• All I want is adherence to party procedure- TK
• Court to hear his case on Thursday
• Khama wants Dijeng disqualified from primaries
• Balopi says party lawyers are ready for TK
The Botswana Democratic Party’s (BDP) internal disputes hit new lows as the son of the party’s founding father takes his party to court. Member of Parliament for Serowe North West Tshekedi Khama has said it pains him to have to drag his party to the courts of law over issues that could have been easily dealt with internally. Khama said despite having lodged his grievances with party Chairman Slumber Tsogwane and Secretary General Mpho Balopi, it appears that they made no effort to resolve his complaints and address his concerns.
Yesterday (Monday) High Court Judge Modiri Letsididi moved to Thursday the hearing of a case in which Khama has taken the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) to Court, challenging the candidature of Moemedi Dijeng for the party’s primary elections in Serowe North West constituency.
Through his attorney, Jabu Mazhinye, Khama argues that the party was wrong in allowing Dijeng to stand for the primary elections citing what he calls ‘the impropriety of the manner in which the approval of prospective candidates recommended by the Branch Committee in the Serowe North West constituency was carried by the central committee’.
Khama’s bone of contention is that Dijeng was given the green light to stand for elections despite the fact that the Disciplinary Committee of the party had, on June 12th, 2018, found Dijeng guilty of contravening Clause 16 of the Party’s Code of Conduct for candidates in primary elections stemming from a complaint raised by the Central Region Committee.
Khama wrote in his letter to the party Chairman and Vice President Slumber Tsogwane that despite the fact that the Central Committee knew or ought to have known of the ruling against Dijeng because in terms of the Party’s procedures, all findings of the Disciplinary Committee are forwarded to it and that he (Khama) made the Central Committee aware of the findings prior to the vetting process by handing copies of the disciplinary committee findings to both the Party Secretary General and Chairperson, they still went ahead and approved Dijeng’s candidacy .
‘‘It needs to be pointed out, further, that of the many complaints raised by the Central Region Committee before the Disciplinary Committee was also the fact that the Serowe West Branch had been captured and working in cahoots with the said Moemedi Dijeng given the circumstances surrounding the incidents leading to the complaint being filed,’’ Khama’s letter reads.
Khama indicated that under the circumstances, the Central Committee acted against the dictates of the Party’s regulations and by extension the very Constitution that forms the life source of Party and indeed the functions of the Central Committee.
‘‘In short, the decision to approve the candidature of Moemedi Dijeng, is ultra vires and invalid when tested against the fabric of the Party,’’ TK, as Khama is affectionately known, indicated in his letter. TK had given the party three days to disqualify Dijeng and when the party failed to accede to his demands, Khama approached the High Court for remedial action.
In an interview with this publication on Monday, Khama said he was left with no option but to approach the court of law for redress after his efforts fell on deaf ears within the party. He confirmed that he had long served Tsogwane and Balopi with all the necessary documents supporting his grievances against Dijeng’s candidature but they elected to ignore him. ‘‘Monnamogolo I really love this party and it pains me to have to approach the courts when this issue could have been resolved in-house’’, Khama said.
The son of the party’s founding father revealed that he is not necessarily fighting the party but all he wants is to compel those who are in charge to act and uphold the party regulations and procedures. ‘‘I was put through the same ordeal in 2014 when I complained about a candidate who didn’t qualify but was allowed to stand. I am going through it again in 2018 and in both instances Balopi was the Secretary General,’’ Khama said without clarifying his insinuation.
Reached for comment, Balopi said all he could confirm was that the party has received court papers from Khama’s lawyers. ‘‘We have instructed our lawyers to respond. For now that’s all I can say, on behalf of the Party’’, Balopi said in an interview on Monday.