Paramount Chief of Batwana Kgosi Tawana Moremi II will next month call a lebatla at Kgotla Kgolo in Maun to seek mandate on endorsement for a political successor in the coming 2019 General Elections.
Tawana completes his second five-year term as Member of Parliament for Maun West constituency where he registered a resounding margin befitting of a paramount chief in 2009 and 2014 elections. In the local Setswana setting and context, the institution of bogosi (chieftainship) has become very influential and a crucial power player in the local polity. Tawana told WeekendPost that: “as you know, I am completing my five-year term this week. Then I will immediately be travelling to Maun to meet with the contestants who want to succeed me.”
He continued: “I will sit with all those people, all those candidates, and find which is which and who I can support.” If they need my support I will do it publicly, Tawana stressed. According to Tawana, he has not been following their campaigns and so he does not know where they are. So, he said, since he does not know what is in it for him, he has to sit with them and take a position. “But I say of today, I don’t know which one to support.”
The Batawana paramount chief emphasised that “let me get to home base first. So I know who is doing what and what are their story is. After that I will come up with a position.” Maun West constituency has so far attracted three names being Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Dumelang Saleshando, who lost Gaborone Central in 2014 to Dr Phenyo Butale of the then UDC, now Alliance for Progressives (AP).
The other contestant is BDP’s Reaboka Mbulawa, a one-time loser to Tawana who is trying his luck for the second time as well in the area, and lastly the Alliance for Progressive’s (AP) Moalosi Sebati the first timer. In 2014 National Elections, Tawana won Maun West representing UDC with a whopping 7271, followed by 5335 votes cast for Botswana Democratic Party (BDP)’s Reaboka Mbulawa. George Lubinda of Botswana Congress Party (BCP) came last with 2359.
Prior to that, in 2009 General Elections, Tawana then standing in for ruling BDP also emerged triumphant with a victory margin of 2,496 votes. But parliament and politics have proved over the two terms for Tawana not to be as ingenious as he had thought, the move which saw him eventually announcing earlier this year that he will not seek re-election in the upcoming 2019 general elections – paving way for others.
In his stint in politics, Kgosi Tawana joined the BDP and later in 2011 defected to its splinter party, Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) and subsequently contesting the 2014 general elections under the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) banner. Meanwhile, Kgosi Tawana has an ongoing battle with government over the ownership of Moremi Game reserve which he wants the community to benefit from.
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.