Boteti West Member of Parliament, and Vice President Slumber Tsogwane’s fifth successive term victory has elevated him to an exclusive club of legislators who have served more than 25 years, majority of them who are founding lawmakers.
If Tsogwane sees-off his fifth term, he will be among 11 MPs to serve over 25 years in the legislative house. Currently 10 former MPs have served that feat, with Kwelagobe being the longest serving MP, having been an MP for 45 years. Trailing Kwelagobe, with 34 years of service are Edison Masisi, Lemme Makgekgenene and Obed Chilume, who are the country’s founding MPs. Ponatshego Kedikilwe who joined parliament in 1984 from public service, has served 30 years in parliament, including his last two years as Vice President.
Tsogwane, who joined parliament in 1999 will retain the title of ‘Father of House’, a ceremonial designation given to the longest serving male MP in Westminster parliaments. Tsogwane first claimed the title during the previous parliament, after a number of veteran MPs failed to retain their seats. At present, parliament is without a ‘Mother of the House’, as all elected female MPs are new entrants. That however may change if one of the previous female MPs is elected thorough Specially Elected dispensation.
Saleshando joins Masire, Kgabo & Mmusi
Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Vice President Dumelang Saleshando, has joined Sir Ketumile Masire, Englishman Kgabo and Peter Mmusi as the only MPs who have represented two different constituencies in parliament. Saleshando previously served as legislator for Gaborone Central from 2004 to 2014. After losing Gaborone Central in the previous elections, Saleshando relocated to Maun West to try his luck and succeeded.
While many politicians have tried to change constituencies to enhance their luck, very few have succeeded. Masire was the architect of this game. Masire had lost Kanye South constituency to Kgosi Bathoen Gaseitsiwe II in the 1969 general elections. In 1974 general elections, Masire, convinced that he will never reclaim Kanye South from his chief, moved to Ngwaketse/Kgalagadi constituency and won it. He held it until he became president in 1980.
In the late 1970s, after David Magang expressed his interest to contest general elections, BDP power brokers and strategists maneuvered and "tossed around" several constituencies to get the best results. As BDP headed to 1979 general elections, Peter Mmusi was moved from Kweneng South to contest Gaborone constituency. The reason for this redeployment was that, Magang was new into politics and may struggle to ingrain himself with urban voters, while Mmusi, who had been commissioner and teacher at St Joseph’s College before was the ideal candidate.
Englishman Kgabo moved from Kweneng East to take up Mmusi's constituency (Kweneng South). Magang then replaced Kgabo at Kweneng East. Both candidates won their new seats in subsequent elections.However, in 1984, Mmusi, then Vice President, decision to relocate from his rural constituency to Gaborone backfired as he became the victim of BNF insurgency, losing Gaborone South (after court ordered a re-run) constituency to Dr Kenneth Koma, but remained MP after being brought back through the Specially Elected dispensation. In 1989, Mmusi went back to his old constituency (Kweneng South) and won.
Declining re-election rate
The 12th parliament will have the highest number of new entrants since parliament was increased to 57 seats in 2004, and also the highest proportion of number of new entrants since 1965. The 12th parliament has 41 new faces, a development which has been a result of different dynamics. BDP has since lost its strongholds in Central region, owing to the formation of Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF), a Bangwato royal backed party.
BDP for the first time since 1965, has lost the constituencies of Serowe, Palapye and Mahalapye as well as Nkange. The dynamic also mean that only eight constituencies (Boteti East, Boteti West, Moshupa/Manyana, Thamaga/Kumakwane, Shashe West, Mmadinare, Lerala/Maunatlala, and Mmopane/Lentsweletau) have never been won by opposition parties.
Sir Ketumile Masire
Kanye South (1965-1969)
Kweneng East (1965-1979)
Kweneng South (1979-1989)
Kweneng South (1974-1979)
Gaborone South (1979-1984)
Kweneng South (1989-1994)
Gaborone Central (2004-2014)
Maun West (2019-2024)
The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Lemogang Kwape says Botswana has not taken any position regarding the killing of a renowned human rights lawyer, Thulani Maseko, who was gunned down at his house in Mbabane, Eswatini.
In a brief interview with WeekendPost, Dr Kwape said Botswana has not yet taken any position regarding his death. He said the purported incident should be thoroughly probed before Botswana can form an opinion based on the findings of the inquiries.
“Botswana generally condemns any killing of human life by all means,” says Dr. Kwape. He wouldn’t want to be dragged on whether Botswana will support the suspension of Eswatini from SADC.
“We will be guided by SADC organ Troika if they can be an emergency meeting. I am not sure when the meeting will be called by Namibian president,“ he said.
However, the Namibian president Hage Geingob notes with deep concern reports coming out of Eswatini about the killing of Mr. Maseko. In a statement, he called upon the “Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini to ensure that the killing of Maseko is swiftly, transparently and comprehensively investigated, and that any or all persons suspected of committing this heinous crime are brought to justice.”
Maseko was chairperson of the Multi-Stakeholder Forum which was established as a coalition of non-State actors to advocate for a process of national political dialogue aimed at resolving the security and political challenges confronting the Kingdom.
“SADC expresses its deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr. Maseko, his friends, colleagues, and to the people of the Kingdom of Eswatini for the loss of Mr. Maseko. In this context, SADC further calls upon the people of the Kingdom of Eswatini to remain calm, exercise due care and consideration whilst the appropriate structures conduct the investigations and bring the matter to completion,” the statement says.
Geingob reiterated the need for peaceful resolution of the political and security challenges affecting the country.
Meanwhile political activists are calling on SADC to suspend Eswatini from the block including the African Union as well.
State prosecutor, Seeletso Ookeditse revealed before the Broadhurst Magistrate Jobbie Moilatshimo that the third accused involved in the murder of Barulaganye Aston, has interfered with the State witnesses again.
The second and third accused (Lefty Kosie and Outlwile Aston) were previously accused of interference when they were caught in possession of cellphones in prison. They were further accused of planning to kill the deceased’s brother, who is currently the guardian to the children of the deceased.
Ookeditse indicated that Outlwile had earlier went to challenge the magistrate’s decision of denying him bail at the High Court before Judge Michael Motlhabi.
“The third accused approached the High Court and made a bail application, which was dismissed on the same day,” Ookeditse said.
However, even after the High Court verdict on their bail application, the duo (Kosie and Aston) has once again applied for bail this week.
Ookeditse plead with the court to stop the accused from abusing the court process.
“Yesterday, Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) received papers of his bail application filed before the Broadhurst Magistrates Court. However, the papers do not speak to changed circumstances, therefore this back and forth about bail must be put to a stop,” said the State prosecutor.
While giving evidence before court, the Investigations Officer, Detective Inspector Quite Zhalamonto, said his investigations have proved that there is interference continuing regarding the accused trio.
He told the court that on the 12th of January 2023, he received a report from Thato Aston, who is the son of the accused and the deceased. The son had alleged to the Investigation Officer that he received a call from one Phillip Molwantwa.
According to Zhalamonto, Thato revealed that Molwatwa indicated that he was from prison on a visit to the Outlwile Aston and went on to ask where he was staying and where his siblings (Aston’s children) are staying.
“Thato revealed that Phillip went on to ask if he or his siblings saw their father murdering their mother, and he was referring to the crime scene. Thato told me that he, however, refused to answer the questions as he was afraid especially because he was asked about where him and his siblings stay,” said Zhalamonto.
Zhalamonto alluded to the court that he then went to Orange to confirm the communication between Thato and Molwantwa where he found the case.
“I have arrested Philip yesterday and when I interviewed him, he did not deny that he knows Aston and that he has indeed called Thato and asked questions as to where him and his siblings resides even though he failed to give reasons for asking such questions,” Zhalamonto told the court.
He further revealed that Molwantwa indicated that he had received a call from an unknown man who refused to reveal himself.
“Phillip told me that the unknown man said he was sent by the accused (Aston), and that Aston had instructed him to tell me to check if there was still some money in his bank accounts, and he also wanted to know where the kids were residing, the unknown man even asked him to meet at Main Mall” the Investigation Officer told the court.
He further informed the court that he is working tirelessly to identify the “unknown caller” and the route of the cell number.
Furthermore, the fourth accused, Kebaleboge Ntsebe, has revealed to the court through a letter that she was abused and tortured by the Botswana Police Services. She wrote in her letter that she suffered miscarriage as a result of being beaten by the police.
Ntsebe is on bail, while a bail ruling for Aston and Kosie will be delivered on the 6th of next month
Cattle farmers from Eretsha and Habu in the Ngamiland district, supported by the Community Based Trade (CBT) project, recently generated over P300 000.00 for sales of 42 cattle to the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) in Maun. This milestone was achieved through support from various stakeholders in conservation, commodity-based trade and the government, in collaboration with farmers. Ordinarily, these farmers would not have made this direct sale since the area is a designated Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) Red Zone.
Traditional livestock farming contributes toward livelihoods and formal employment in the North-West District (Ngamiland) of Botswana. However, primarily due to the increase in FMD outbreaks over the past two decades and predation by wildlife, the viability of livestock agriculture as a source of income has declined in the region. This has led to a greater risk of poverty and food insecurity. Access across the Okavango River (prior to the construction of a bridge) restricted access for farmers in Eretsha. This lack of access hampered sales of cattle beyond Shakawe, further discouraging farmers from investing in proper livestock management practices. This resulted in negative environmental impacts, poor livestock health and productivity.
To address this challenge, farmers are working with a consortium led by Conservation International (CI), with funding secured from the European Union (EU) to pilot a CBT beef project. The project focuses on supporting and enabling communal farmers to comply with standards and regulations that will improve their chances to access markets. An opportunity to earn higher income from cattle sales could incentivize the adoption of restorative rangelands management practices by farmers.
“We spend a lot of money getting our cattle to Makalamabedi quarantine site, the herder spends on average two months taking care of the cattle before they are taken into quarantine – that needs money. All these costs lead to us getting less money from BMC,” said one of the farmers in the programme, Mr Monnaleso Mosanga.
Farmers that participate in the project agree for their cattle to be herded and kraaled communally by fulltime professional herders (eco-rangers). At the core of this pilot is the use of predator-proof bomas (cattle kraals), planned grazing systems and mobile quarantine bomas (electrified enclosures) for the cattle, facilitated in support with the Department of Veterinary Services. The first successful exit from the mobile quarantine bomas in the Habu and Eretsha villages, in December 2022, saw cattle quarantined on-site and directly transported to BMC in Maun. Farmers received almost double the average sales within this region, as costs including transportation to quarantine sites, herder’s fees and other associated costs incurred before qualifying for BMC sales were no longer included.
“This pilot mobile quarantine is leveraging the techniques and protocols we are using at our current permanent quarantine sites, and we are still observing the results of the project. The outcome of this pilot will be presented to the World Organisation of Animal Health to assess its effectiveness and potentially be approved to be used elsewhere,” said Dr Odireleng Thololwane, the Principal Veterinary Officer (Maun).