Deputy Chairman of Southern District Council (SDC) who is also a Councillor for Mafhikana ward in Kanye North and deputizes President Lt. Gen Ian Khama’s blue eyed boy and former national ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Campaign Manager Alec Seametso, Thamiso Chabalala is undertaking various noble developmental initiatives in his area.
One of the major projects up his sleeve is the expansion of Mafhikana clinic. To achieve this, Chabalala has planned a Gala Dinner on the 25th November in which Dr Lesedinyana Odiseng will be guest speaker. “The proceeds from the fundraising will finance the Mafhikana clinic expansion in our area. This is all aimed at enhancing the quality of life of our people,” the lively and passionate Councillor told WeekendPost this week.
The clinic, he says, was built by the Bangwaketse morafhe in the area during the 80s and handed over to government – but the population has since outgrown the facility, hence the need for the fundraising for the expansion of the same. He continued: “this will include building a maternity facility for the people of Mafhikana, Kebuang, parts of Dilolwe and Mmatshitswane wards all of which fall under Kanye North. I believe this will help cut the long distances travelled by these people to access the same,” Chabalala further pointed out.
Apart from expansion of the clinic, Chabalala also said he will also build a Counselling Centre for Tlhomo Community Junior Secondary School (CJSS) with part of the fundraising proceeds. To justify this he said: “in trying to help schools deal with the ever increasing rates of bad academic results, and help to provide the much needed psycho social support, I'm leading the effort to construct a counselling centre.” According to the deputy SDC Chairman, this will greatly help in curbing the high levels of drug and substance abuse among students as well as other social ills.
In addition Chabalala highlighted that: “apart from the two main community projects (Clinic and Counselling Centre), I also organize free tutorials and mentoring for students. I also run yearly empowerment workshops for youth and women.” Some of his crucial achievements include being a 2013 British Royal Commonwealth fellow; a 2016 Mandela Washington fellow; a 2016 Gabz fm and African Guardian & Mail Change Makers Award. Chabalala has successfully recently ran two entrepreneurial workshop for Mafhikana youth, attaching some to established entrepreneurs for mentoring. He also sponsors best performing students at Matsaakgang, Mafhikana and Ketlogetswe Primary Schools as well as Tlhomo CJSS.
As a qualified teacher, the Councillor trained in languages for Secondary Schools and has taught in a number of schools, including Morama CJSS in Jwaneng mining town; Nanogang CJSS in Gaborone as well as Baratani CJSS in Otse. He quit teaching to pursue a career in politics in 2013 where he successfully won the Mafhikana ward and was later elected Vice Chairman for the Kanye Administrative Authority (KAA), a position he held until 2016 when he was elected Vice Chairman for the SDC. He is also the Coordinator for SDC Rural Administrative Development Programme (RADP) villages as well as Botswana Association of Local Authorities (BALA) youth commissioner for SDC.
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.