Khama counsels conciliation between Moatlhodi And Saleshando

Moatlhodi has reportedly changed his mind about dumping UDC after lengthy conversation with Khama


FRANCISTOWN: Former president Ian Khama has reportedly advised suspended Opposition Chief Whip, Pono Moatlhodi, to meet the Leader of the Opposition (LOO) Dumelang Saleshando about resolving their feud instead of joining another party.

Khama has only tacitly implied that he may have intervened. Responding to questions sent to him through the spokesman of the Botswana Patri-otic Front (BPF), Justice Motlhabani, Khama neither confirmed nor denied talking to Moatlhodi. “I believe that finding common ground to resolve the issue was the best thing to do,” he said. “Hopefully the issue will resolve amicably.”

Following announcement of his sus-pension as Chief Whip of the Opposition pending the outcome a court case in which he faces charges of assaulting a minor, Moatlhodi, who is the MP for Tonota, said he would seek a new political home. He accused Saleshando of disrespect, saying he might have been told about the decision to drop him as chief whip at a party caucus instead of announcing it in Parliament when he had no idea that such a situation had been developing.

However, The Botswana Gazetteis reliably informed that Moatlhodi’s plans to dump the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) have been cut short by Khama advising him against them. “Moatlhodi had already made his decision to dump the UDC because he was busy consulting his constituency about the humiliation that he said he suffered from the UDC leadership,” says a source close to the developments.

“Though initially Moatlhodi was adamant that he was leaving UDC, he agreed to meet Saleshando to resolve the issue after a lengthy conversation with Khama. What angered him the most is that he was not told anything when the decision to suspend him was taken.”

Although he was yet to announce where he might go for his next political home, it is widely rumoured that it was to be the BPF for which Khama is patron. But Moatlhodi would not him self be drawn into discussing the matter when approached. “I can only talk after conclusion of my court case,” he told The Botswana Gazette.

He is expected to appear before Francistown Magistrates Court tomorrow for allegedly assaulting a 16-year boy for allegedly stealing mangoes at his home in Tonota last year.