- Considers joining opposition
- I will make an annoucement in 3 weeks – Maele
- Guma, Butale could contest as independent candidates
LETLHOGILE MPUANG & SESUPO RANTSIMAKO
Former cabinet minister Prince Maele is yet to decide on his next move following his suspension from the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), he told The Botswana Gazette this week.
This publication has learnt that Maele is considering three options of contesting his unceremonious sacking, joining the opposition or running as an independent candidate in the upcoming general elections. When contacted he said he was considering all the options and that he will make a decision in three weeks time.
The BDP Discplinary Committee slapped Maele with a one year suspension last week. One of the reasons for Maele’s demise was his unwavering support for former president Ian Khama at a Kgotla meeting earlier this year. He was also believed to have been one of the masterminds of the New Jerusalem faction.
According to sources within Maele’s camp, the Lerala-Maunatlala MP is considering appealling the suspension.
“We have been busy since the ruling and we have received several advices from different people.”said a source close to the MP.
“However we feel that we should try and exhaust all available party structures, so we are very likely to appeal the decision. We want to do this before we can move to Plan B and C.”
Reached for comment Maele said, “I am still consulting with my constituents. I will make an announcement in the next two-three weeks. I still want to weigh all my options. I will sit down and consult first.”
It could mean that Maele will not defend his MP seat under the BDP ticket unless the party u-turns on its decision.
Apparently, Maele has already been approached by some opposition members to join them ahead of the upcoming general elections.
This publication has been informed that the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) has made their move on Maele. It is said the UDC’s MP candidate for Lerala/Maunatlala is prepared to make way for Maele in the event Maele joins the UDC. Moeti Mohwasa, UDC Secretary General could not deny that they have approached Maele but instead said “Every member of the party has a responsibility to recruit new members. On Maele currently, am not aware.”
Another New Jerusalem artichect Guma Moyo has also been expelled from the BDP. Moyo, MP for Tati East, was quoted in the media saying he will not contest his sacking. While Moyo declined to talk about his future when reached for comment, his foot soldiers have revealed that the Tati-East MP could to go solo.
They further told The Botswana Gazette that Moyo forsaw his expulsion pre his self imposed exile.
According to sources the BDP is likely to elect Sean Sebele as the Tati-East parliamentary candidate. Sebele lost to Moyo in last BDP year primary elections.
In Tati-West, Biggie Butale, who lost to Samuel Mavange in the primary elections, is also said to be one of those likely to face expulsion from the BDP. He is also believed to be considering running as an independent candidate in the 2019 elections. Butale told The Botswana Gazette that he is aware of rumors of his suspension but has not received any communication from the party. He is also linked to the New Jerusalem faction.