Three suspended BDP members stand trial


The trial of the three suspended BDP members, Chidzani Mokgwebe, Boago Phiri and Otsile Moses who are accused of assaulting fellow party member Otto Masogo began last week before Francistown Magistrate Lebogang Kebeetsweng.

The trio  who are aligned to Francistown West Member of Parliament, Ignatius Moswaane allegedly  assaulted their fellow democrat  Masogo during a regional congress at Donga Junior Secondary School in March last  year in the build up to the party’s national congress that was held in Tonota. The popular BDP activist, Masogo sustained injuries on his hand and neck during the attack. His spectacles were also broken. The police had to be called on that particular day to calm the situation.

Masogo was assaulted after he raised a complaint during the congress about delegates from Francistown West constituency especially Monarch North ward. His bone of contention was that some people illegally participated during the branch congress especially from Monarch North ward. Prior to the congress, Masogo had written a complaint letter to the regional committee raising concerns that some people were allowed to participate during a ward congress in Monarch North even though they were not supposed to have taken part in the ward congress.

The three accused persons’ attorney, Martin Maiba told the court that they are admitting statements of all state witnesses except the statement of the Investigating Officer, Assistant Superintendent Onias  Maziba. “We want the Investigating Officer to take the stand so that we can interrogate him,” Maiba revealed.

The state prosecutor, Archie Makgoa from the Directorate of Public Prosecution pleaded with the court to postpone the trial because Maziba was not on duty. Makgoa revealed that Maziba took an emergency leave due to some family matters that he had to attend to. The trial was adjourned to October 11 when Maziba is expected to testify before court. The trio will appear before court again for mention on August 28. Their bail was extended until then.

Previously there were attempts to reconcile Masogo and his assailants. Attempts for the party members to settle out of court were unsuccessful after the three accused persons failed to raise an undisclosed amount of money as compensation to Masogo. A source told this publication that reconciliation efforts failed because of factional wars within the ruling party. “Masogo and the trio belong to different factions within the ruling party therefore it was not going to be easy to settle out of court,” the source explained.  He added that the outcome of the case is likely to be used as a campaign tool in the build up to the primary elections in Francistown west constituency. MP Moswaane is likely to face Raoboy Mpuang, Tebogo Toteng and Gregory Kealotswe during the primary elections slated for August 11.