People normally say soccer is our national pastime, but looking at the multitudes who attended Guma Moyo’s weekend launch, it is clear that politics is Botswana’s favourite spectator sport.
The launch which attracted a lot of people and democrats from all corners of the country was conducted by President Ian Khama, the same man who once denounced Moyo who defected to the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), a faction from the ruling Party.
Moyo later rejoined the ruling BDP and was then elected party chairman, a position he relinquished within six months following accusations that he tried to manipulate President Khama’s succession plan.
President Khama told the crowd that he gave the Tati East MP a sole launch simply because Moyo recently missed the mass launch for all BDP candidates for the upcoming elections, which was held in Gaborone. “Moyo was attending his father’s funeral while others were being launched in Gaborone so that is why he is launched separately,” Khama told hordes of BDP followers who thronged the Tati siding village.
The president said the fact that Moyo was re-elected to represent Tati East was a clear indication that he was a capable person.
Khama also took the opportunity to call upon fellow party members to vote for the ruling party in large numbers and to stop wasting their time with the opposition parties.
President Khama said the opposition parties are very weak and accused some opposition politicians of taking life in politics as a licence to misbehave and tell lies. “They just mislead people by lying, cheating and using insults,” Khama said.
He also dismissed allegations that there are some people he was planning to assassinate because of their political affiliations.
He said the same people in this alleged assassination plot were not even worth wasting government resources and time on, saying they were weak and not even a threat to the ruling party.
For his part, Moyo told the gathering that president Khama was his mentor and that he would support him through high and low.
He promised to fight for Tati East constituency until this year’s election campaign ends. Moyo also revealed that it was common knowledge that he was once accused of crimes but the president taught him how to be a disciplined person.
The MP said he does not care who calls him a bootlicker of the president saying he believes that as leader, Khama was supposed to take the decision to lead his people. “A leader takes the final decision. It is up to us to support and advise our leader correctly so that he achieves his goals for the country,” Moyo said. He also said that there was sometimes a need for the leader to be a dictator.
Moyo called upon democrats to leave defectors alone and to stop calling them names saying it was counterproductive for the party. “We should leave rebels alone and not even fight them or copy their bad behaviour,” Moyo said. He explained further, “In my constituency I always tell people that I don’t need support from hooligans.”
He promised the voters that he would work tirelessly to ensure that Khama leaves as many BDP MP’s as possible when he steps down. He also called upon people to vote for him again since his agenda was to bring developments to the people. He said, “If I don’t perform, report me directly to the President.”
Also present at the event was former Assistant Minister Oliphant Mfa who accused defectors and independent candidates of being power hungry. “When people lose power they just turn into beasts because they don’t want to accept reality. You should be like fishes and stay put where you are during trying times,” Mfa said. “We all know that Gaborone dam is drying up yet all the fish there have not decided to go anywhere else.”
Other speakers at the launch were the party Secretary General Mpho Balopi and the Tati East chairman Sebelo Matikiti who also gave the welcome remarks.