Marx Engels Lenin Stalin (MELS) Movement of Botswana president Themba Joina has announced his retirement from active politics. In an interview with Botswana Guardian this week Joina said that it was time he handed over the baton to new and young leaders.
He will stand as the Botswana Congress Party’s parliamentary candidate for Tonota South next year when the nation goes to the polls. He says that it will be his last active involvement in politics. Having grown up in Shashe Mooke, the 52 year-old Joina says his decision to take up the Tonota South challenge is an indication that he now wants to go back to the village for good. “It is an indication that the old man is now going back home,” he says. However, he says MELS will not be using the BCP ticket in other regions. He is positive that his decision to step back will not make the party collapse. Actually, he believes that MELS will never lose relevance and that it has already gained momentum.
He will be working behind the scenes by organising party activism platforms and constituency regions and branches. He has a few unnamed individuals that he has been observing and is confident that they will make MELS rule one day. He is worried that age is catching up with him and all along he has been focusing on leading the party and contesting. He says that contesting under the BCP ticket is his last assignment and that he will be organising MELS’ new leadership to take over the party. But it is a matter of sacrifice and commitment and good preparation for the right persons, he says. The founder of MELS also announces that he is quitting law after having practised for 22 years.
His take is that the fraternity should be taken over by the next generation, revealing that his daughter is currently a law undergraduate at the University of Botswana. “There comes a point in a man’s life when he removes his hat and gives it to the new blood,” he says. He will focus mainly on farming and raising his children.