The recently suspended MP for Maunatlala-Lerala Prince Maele is said to have pleaded with President Mokgweetsi Masisi to show mercy, pardon him and set aside the decision, to give him an opportunity to contest the upcoming 2019 general elections under the BDP ticket.
Maele who was recently slapped with six months suspension from the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) for his attack on Masisi at a kgotla meeting in his constituency last year sent some party elders to seek clemency and plead with Masisi on his behalf. “Embattled Maele, whose political future hangs in the balance, recently sent a delegation of party elders to plead with President Masisi to set aside his suspension. He has sworn allegiance to the party, abandoning the anti-Masisi camp led by Khama,” revealed one source within the BDP.
Maele is one of the few BDP MPs who openly declared their support for former President Ian Khama, publicly swearing that he will never betray him. Ahead of the Kang Congress, he was one of the campaign managers for Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi who was challenging Masisi for the party presidency. The suspension of Maele came as a shock to him and his constituents. In his appeal Maele is said to have promised Masisi that he will cut ties with Khama who has embarked on a spirited campaign against the BDP. “He assured Masisi that he is going to be loyal to the BDP and work with party structures. He really showed some remorse,” revealed a source close to the President.
Maele won the BDP primary elections with a slim margin beating his political rival Sethabelo Modukanele, garnering 3 528 against 3 231 votes for the latter.
Maele will be joining other BDP MPs who were aligned to Khama but have since abandoned him after the Kang congress. Recently Khama regretted endorsing Francisco Kgoboko and campaigning for him against Shaw Kgathi in Bobononong only for Kgoboko to betray him. Another close associate of Khama who has abandoned him is MP for Tonota Thapelo Olopeng who has repeatedly sworn allegiance to Masisi.
BDP Secretary General Mpho Balopi confirmed to journalists on Wednesday that Masisi has instructed the disciplinary committee to listen to the appeal by Maele.“Maele appealed his suspension within the stipulated time and the matter will be heard in a few days by the disciplinary committee,” said Balopi.
Contacted for comment, Maele refused to comment on the matter reasoning that all the due processes have to be respected. “I will call a press briefing in three weeks’ time and answer all the issues that have been raised,” he said refusing to confirm whether he has met Masisi or not.