take punitive action against Moswaane because there is another party, BPF that might recruit him since he is sympathetic to former president Ian Khama. Moswaane has support from both opposition members and within the BDP due to issues he normally raise,” Morima underscored. According to Morima, Moswaane once stood as an independent council candidate and he won, that is a sign that he is popular and commands respect among his supporters.