“ I know some in the BDP are uncomfortable with my presence but it is understandable because I am a force to reckon with”
Love him or hate Kagiso Ntime has made a name for himself in contemporary politics of Botswana.
He shocked the nation when he joined the ruling party after years of ridiculing it.
In an interview with MMIKA SOLOMON, he talks openly about his journey so far.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) is a party that you grew up disliking. What has since changed?
Nothing has changed. I am the same old Kagiso.
I still stick to my ideologies.
My life is still the same even after joining BDP. It was just a change of political home.
These political organizations BDP, BNF, BMD and the like were formed by people who have similar ideologies.
In all these parties we have the Marxist, Socialists, liberalists and social democrats.
What are you?
I am Marxist to the extreme but on a lower note I can be a social democrat.
How did the people within the BDP welcome you?
I joined the BDP at the time when there were a series of bye-elections across the country.
Immediately I hit the ground running with preparations for those elections.
Again I was helping with the preparations of the 50th anniversary.
Basically people welcomed me with open arms.
You were dubbed the big catch at the time.
My joining of the BDP attracted other notable politicians such as Mephato Reatile, Olebile Gaborone and the Youth league of Armstrong Dikgafela and later BMD’s Vice President Botsalo Ntuane together with his friends in the likes of Odirele Motlhale, Kabo Morwaeng and many others across the opposition joined the BDP because of me.
In a way you created an impact in the opposition?
A huge impact I must say. I have a huge following within the spectrum of politics.
What was your main reason for ditching the Botswana National Front (BNF) particularly for the BDP?
My Comrades in the BNF especially the leadership preferred the umbrella model, whilst I preferred the pact model.
Remember I was amongst the people who were negotiating on that umbrella model.
I tried to reason with BNF leadership that the pact model will work better.
My reasons were that the Umbrella model will mean the BNF symbol will have to be de-registered from the IEC.
Events have vindicated me.
What happened to your promise of opening a Pandora’s Box?
The Pandora’s Box opened itself.
I prophesied, that there will be a huge split within the leadership of the BNF.
The split I referred to, saw the light of day within a month of my prophecy.
BNF leadership was divided into two. There was a faction of BNF President Duma Boko and that of his deputy Isaac Mabiletsa.
Mabiletsa together with Chairman Harry Mothei, Secretary General Akanyang Magama and others left BNF for Botswana Congress Party (BCP).
That is what you meant?
Majority of BNF members later joined me at the BDP.
An example is in Letlhakeng West and many constituencies where BDP trounced the opposition.
A lot of BNF members don’t like the umbrella model hence you will see an influx of them joining the BDP. They are protesting with their vote.
As you say you have a following this means you will sail through in the coming general elections wherever you will be contesting?
I am not standing as yet for elections in any constituency.
However, some constituencies have approached me to stand both in Molepolole and Gaborone.
My take is that I should help all the constituencies to win elections.
What are your reasons?
I am strategist. I will be involved in all constituencies helping them with strategies on how to win constituencies held by the opposition.
I am also a spin doctor. I will be ready to take on the likes of Wynter Mmolotsi head on. He is also capable of being a spin doctor.
You see Mmolotsi is a good propagandist, he needs people like me to tame him.
So you are not ready to enter parliament?
You see, politics for me is not all about going to council or parliament.
It’s not about earning a salary. It is about bettering the lives of the disadvantaged, the poor and the students.
I did not join the BDP to seek any leadership position. My time will come and when it comes I will embrace it.
I know some in the BDP are uncomfortable with my presence but it is understandable because I am a force to reckon with.
To me it is not yet clear, why you moved from BNF especially that you have been open in the past about your dislike for the leadership of President Ian Khama in the BDP.
Now you see him as a better leader, something is not adding up?
At the BNF I was okay. As I said the formation of UDC did not augur well with me.
I had prophesied that BNF will split and it did.
President Khama is a changed leader he has an ear that listens to the concerns of the ordinary citizens.
That is what we wanted in the opposition, somebody who can listen to the poor.
Personally, if president Khama was to use the bulk of the government money on the poor like he is doing today I am quite happy with that.
What more do I want because he is doing what the opposition had been preaching for years. President Khama is touching base with the masses.
He is more like a social democrat. I am moving with the times.
Many thought upon joining the BDP you will not be free to express yourself. How is it so far?
BDP is a liberal party. There is nothing that stops me from expressing myself.
I am going to request a meeting with President Khama as a citizen.
In that meeting I will tell him about my brilliant ideas, which can better the lives of Batswana.
I know he is an action man he will listen and take action.
Also I am going to be instrumental in the reformation of the BDP, which Samson Guma talked about in Maun.
After joining the BDP, some say you are living a relatively comfortable life. How is that life in the big boys’ league?
I am not in the big boys’ league. I don’t associate myself with the likes of Satar Dada.
I only meet them at party conferences like any democrat.
My old Mercedes Benz had an accident when I returned from Letlhakeng where I had gone to receive multitudes of BNF members.
I struggled like before, my personal life has not changed.
Elections are around the corner, where do you see BDP after 2014?
New blood is joining BDP in large numbers. The party is regaining its strength.
After elections it will be a party of choice because the opposition especially UDC would have collapsed.
I am good at prophesying what happens in politics.
After TB Joshua prophesied that there will be a revolutionary of the youth if they are not employed, two days later I saw the same thing, so in a nutshell the issue of unemployment should be addressed otherwise we are heading for disaster.
I am also rich with the ideology of the working class. BDP after 2014 will be stronger than now.
The current leadership of opposition is flamboyant and see themselves as demi-Gods what is your take on them?
Opposition has the weakest leaders ever. I don’t take them seriously. They insult people.
As a leader you should not class people. You should be able to relate will all and sundry.
Not this kind of arrogance we hear about these leaders of opposition. President Khama does not see himself above anybody.
He is a people’s person. He is likeable.
Look at opposition members of parliament they are pathetic they are failing to elect a leader of opposition.
How can they lead when they cannot even elect their own leader?
BMD’s president Gomolemo Motswaledi and BNF’s Duma Boko are buddies, what do you think of their friendship?
Their relationship is cosmetic. After 2014 when their party UDC loses election they are going to fight.
Mark my words, because the results are going to be very poor and they will blame each other.
Boko has no leadership skills, he can be good when leading a small society like his company.
Each time he is from America he has the audacity to lie to his party comrades that millions of Pulas are coming.
…and the BMD?
I have never taken BMD seriously. They are very far from taking state power.
Politics is not a festival it is a serious business.
Then why did you chicken out when the BNF and BMD formed an alliance?
I chickened out because the leadership of BNF wanted to sell the party.
If the BNF was like that of Dr Kenneth Koma I would still be with it.
BMD is a friend to Democratic Alliance of South Africa, a party that oppressed the blacks and BNF is a friend to ANC a party that liberated people.
There is a contradiction of ideologies.
Lastly do you aspire to be the president of this country one day?
When I fight for issues in politics, I don’t look at what I want but what people want.
The people will decide when the time comes.