The power grubbing frenzy in the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has reached new dizzying heights as the number of contenders for its youth leadership has both broken party convention and continues to swell by the day.
A circulating runners list indicates that the headcount of the BDP youth leadership race is cast to rival the number of their elders involved in the tense battle for control of the mother party. Additional candidates are expected to emerge from the shadows to challenge current party chairman, Mokgweetsi Masisi for the party presidency, when President Ian Khama stands down.
Historically in the mother party, the bloated figure of the youth leadership contenders has also broken party convention as it originally used to be two opponents and their factions jockeying for the control of the youth wing leadership.
The Youth Presidency figure has already hit the seven figure mark while runners for the coming contest are said to include Minister of Defence Justice and Security Shaw Kgathi’s son, Ronnie Kgathi and former BDP Chairman Daniel Kwelagobe’s son, Kagiso Kwelagobe.
Those vying for the National Youth Executive Committee (NYEC) Presidency include youth entrepreneur Bruce Nkgakile, Ronnie Kgathi, Simon Mavhange, Fox Segwai, Collen Mochotlhi,Vuyo Yane as well as Thabo Autlwetse.
Autlwetse is the previous challenger for the same position in the past election and was soundly defeated by Andy Boatile, who it is believed will not seek a third mandate.
The Vice Presidency is set to be contested by Kabo Saif and Alison Moses Mogaekwa while the Secretary General position will be competed for by Toy Wetsho and Lesego Kwambala.
The Deputy Secretary General’s position will be vied for by Kobamo Mokgathi while Segomotso Kabomo will stand for the political education post.
Positions of Information Officer will be contested by Otsile Machona and Arnold Phaladi while Neo Molwantwa and Kagiso Kwelagobe will slug it out for Fundraising and Projects Officer.
Those who have pinned hopes on the additional membership bracket are Coca Ramotsupe, Portia Hadinga and Mpho Olefhile.
Meanwhile, the country’s Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi is also said to be fending off a potentially stiff contest by Selibe Phikwe East legislator and Minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology, Nonofo Molefhi through the employ underhanded political machinations.
So far, former legislator for Bonnington North constituency, Robert Masitara and onetime Serowe South constituency legislator, Tebelelo Seretse have declared their candidature.
President Ian Khama’s younger brother and Minister of Environment Wildlife and Tourism, Tshekedi Khama, has also confirmed that if cajoled enough by fellow party men he will step into the ring. One time BDP youth leader and current Botswana ambassador to Japan, Jacob Nkate, is also said to be harbouring intentions to challenge Masisi for the party presidency.
In the run up to BDP’s 2015 Mmadinare Congress party convention was also shattered by the never seen before number of candidates who were also challenging Masisi for the party chairmanship.
They included Tebelelo Seretse, Biggie Butale, Ramadeluka Seretse, Moemedi Dijeng and former BDP youth wing leader Seteng Motalaote.
The outgoing President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ian Kirby, shares his thoughts with us as he leaves the Bench at the end of this year.
WeekendPost: Why did you move between the Attorney General and the Bench?
Ian Kirby: I was a member of the Attorney General’s Chambers three times- first in 1969 as Assistant State Counsel, then in 1990 as Deputy Attorney General (Civil), and finally in 2004 as Attorney General. I was invited in 2000 by the late Chief Justice Julian Nganunu to join the Bench. I was persuaded by former President Festus Mogae to be his Attorney General in 2004 as, he said, it was my duty to do so to serve the nation. I returned to the Judiciary as soon as I could – in May 2006, when there was a vacancy on the High Court Bench.
Botswana’s civil society is one of the non-state actors that could save the country’s democracy from sliding into regression, a Germany based think tank has revealed. This is according to a discussion paper by researchers at the German Development Institute who analysed the effects of e-government usage on political attitudes In Botswana.
In the paper titled “E-government and democracy in Botswana: Observational and experimental evidence on the effects of e-government usage on political attitudes,” the researchers offer a strongly worded commentary on Botswana’s ‘flawed democracy.’ The authors noted that with Botswana’s Parliament structurally – and in practice – feeble, the potential for checks and balances on executive power rests with the judiciary.
Bangwato in Serowe — where Bamagwato Paramount Chief and former President Lt. Gen Ian Khama originates – disagree on whether they must send a delegation to dialogue with President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s family in Moshupa. Just last week, a meeting was called by the Regent of Bamagwato, Kgosi Sediegeng Kgamane, at Serowe Kgotla to, among others, update the tribe on the whereabouts of their Kgosi (Khama).
Further, his state of health was also discussed, with Kgamane telling the attendees that all is well with Khama. The main reason for the meeting was to deliberate on the escalating tension between Khama and Masisi — a three-year bloodletting going unabated.