One of the founding fathers of the nation, a veteran politician, Motsamai Mpho died on Wednesday aged 91, the Botswana Congress Party’s Publicity Secretary, Taolo Lucas confirmed.
“It is true I have received the message that he has passed on,” Lucas revealed.
Lucas said the entire BCP, which Mpho joined when his party, Botswana Alliance Movement joined it as a group member, was deeply saddened by the loss.
“He was a true veteran of Botswana politics. His contribution to politics was so immense and I just hope that the people of this country appreciate that. He was an inspiration to many of us. He was always willing to share his experiences which were very motivating to many of our cadres,” Lucas said in remembrance of the fallen hero.
He further added that at the advanced age of 91, Mpho would be the first to attend political meetings and always willing to give advice about what was best for the organisation.
“He didn’t live for himself but other people. He wanted other people to live well, the down trodden. He always wanted to see a society where all lived well. He simplified notions of human rights and social justice. He was the first to point to incidence of social justice. He was a rare breed,” said Lucas.
He made reference to today’s politics, which is characterised by greed and self enrichment.
His contention was that although Mpho aged in opposition, he was never guided by the stomach but rather by the will to see everyone live a better life.
Mpho founded the very first political party in the country, the then Bechuanaland People’s party before the 1966 Independence. He later left it due to internal strife to form another party, Botswana Independence Party (BIP). Historians argue that he founded the word Botswana as he was the first to use it to name a political party.
BIP then joined BAM as an alliance member ahead of the 2004 elections.
Mpho was also among the first to sing the national anthem on a return flight to Botswana after attending a pan African conference in Accra, Ghana, 1962. The Anthem was however produced by his companion, Phillip Matante.