Former MP for Serowe West, Tshekedi Khama blames Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) activists for acting in cahoots to make his stay in the party uncomfortable and unbearable, eventually forcing him to jump ship to safe his political career.
Addressing multitudes who thronged a political rally at Serowe bus rank on Thursday, organized by the newly formed Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF)- led by his brother Ian Khama as its patron- Tshekedi claimed that he was pushed out of the ruling BDP and forced to seek refuge in the opposition ranks. To put his grievances against the BDP into perspective, Tshekedi said the party leadership ignored his persistent and sincere plea to have former MP for Sefhare-Ramokgonami, Dorcus Makgato reprimanded for her utterances which were calculated to insult his father, the late founding President Seretse Khama.
Tshekedi said Makgato repeatedly attacked his father -the founding president of the BDP- yet the party has remained quiet about the issue. He said the last straw was when the BDP, which he labelled divisive-tried to fuel chaos between people of Serowe and his family, hence he could not stay with them anymore and chose to resign. “My last days at BDP were the most difficult due to the pressure I got from people to join BPF. I tried to remain in the BDP but they forced me to leave,” he said.
Khama fired a diatribe at Makgato saying talking about her is a waste of time because he does not know what she drank the day she attacked his father, neither does he know how she was raised. He thanked those in attendance at the rally saying throughout his political career he has never enjoyed such massive support in and around Serowe. Tapping into tribal influence of the Khamas over Bangwato tribe, Tshekedi pleaded with people of the Central district to stick with their Kgosikgolo (Ian Khama) no matter what the circumstances. “As for Dorcus, I will deal with her accordingly. I will visit her constituency in no time and teach her how to show respect,” warned Tshekedi.
Addressing the rally, former President of Botswana who is now the patron for BPF, Lt. General Seretse Khama Dr Ian Khama told multitudes who attended the rally that he has fulfilled the wish of Serowe West electorates by successfully persuading Tshekedi to join him at the new party. Khama said Tshekedi was the missing piece of the puzzle and now that he has defected to BPF, the puzzle is complete. He promised Serowe West voters that together with his brother they will deliver all 17 constituencies in the Central district and support the opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) in constituencies where the BPF has not fielded any candidate.
Khama bragged that many people have shown a lot of appreciation for the arrival of Tshekedi into BPF. “People from all over Botswana including some cabinet members who are also contesting for elections called me saying that I did a good thing by bringing Tshekedi Khama to BPF,” he said.
The campaign Manager for Serowe West, Mr. Emmanuel Orateng, said it was evident that BDP did not support Tshekedi because they were seen around with the candidate for Alliance for Progressives and they kept on postponing his launch.
Breaking ranks with multitudes singing and celebrating Tshekedi’s welcome to the BPF, a member of Serowe Taxi Association, who preferred anonymity said the Khamas failed to listen to their grievances whilst at BDP. Therefore, he said, there is nothing new Tshekedi will do for the constituency.
Tshekedi defected to BPF earlier this week, just a few hours before the nomination of candidates for 2019 general elections where he will be contesting against his replacement, Moemedi Dijeng of the BDP, AP, Dikgakgamtso Seretse -independent candidate and a UDC candidate. Tshekedi will be officially launched on the 12th October 2019.