She was Botswana Congress Party (BCP) parliamentary candidate for Gaborone West North in (2009) and Bonnington North in 2014.
Recently she changed her name from Anna Motlhagodi to Anna Mokgethi and changed her political affiliation too by defecting to Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), a move that set tongues wagging, as she had vehemently denied that she was crossing over until the day she was paraded in red gear at a BDP rally.
Voice Journalist Onneile Setlalekgosi sat down with the former parliament aspirant and founding member of BCP, Annah Motlhagodi- Mokgethi to discuss her newly chosen political path.
Q. Dumela Mma Mokgethi, recently I asked you about allegations of you joining BDP, But you went on record to deny vehemently only for you to cross over, what exactly happened?
That is correct. At the material time it was correct that I was accompanying my husband to the Ramotswa BDP political rally.
What I said to you was truthful.
Q. But you defected not too long after that, what did the BDP offer you?
Being a politician for many years I have seen a number of nonpoliticians accompanying husbands to political parties!
Nobody said anything to me at the BDP; they did not offer me anything.
It seems some people are always looking for political association from me.
And since my husband was BDP anyway I decided to join the BDP.
Q. Speculations are rife that BDP buys financially struggling opposition politicians with money and offers them a prospect of good living through government tenders in exchange for defection. Your take?
Those are just speculations that have never been substantiated by anyone.
I wouldn’t know know why they say that. I for one haven’t been enticed with any reward or post or anything to join the BDP.
Q. You are the founding member of the BCP; don’t you feel you betrayed the party?
I wouldn’t say I betrayed BCP. In fact I’m the one who should feel betrayed.
I am the founder member of the BCP and when we formed the BCP there were certain ideas and ideals that we were pursuing, in particular we were pursuing inner party democracy.
Q. Okay Mma Mokgethi, can you kindly elaborate on what you mean by that statement?
Given the events that led to the formation of the BCP, we were adamant that we wanted a party that is people centred, that follows social democratic principles.
In particular, we wanted to discourage personal ownership of the party.
The party was meant to be truly a party for the nation. Those are some of the main things that motivated us.
For a long time we managed to follow those ideals but recently we deviated from that and that makes me feel betrayed.
BCP members were very loyal to the party.
I think the party has also betrayed the larger BCP following, because at some point I felt something shifted.
It was no longer the BCP we have known all these years.
Q. What really happened, what changed?
It was not the BCP of Bo Kgosipula, Gibson Sheleshando, the BCP of Peba Sethantsho, and Maitshwarelo Dabutha.
It used to be a loving party that embraced all people and did not undermine people based on their intellectual abilities and qualifications. ‘Ne e sa nyatse ope’
At some point I felt we lost that. The party began to treat those who were considered to be of a lesser intellectual schooling with disdain.
Many are being undermined.
Q. Who exactly would you say was being undermined?
Certain politicians were no longer valued, the portfolio holders in the central committee were undermined and that is why there was an urgent need for the leadership or executive committee to push for the removal of portfolio holders from the constitution.
But when I say leadership I am not referring to Dumelang Shaleshando because it appears some people were misguided to think I was attacking Seleshando when I brought that issue up.
Q. Any chance of putting your legal career on hold to focus on politics?
Not a chance! I am an attorney by profession.
I am very much focused on my legal career right now.
Q. What is the highlight of your legal career?
It’s difficult for me to say. For me legal practice is a challenge, every day brings a challenge, and every day we learn so much.
Q. Back to your political career. Any intention of running for the Bonnington North parliamentary seat in 2019 again on the BDP ticket this time around?
I am new at BDP. I am still trying to find my feet so I can’t be talking about running for elections yet at this time.
Q. I heard your law firm is broke, hence your defection to BDP?
That’s not correct. My practice is running the way it used to run.
I am aware of that baseless allegation. Someone on Facebook made it. It’s not true.
Thank you for the Interview Mma Mokgethi.Wish you all the best in your new political endeavors