In the wake of the news that former legislator for Sefhare- Ramokgonami and Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Women’s Wing President and member of the Central Committee, Dorcas Makgato Kobela will be serving the country on an international mission.
The move will leave the position of Women’s Wing President vacant. However, allegations have been very rife that Moshupa East special nominated councillor, Ponatshego Tshiping is the woman eyed for the position. On Tuesday this week, the Ministry of International Affairs and Cooperation announced that His Excellency, President Mokgweetsi Masisi has appointed Dorcas Makgato as Botswana’s High Commissioner – designate to the Commonwealth of Australia.
The circular reads, “Makgato brings to the Foreign Service a wealth of experience and knowledge from the private sector and government, spanning over 20 years. She served as a Member of Parliament from 2009 to 2019. During this period, Ms. Makgato also served as Minister in the Ministries of: Trade and Industry; Health and Wellness; Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs; and most recently, in the Ministry of Transport and Communication.
Prior to this, Makgato served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority which is now the Botswana Investment and Trade Centre. She has also served in different Private Sectors and Government Boards, as well as held several memberships in various organisations.
Ms. Makgato is expected to take up her appointment in Australia towards the end of February 2020. She replaces Ambassador Lapologang C. Lekoa, who currently serves as a Resident Ambassador at the Ministry Headquarters. The appointment is effective upon assumption of duty”.
Sources at Tsholetsa House have linked the Women’s Wing vacant top position to a close ally of President Masisi’s ally and one of the longest serving BDP activists, Ponatshego Tshiping who hails from Moshupa. Tshiping is currently the sitting nominated Councillor for Moshupa East and an additional member of the BDP executive committee. She is also a Chairperson of Digatlhamelamasisi Multipurpose Team at Moshupa that honoured President Masisi in May 2018.
Speaking during the event, Councillor Tshiping said it was a ‘brave step’ they took to celebrate and welcome President Masisi to the country’s highest office. “Ever since you assumed the presidency, these benevolent souls have been nagging me to organise a session to usher you to your new post in a special way and I have been trying to persuade you to give us a slot in your tight schedule,” Cllr Tshiping said.
President Mokgweetsi Masisi also took the opportunity to salute Moshupa based Digatlhamelamasisi Multipurpose Team for their gesture at a time where his fallout with his predecessor Lt Gen Seretse Khama Ian Khama was now taking a bitter twist. Digatlhamelamasisi resonated the saying that ‘bravery is not all about swords and charging into battle’ by organising what they termed a ‘surprise party’ for President Masisi where they also donated 11 herds of cattle and a billy goat at the family farm at Mmatseta.
Contacted for comment BDP Secretary General Mpho Balopi said everything is a process, they are yet to convene the Women’s Wing executive and notify them of the appointment of Makgato to the special envoy as seen in the circular. “The Central Committee of the BDP will then convene and make a decision going forward as is a norm when one resigns or dies”. Balopi said at the moment no decision has been made.
In a rather shocking submission, the BDP SG alleges that the party might not go for their elective congress unless the Central Committee comes to the conclusion. Balopi said the 2019 congress that was held in Mochudi was a regular party congress, so at the moment they have not decided whether they will be going for the elective congress nor not. “The Central Committee is the only organ of the party with those powers, so we will meet soon”.
Balopi also said at the moment no names have been put forward by the Women’s Wing to replace Dorcas Makgato. Article 30.1 of the BDP constitution reads, “Whether the party is in power or not, members of Central Committee, save the President, shall be elected every two (2) years at the Party National Congress;’’
Article 30.6.5 reads, “In the event of a Central Committee member, other than one of the six office bearers resigning, being incapacitated, dying or otherwise ceasing to be a member of the Central Committee, the President of the Party shall appoint another person to fill the vacancy, pending the next National Congress. In the case that one of offices in the central committee falling vacant, it shall be filled as specified in article 16.10”.
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.