Suspended Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) member, Tshepang Mabaila says he was not under any pressure to withdraw his candidacy as an Independent Candidate for Mogoditshane Constituency.
Mabaila was last year slapped with a five (5) year suspension for bringing the name of the party into disrepute. He appealed the decision of the Disciplinary Committee to party President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi, an appeal which was dismissed. Mabaila then announced that he would be contesting this year’s general election as an independent candidate and registered with Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
Last week Mabaila a close associate of former President Dr. Ian Khama who is currently involved in a standoff with the current president, revealed that he is withdrawing his candidacy. In response to enquiries about his withdrawal, Mabaila said he was not under any pressure to chicken out.
There has been claims that Mabaila decided to change his mind because of allegations of a forgery case where he is being investigated for allegedly having forged his academic qualifications. He was also said to be on the list of the taxman for tax evasion.“I am not under any pressure to withdraw. I am doing this for the BDP because I am a BDP member and I want what is best for the BDP. Regarding the issue of forgery, I can tell you that there is nothing like that.
I never forged any document. It is an issue of accreditation. There is a university called Belford in the United Kingdom and that is where I was doing my degree. I do not know why people are making noise about the issue of a fake certificate. There was nothing I could do and that same qualification I enrolled for my Masters in Degree with and there was nothing wrong, but since it emerged that there is an issue of accreditation, I stopped my studies and enrolled at Boitekanelo.
I did my four-year degree in Bachelor of Arts in Counselling, so I cannot be under pressure over something I know is not an issue,” he revealed. He told a press conference in Gaborone that the tax issue is for anyone who is not paying tax. He posited that anyone who is not complying would obviously have BURS knocking at his or her door.
According to Mabaila he would not say he is being targeted and therefore has to make a coverup by pleasing the current administration by withdrawing his candidacy. The decision by Mabaila to contest as an independent candidate was seen as a move that is highly likely to dent the BDP performance in Mogoditshane Constituency.
The constituency is currently held by opposition- Alliance for Progressives (AP). Mabaila last year stirred controversy when he was alleged to have been part of the team that orchestrated a motion of no confidence against President Dr Masisi. He also offered to broker peace between Dr Masisi and former President something which is said to have earned him the dismissal of suspension appeal.