Why expelled Segokgo chose BMD
South-East district council (SEDC) Chairperson Phenyo Segokgo has said it made sense for him to stick with the Botswana Movement of Democracy (BMD) following consensus with other councilors that his ward could only be bagged under the BMD.
The former BMD youth league president said this week that after months of speculation and a series of consultations with councillors and stakeholders in the districts he has decided to retrace his steps back to the BMD – which expelled him with seven others last year. “I have been consulting the whole district for the past three months and honestly there is no consensus pertaining to the issue and we met with councillors last week and we all agreed in principle that this is a BMD ward,” he told this publication this week.
There have been reports linking the youthful chairman to either Botswana Congress Party (BCP) or the Botswana National Front (BNF). However following consultations, it was resolved that Sefoke ward in Tlokweng, where Segokgo is ward councillor, is a BMD stronghold. “If they said it is BNF I would have joined it, likewise if they would have said BCP. The fundamental thing is to continue representing my party and Sefoke residents at council so that is how we arrived at that decision,” he clarified.
Despite this excitement, Segokgo may be forced to look for a new political home after February, post the UDC congress in Moshopa. “Remember I was expelled from the BMD so the ward has been placed under dispute to be resolved on the 24th of February at the UDC congress. Until then I cannot make any move to avoid the risk of not contesting the 2019 general elections,” he said.
He added that: “Yes sir we are just waiting for the congress, we are in constant talks. We held meetings with all UDC leaders on this matter,” he said when asked if it is promising that the impasse will be resolved and what would happen should the suspension be upheld. Segokgo was among the seven suspended BMD members, including president Ndaba Gaolathe and vice president Wynter Mmolotsi. The suspended members belonged to a group, called the Ndaba/Mmolotsi faction.
BMD chairperson, Nehemiah Modubule and secretary general, Gilbert Mangole led the other faction, which spearheaded the suspensions of Ndaba’s team. They were slapped with eight charges including insubordination, sowing seeds of division and bringing the party into disrepute.
The group he was suspended and subsequently expelled with from the BMD went on to form Alliance for Progressives (AP), but is he not considering joining his ‘allies’? “No I’m not joining the AP, the only party that can perform better is a party within the UDC-united front, without that I don’t think they will perform better,” he posited.
The Tlokweng native who apart from opposition parties was linked with the ruling BDP says he is not joining the BDP and he is happy with the UDC. BDP just like other parties had shown interest in the young politician to the extent that he was promised an ambassadorial post in Belgium, according to media reports.
Segokgo’s worth as a politician cannot be underestimated. He was unopposed for the position of the district chairmanship and has since then prioritized his district over his individual needs. He strongly advocates for plot allocation for the indigenous people in his area.
The BMD last year accused the suspended members of defying the party’s national working committee (NWC) decision, which directed them not to attend the BMD Youth League congress, which was held in Ramotswa in April. In fact, most of the eight charges were bordering on the activities of the Ramotswa congress which was not sanctioned by the party authorities.
Meanwhile BMD spokesperson, Rasina Rasina issued a statement on Thursday stating that though the issue of Primary Elections in the BMD has been escalated to the National Executive Committee (NEC) that will statutorily meet this coming Sunday (21st Janury 2018) in Molepolole to make final determinations on.
He said the BMD leadership will first communicate to the structures and, after final decisions have been made, Constituencies and Wards that shall go for primary elections and those that consensus candidates have and or will have been agreed will be communicated with.
“The BMD will then, secondly, issue a writ with respect to Constituencies and Wards where a consensus candidate(s) will and or has not been agreed by respective branches. The BMD leadership not only continues to prepare for 2019 General Elections in its 14 UDC given Constituencies but also in Wards of agreed incumbency and Wards that have been and those that will be shared with other UDC contracting partners on the agreed 40/60 principle,” he wrote.
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Malawi appeals for help over Cyclone Freddy at PAP
As of yesterday evening, the death toll from the Cyclone in Malawi had risen from the initially reported 190 to 225 in a short period of time, over 20 000 people have been displaced, and the worst of fears are yet to come as the fatalities continue to mount. This was reported by a Malawi Member of Parliament attending the Pan African Parliament session in Midrand, South Africa, Hon Steven Mikiya.
Mikiya was giving a statement on behalf of Malawi as the ongoing Pan African Parliament in South Africa.
Mikiya said the Cyclone has wreaked the most havoc in our country’s Southern Region. “The Southern Region, has been hardest hit with widespread heavy rains and strong winds. This caused a rapid rise in water levels and subsequent flooding. Meanwhile, power supply has been disrupted, roads blocked off and rendered impassable and mudslides have also been widely reported,” he said.
He made a special appeal to the PAP: “Where I come from, there is a parable which I would like to share with you which says, “mzako weniweni umamudziwa panthawi ya mavuto.” Simply put, a friend in need is a friend indeed or put loosely, a person who helps at a difficult time is a friend you can rely on.”
Mikiya continued: “Yes! Misfortune has knocked on our door and left in its wake a trail of death and destruction that may take years to fully recover from. However, amidst these difficulties, I have every reason to believe that sometimes when you are in a dark place and think you have been buried, you have actually been planted. My belief, Mr. President, arises out of my faith in this gathering and out of the conviction that it is not coincidental that Cyclone Freddy hit Malawi and Mozambique while the delegations of both countries are here.”
According to Mikiya, the level of destruction, the loss of life, property and the decimation of the entire fabric of established communities has been unprecedented. He noted that all this, is coming at a time when Malawi was starting to show signs of recovery from the deadly COVID-19 pandemic that also came hard on the heels of Cyclone Ana and Cyclone Gombe that left a similar trail of devastation and destruction in Malawi and neighbouring countries.
As of Sunday, this week, from the 12th of March, Malawi and Mozambique have been facing the devastating effects of Cyclone Freddy that made a landfall over Mozambique on Saturday the 11th and reached Malawi by Sunday the 12th of March.
The Malawi legislator said he has absolute faith in the Pan African Parliament, which he described as “a league of nations brought together by a shared ancestry, history, identity as well as our beloved continent which we inhabit”.
Meanwhile, Malawi President, Lazarus Chakwera, has declared a State of Disaster in the affected areas effectively appealing for local and international support for the affected families.
Mikiya appealed to the Pan African Parliament drawing “positive” inspiration from Europe which rallied around Turkey after the destructive earthquakes to bring the much-needed relief and humanitarian aid to the people of Turkey.
He said Africa should demonstrate to the world that the African Union and its Organs are not mere talk shows, but effective institutions which stand up when it matters most.
“Alone, it may take us a lifetime to fully recover, but together, in the Pan-Africanist spirit of Ubuntu, our lives and livelihoods will return to a semblance of normality in record time. This is the time to live by our operative mantra, “One Africa, One Voice.” Mikiya concluded.