BDP to gag Moswaane?

SHARE   |   Sunday, 19 April 2015   |   By Phillimon Mmeso
BDP to gag Moswaane?


• Moswaane's antics divide BDP leadership
• BDP fed up with Moswaane’s antics - claim
• Senior party members want him called to order
• Leadership fear revolt, backlash
• I hate mediocrity – Moswaane

That Francistown West Member of Parliament Ignatius Moswaane has rubbed the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) leadership the wrong way by his militant approach to debates and antics in parliament is without doubt.
Moswaane, who could be easily mistaken for an opposition politician for his militancy, has been a thorn in the BDP government's flesh. Nicknamed Timmy after the diminutive ‘living doll’ in an American soapie -‘Passions,’ by his hordes of supporters, Moswaane’s behaviour is said to be a source of concern for some party leaders. Sources within the BDP have revealed that some want the maverick legislator to be brought to book and called to order for some of his utterances made on the floor of Parliament.
Moswaane, one of the most prolific and controversial politicians to come out of Francistown, has also crossed path with both the Speaker of the National Assembly Gladys Kokorwe and her deputy Kagiso Molatlhegi. “Some of the words that he uses against his fellow democrats are unpalatable and do not border on party line, like calling Molatlhegi 'a  prison bully’ is totally unacceptable,” said an MP, who did not want to be named but said they are fed up with Moswaane’s antics.
The party is, however, said to be divided on what disciplinary action to take against the maverick politician as some feel it might polarise the party further. “We are currently sitting on a shaky ground and suspending or expelling Moswaane can have dire consequences for the party. Imagine what damage it could do to the party because he (Moswaane) is now a popular figure,” said another BDP MP, who also asked for anonymity.
Another issue that the Moswaane's detractors are raising is his disregard for party caucus decisions, as he has refused on several occasions to abide by party resolutions. One of those instances was when he differed with the party caucus on the controversial amendment of the Societies Act that sought to place a 250 people threshold to register a church. The BDP caucus agreed that all their MPs should support the bill but Moswaane somersaulted and opposed it.
There is a school of thought that the party has no power to take action against the outspoken Francistown legislator as he spoke on his position as Member of Parliament but not a BDP activist. Some within the party secretly believe that the leadership should apply the adage ‘if a dog barks give it a bone to chew’ meaning the former Monarch South councilor should be given position of responsibility like that of assistant minister to silence him. “They must appoint him assistant Minister of Labour and Home Affairs and let him deal with the churches himself and implement the new bill,” said another source.
The system was once used on the former MP for Nata/Gweta Oliphant Mfa, who once threatened to spill beans on the shenanigans at the Ministry of Education. He would later be appointed assistant Minister of Labour and Home Affairs before he could table his motion.
Moswaane dismisses his detractors with contempt. "I didn’t do anything wrong and my job is to represent the people of Francistown West in Parliament not appease certain individuals in parliament. This is just me - the normal Moswaane and I won’t apologise to anyone and/or change but will continue to speak out on the high level of poverty among our people, especially the youth and women," hit out the theatric politician.
Put to him that it is his party which is in power, Moswaane said he cannot just turn a blind eye on the plight of Batswana just because he is a BDP member, adding that he has been elected to make change but not defend mediocre service to the nation. Asked if he has ever been called by the party leadership regarding his conduct in parliament, the controversial politician who is also a member of BDP Political Education Committee was very evasive preferring to say he is responsible to the people of Francistown West who are happy with his performance. Moswaane, however, said he has not met President Ian Khama regarding his performance in parliament. “President Khama encouraged us to bring motions that will bring change to the lives of Batswana but cautioned us not to insult each other or our political nemesis,” he said, adding that the BDP is for change hence his militancy in Parliament.
Reminded that he once called the deputy speaker a prison bully, Moswaane answered in negative, positing that he was merely advising him to allow flow of debates in parliament. “You see the problem with the speaker and her deputy is that they are both players and referees at the same time and as such shift goal posts when they want to score and move them when we are about to score,” said Moswaane.
The outspoken former Francistown Mayor refused to commit himself that he will tone down on his debates should he be asked to do so by the party leadership.
Contacted for comment BDP executive Secretary Sechele Sechele said he is not aware that there are some people within the party who are not happy with Moswaane’s performance in Parliament. Asked if the party is happy with the Francistown West legislator's performance in parliament, the impatient Sechele kept on repeating the same answer, “rraetsho kare ga ke itse ope mo party yoo sa itumeleleng performance ya ga rre Moswaane, (I don’t know anyone within the party who is not happy with Moswaane’s performance in parliament),” before slamming down the phone.



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