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UDC Assigns Molapise To Tackle Moatlhodi Issue

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UDC president Boko says the issue is affecting working relations of opposition MPs

SESUPO RANTSIMAKO

The Chairman of the Umbrella for Democratic Change, Motlatsi Molapise, has been tasked with resolving the issue that led to the suspension of Opposition Chief Whip, Pono Moatlhodi, and the feuding between Moatlhodi and the Leader of the Opposition (LOO), Dumelang Saleshando, that resulted from the suspension.

The president of the UDC, Duma Boko, disclosed this last weekend when he told journalists at a press conference that it was time for the leadership of the coalition UDC to get involved after the issue escalated to the Botswana National Front (BNF).

Boko is also president of the BNF, which is Moatlhodi’s party and one of three contracting partners that form the UDC, the others being the Botswana Congress Party and the Botswana People’s Party. Boko said the issue was affecting the working relations of the coalition’s Members of Parliament.

Saleshando recently stripped Moatlhodi of his mantle as Chief Whip of the Opposition pending the outcome of a court case in which Moatlhodi has been charged with assault after he allegedly physically attacked a 16-year old boy for purportedly stealing mangoes at his Tonota home. His party, the BNF, subsequently slapped him with a 60-day suspension from membership pending a disciplinary hearing.

This led to remonstrations by Moatlhodi who protested especially the “disrespectful” manner in which his suspension was effected in that Saleshando announced it in Parliament without prior warning to him. As the dispute degenerated into a garrulous racket in newspapers, Moatlhodi threatened to dump UDC because, as he put it, he could not be in the same party as Saleshando.

At the press conference over the weekend, Boko said the issue should not be allowed to ruin relations between Moatlhodi and Saleshando. “Molapise will compile a report of what transpired and led to the suspension of Moatlhodi as the Opposition Chief Whip,” he explained. “From there he will come up with a solution to address the issue.”

In an interview afterwards, Molapise said he was yet to start in his assignment and that he hoped he would find a solution. “I am hoping that after gathering all the necessary information, I will be able to resolve the issue surrounding Moatlhodi,” he said.

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