THE GOLDEN BOY TURNED PURPLE
The former President of Botswana National Front Youth League President (BNFYL), Khumoekae Richard dropped a bombshell this week when he resigned from the BNF and defected to the newly formed Alliance for Progressives (AP).
Popularly known as Motsabakedi, the youthful politician is no stranger to controversy, having previously been dismissed by government from his job as an Administration Officer at Gaborone Central constituency office.
In 2014, Richard was also fired from Francistown College of Technical and Vocational Education, where he worked as a lecturer.
He was unceremoniously sacked following the launch of his book, ‘Scandalous Murdering of Democracy’, which is highly critical of President Ian Khama.
Voice staffer, Daniel Chida sat down with the Canadian-based student to share his journey and discuss the latest developments in the political arena.
Q: Take us through your journey, especially as the BNFYL President.
My journey has been a frustrating one. In the build up to the YL Congress in Mahalapye in 2016 my team was frustrated by the party leadership, until there was physical confrontation.
We were made to pay for our party cards to be done while the other section got them for free. At the congress our team was denied food despite having contributed some money.
The idea was to frustrate my team so that they go back but they knew what they wanted and stayed behind to vote.
Q: After winning what happened?
Our team was not handed the office – until today, we don’t have an office. Comrade Duma Boko’s leadership failed us!
I doubt he knows the current YL because he never interacts with them. He failed to call for investigation into the P60, 000 that disappeared from the YL coffers.
I approached the Central Committee to intervene on the handing over of the office. Secretary General, Moeti Mohwasa was mandated with handing over of the office but he has not done that.
You can see that Boko has his own team that he works with and not all party members.
Q: How was your relationship with Boko?
We never met and he has never bothered to meet the current YL.
We lost a YL member who was working as an Administration Officer but Boko failed to send a condolence message or even make a contribution.
Only the Vice President, Prince Dibeela and the AP President, Ndaba Gaolathe contributed.
Ndaba contributed P2, 000 for the funeral through the BNF office but that money didn’t reach the bereaving family because a certain woman (name withheld) took it for herself.
His poor governance failed us! Boko is not accessible, is always absent from obligations and responsibilities.
Leaders in such a tough revolution can’t behave like Hollywood stars, who just spend time in expensive malls seated there, waiting for public viewing and glorification.
Q: How then would you summarise the BNF as a party under the leadership of Boko?
BNF is a cute organisation, at least on paper. But I can’t say the same about its leadership and administration currently.
We are in an era where a leader can run up to 12 months without an executive meeting – yet in that period he makes shocking policy pronouncements and takes major decisions alone.
The BNF is lucky to have a VP like Dibeela, who, despite harassment, is still maintaining his cool.
He is a man of solid integrity. However, the party is not so blessed to have a group of people who call themselves Fear Fokol, the group is a security threat to opposition parties.
They are possessed with spirit and attack everyone from BOFEPUSO, Dibeela, and BPP – everyone except BOPEU because they have jobs there.
Q: Moving on, why did you join the AP?
That is the only party I could join! Its leader, Ndaba inspires many people.
His humility, despite being a successful businessman, shows that he is someone who was well groomed in our culture.
Leaders like him carry the hopes of what people are yearning for, especially the youth.
I have listened to him and I know what he thinks is better for the people.
Even at Parliament, he always gives alternatives and his policies won’t be new to me.
Q: When did you consider joining AP, since it’s apparent you have been following its leadership closely?
It is a trick question but the truth is I’ve admired his leadership for a long time.
Whenever I dealt with him, his skills proved to me that he is a good leader.
The day Boko delivered the power sharing deal at the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), that is when I saw that I did not belong there.
I went to consult my family and they gave me the go ahead. All along I had doubted if the BNF was still the right party but the verdict was the last nail in the coffin.
Q: There are allegations that some members of the BMD were funding you – can you clarify that?
Mboki Chilisa and Daniel Phalaagae are the ones that sponsored my lobby-list during the congress.
Phalaagae is a BNF member and I don’t know where this issue of BMD sponsoring us comes from.
Q: Considering your political background and experience, are you eyeing any position at the AP?
No, I am a party activist who does not harbour any position.