Isaac Davids is not new into politics. He has represented Mochudi East at parliament level before. He is now seeking another term to represent the constituency under Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC). He opens up in an interview in a candid interview with The Voice.
Q: Mr. Davids, briefly tell us about your political journey.
I started my journey in politics in the eighties. My first political party was the Botswana National Front (BNF). My footprints are visible in Kgatleng as I helped the party to gain a majority at council level.
Q: Interesting, I always thought you started with the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP)?
The truth is I am a BNF member. I joined the BDP after the Segametsi Mogomotsi riots that happened in 1994.
Q: What happened to you?
I had no party because BNF expelled me. I was a threat to Isaac Mabiletsa. He had won primary elections at the same time he was absent from the constituency. He was working in a bank in Serowe.
Q: Did you say you were a threat to Mabiletsa, and what does that have to do with you being expelled from the BNF?
I did not commit any crime as far as I remember. The only thing that I did was to tell him that I am interested in challenging him for the parliamentary position. Since he was a member of the central committee he influenced the party leadership to expel me.
Q: That is why you joined the BDP?
I joined the BDP a frustrated man. I had no choice; BDP was the only party besides BNF, there was no Botswana Congress Party (BCP). In 1999, I won a parliamentary seat for the BDP when Mabiletsa left BNF to form BCP.
Q: You also crossed to BDP offspring party Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), didn’t you?
When BMD was formed some of us who belonged to the BDP’s barata-phathi joined up. We all believed that President Ian Khama was undemocratic as he wanted to hand pick BDP’s central committee. We had voted for Gomolemo Motswaledi and he wanted to silence him.
Q: Then you left BMD again for BNF. Why?
I was not offered membership at BMD. It was BMD leadership that delayed the issue of my membership. Maybe the BMD leadership felt I am not suitable to be their member. When Mabiletsa went back to his party BCP it was an opportunity for me to re-join BNF.
Q: Mabiletsa must be your worst enemy. Don’t you think?
He is just a clown. I was not willing to join BNF whilst he was still the incumbent MP. At the same time BNF had a weak leader in Otsweletse Moupo. The party was on autopilot during Moupo’s time, I viewed him as a lightweight. During his tenure there was in-fighting within BNF.
Q: As we speak you are the parliamentary candidate for Mochudi East constituency. What motivated you to stand?
I am taking the leadership of BNF because I was motivated by the move of Mabiletsa to BCP. I am an able leader who can bring peace. My love for the people of Botswana also motivated me to represent the party.
Q: Do you talk with your nemesis?
Whenever I meet him I talk to him, he avoids me though. Don’t ask me why because I don’t know. We are just political rivals we have never been friends.
Q: If my memory serves me well you have never sat in the same parliament. Is that right?
That has always been the case. He serves his time, I serve mine. For the coming general elections it will be my turn in parliament. He knows that Bakgatla have told him that.
Q: How long were you a member of parliament?
I was a member of Kgatleng landboard for 5 years, then a councillor for 5 years and MP for 5 years.
Q: You lost elections in 2009 under the BDP ticket what happened?
BDP went into elections divided. The A-team did not vote for me because I belonged to a different faction. Instead they voted for BNF.
Although your stay at BMD was short-lived it later turned out that the same party is working with BNF.
I like the idea of the Umbrella. I have endorsed it I believe in it. We have long said opposition parties should join hands to unseat the BDP. This country needs one opposition party. My personal advice is that BCP should come on board and join the UDC.
Q: Why are you so optimistic of a win in Kgatleng by the opposition?
Kgatleng has always been a predominantly opposition stronghold. This time around we are leaving no stone unturned as we take this government down. It will remain like that forever.
Q: You do not speak of your BDP opponent why?
There is nothing to speak about Rev. Mpho Moruakgomo. Out of the three of us he will come last as I will win the constituency followed by Mabiletsa.
Q: Is Moruakgomo not a threat at all?
In fact he is a gold-digger. Wherever you see him you should know that there is money somewhere. He is not even fit to be a priest as his real life does not reflect that of a man of God. He does not interact with ordinary people. People do not know him in this area.
Q: What do Bakgatla want?
As Bakgatla we want peace and tranquility in our district. We want our Chief to be returned back to Mochudi without any conditions. Our Chief is being victimized by the BDP-led government. Bakgatla do not want anybody who does not support their Chief. As for Unity Dow she is the reason our Chief is in South Africa.
Q: You really like your Chief?
Kgafela II is like a son to me. I raised him together with his father Kgosi Linchwe II as he was my friend. We used to go hunting lions with young Kgafela II when he was still an infant. I am his servant, how can I not worry about his well being?
Q: Are you happy at the developments that are in Kgatleng as a district?
I am not happy with any developments in this area. Kgatleng is the least developed district in the country. BDP is deliberately not developing the district because of our stance that we do not support them. My mission when I get to parliament will be to escalate developments in Kgatleng.
Q: What will happen to you should you lose in the coming general elections?
I will resign from active politics. I am already old but I will continue to support my party.
Q: Politics is extremely expensive do you have the financial muscle to pull out all the stops?
As the opposition we do not have the required finances. What we have is people who will vote for us. We are not intimidated by the fleet of vehicles displayed by the ruling party. Vehicles don’t vote, people do.
Q: Have you started addressing public rallies yet?
These are modern times and people are tired of rallies. I have agreed with my wife that we should allocate a beast to each ward, and also hold workshops for our people. Workshops have proven to be more effective than freedom squares.
Q: Trade unions and government are at loggerheads, what will you do differently?
We are going to work hand in hand with trade unions, the poor, and the underprivileged. Our aim is to develop the people. Our government will not fight the trade unions we shall embrace them.