‘Bring back our seat’

Nicholas Mokwena
Wednesday, 30 August 2017
Member of Parliament for Mochudi East Isaac Davids Member of Parliament for Mochudi East Isaac Davids BOTSWANA GUARDIAN

Member of Parliament for Mochudi East Isaac Davids’ decision to ditch the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) could cost him his parliamentary seat before the end of this year, Botswana Guardian has established.

Davids, who was a member of Botswana National Front a contracting partner of the UDC, early this week defected to Botswana Democratic Party (BDP). Davids has not stated his reasons for ditching the BNF. 

This publication has gathered that a BNF Mochudi East Branch meeting held on Tuesday this week resolved to petition the MP. The aim of the petition is for the MP to return the UDC seat. The meeting, which according to sources discussed the matter at length, resolved that the process of engaging electorates in Mochudi East be in full force by next week.

“We want to be done with the process within two months. We have agreed to spearhead the process of the petition as the BNF since we were the ones asked for votes on his behalf. We will get the voters roll that was used during the 2014 general election so that we target those people who voted,” said a source who attended the meeting.Once complete, the petition is expected to be handed over to the Speaker of the National Assembly Gladys Kokorwe. Half the number of people who voted in 2014 is needed to sign the petition.BNF Mochudi East Branch Chairman Moagi Molebatsi confirmed in an interview that the Tuesday meeting resolved to petition the MP. Molebatsi said they owe it to the electorates because the MP has failed to notify them about his decision. 

“That seat is for UDC and not him. We owe it to the electorates to do something. We knocked on their doors, gave them sleepless nights that with the UDC they would not go wrong. As the branch leadership the Tuesday meeting authorised us to start the process. 

“We would need to collect at least 4000 signatures and we are determined to do so,” said Molebatsi. The chairman is also confident that the constituents will heed their call. “Most of the people who voted him are UDC members and Bakgatla and with the voters’ roll we will not fail to achieve our mission,” Molebatsi revealed.

However, the unprecedented petition might not see the light of day in the absence of a law that prohibits floor crossing. BDP MPs rejected a Bill to that end by then Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Lebonaamang Mokalake some years back.

Independent Electoral Commission Principal Public Relations Officer Osupile Maroba expressed doubt that the petitioners would succeed given that Botswana laws are silent on floor crossing. 

He explained that with the current arrangement, electorates have no powers when their leaders move from one party to the other. He wondered under which law Parliament would be requested to act even if the petition is taken to Parliament.

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