South East South Member of Parliament, Odirile Motlhale will not be drawn into discussing his brief stint at Botswana Movement for Democracy.The youthful legislator was part of the Young Turks that left Botswana Democratic Party reeling in shock when they left to form the BMD in 2010 citing lack of inner party democracy. In fact, Motlhale was outright dismissive of the party, accusing the leadership of president Khama as “intolerant.” But when the hype that characterised the formation of the BMD gradually dissipated and one after the other, its founders began trooping their way back to the mother party, it was always inevitable that Motlhale would follow suit.
He played mind games with the public last year after resigning from the party and remaining an independent MP for a while. But, not to be fooled, the electorate read these as just mere delay tactics, designed to buy him time before he eventually returned to the BDP. Worse still for Motlhale, his friend Botsalo Ntuane had already retraced his steps to the BDP. It was always a matter of time for him. And indeed he has returned. He told this paper that it took him some time to return because he was still consulting his family and electorate. It is not because BDP has changed in any way.
“I was still consulting with my family and my constituents and they saw it as the right decision,” he said. In 2010 when he left BDP he complained that he was tired of being forced to toe the party line against his conscience and to the detriment of his electorate. Now that he has returned, it remains to be seen if he will enjoy the freedom of conscience. Asked about his brief stint at BMD he retorted: “I am done with BMD, I do not want to talk about my past I can only comment on my current life with BDP.”
However, he was confident that he would contest BDP primary elections this year. Motlhale has returned with Ramotswa Central Councillor, Boiki Gaseitsewe. BMD Secretary General Wynter Mmolotsi said the party would not be bothered about Motlhale’s next stop since he had already resigned from the BMD. As for how the electorate should treat defectors at general elections, Mmolotsi was dismissive: “If it were for me, I would deal them a hard blow for their dishonesty. It shows they don’t even know what it is they want.”
As for Gaseitsiwe, Mmolotsi said he has never been active in the party, a point that was buttressed by BMD Youth League president, Phenyo Segokgo. The youth leader was not surprised that Motlhale has rejoined the BDP because he had heard that he had family financial problems. “Most politicians with the same problem as his, go back there,” he said.