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Khama snubs Kgathi

Minister of Defence Justice and Security, Shaw Kgathi

President Ian Khama is said to have this week rubbished Minister of Defence Justice and Security, Shaw Kgathi’s request for an investigation over electioneering and politicking by rivals in his constituency wanting his position in 2019.

Sources say Kgathi asked Khama to dispatch an investigating team to Bobirwa constituency to establish campaigning schemes by one Francisco Kgoboko, believed to be a rival eyeing Kgathi’s Parliamentarian position in the next general election.

WeekendPost has established that Kgoboko is a former Debswana and Namdeb mining engineer and currently a Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) functionary, plying his trade as a diamond consultant.

Namdeb is a partnership between the Namibian government and De Beers; the equivalent of Botswana’s Debswana.

Sources close to the developments say that Kgathi differed with BDP regional leadership on Monday’s Central Committee meeting. While the (Bobonong, Mmadinare, Selibe Phikwe), BOMASE regional leadership attested that the region was performing well, Kgathi is said to have contradicted them and said that the party is virtually in disarray as Kgoboko has already started canvassing votes, long before the Bulela Ditswe process has started.

Khama is reported to have refused Kgathi’s request and said that if party members are keen to prove themselves in constituencies they should be given that opportunity just like those who came before them.

Sources have read Kgathi’s move with suspicion reasoning that if Khama had agreed, Kgathi would have influenced the investigation’s outcome to have Kgoboko vetted out at primary election time.

‘Lebethu incident’

Sources further say that Kgathi recently confronted Kgoboko at an event in Lebethu, a river village that separates Bobonong and Sefhophe villages in Bobirwa district.

It is reported that Kgathi confronted Kgoboko over behaving as if he is area Member of Parliament (MP), accusing him of being clueless about BDP custom and stated that he will have him vetted out at party primary election.

A source stated: “he found them seated with his Councillor friend Nathaniel Moribame and Central District Council Chairman, Peter Williams and accused  him of having had set up structures in the whole region, behaving as if he is area MP. He also told him that he does not know Domkrag law and he will have him vetted out.”

Sources have also lampooned Kgathi for turning the party in the region into a family affair by having his wife as a Bobonong women’s wing chairperson, his son Ronnie Kgathi as a branch member while his other relatives are said to have also ‘infiltrated’ the Rasetimela ward committee.

However, it remains to be seen how the skirmishes between the two men will pan out as Kgathi has been removed from the BOMASE region where he acted as its Member of Central Committee (MCC).

He has been moved to one of BDP’s two new Kweneng regions to act as its MCC. Kweneng region was recently demarcated into Kweneng East and Kweneng West and Kgathi leads the former which comprises Lentsweletau, Mmopane, Mogoditshane, Gabane-Mmankgodi and Thamaga-Kumakwane constituencies.

Responding to this publication’s enquiries through Short Message Service (SMS) communication, Kgathi said that he does not discuss Central Committee meetings with the media as it is against the BDP constitution.

When pressed further to address non-Central Committee information by confirming or denying confronting Kgoboko at Lebethu, he responded: “please I do not discuss party matters with the media, let your sources finish your story.”

Kgoboko on the other hand said that he was not aware of Kgathi’s request to Khama at BDP Central Committee, but acknowledged that the minister had vowed to have him vetted out at the Lebethu meeting.

When contacted for comment BDP Secretary General, Botsalo Ntuane stated that he is not in a position to respond to this publication’s enquiries.

“I can neither confirm nor deny that because what we choose to share with the public is what we share at the monthly press conferences,” he said.

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Seretse, Kgosi may walk free

30th October 2020

The P250 million National Petroleum Fund (NPF) saga that has been before court since 2017 seems to be losing its momentum with a high possibility of it being thrown out as defence lawyers unmask incompetency on the part of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP).

The Gaborone High Court this week ruled that the decision by the State to prosecute Justice Zein Kebonang and his twin brother, Sadique Kebonang has been reviewed and set aside. The two brothers have now been cleared of the charges that where laid against them three years ago.

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Understanding the US Electoral College and key election issues 

28th October 2020
Mark J Rozell

The United States (US) will on the 3rd of November 2020 chose between incumbent Donald Trump of the Republicans and former Vice President Joe Biden of the Democrats amid the coronavirus pandemics, which has affected how voting is conducted in the world’s biggest economy.

Trump (74) seeks re-election after trouncing Hillary Clinton in 2016, while Biden (77) is going for his first shot as Democratic nominee after previous unsuccessful spells.

US Presidents mostly succeed in their re-election bid, but there have been nine individuals who failed to garner a second term mandate, the latest being George W H. Bush, a Republican who served as the 41st US President between 1989 and 1993.

Dr Mark Rozell, a Dean of  the School of Policy and Government at George Mason University  in  Arlington, Virginia describes the complex US electoral system that will deliver the winner at the 3rd November elections.

“The founders of our Republic de-centralised  authority  significantly  in  creating  our  constitutional  system,  which  means that  they  gave  an  enormous  amount  of  independent  power  and  authority  to  State  and  local governments,” Dr Rozell told international media on Elections 2020 Virtual Reporting Tour.

Unlike  parliamentary  democracies, like Botswana the  United  States  does  not  have  all  of  the  national government elected in one year. They do not have what is commonly called mandate elections where  the  entire  federal  government  is  elected  all  in  one  election  cycle  giving  a  “mandate”  to  a particular political party to lead, and instead US have what are called staggered elections, elections over time.

The two house Congress, members of the House of Representatives have two-year long terms of office. Every two years the entire House of Representatives is up for re-election, but senators  serve  for  six  years  and  one  third  of  the  Senate is elected every  two  years.

For this election cycle, US citizens will be electing the President and Vice

President, the entire House of Representatives and one third of the open or contested seats in the Senate, whereas two thirds are still fulfilling the remainder of their terms beyond this year.

An  important  facet  of  US electoral  system  to  understand  given  the  federalism  nature  of  the republic, the US elect presidents State by State, therefore they do not have a national popular vote for the presidency.

“We have a national popular vote total that says that Hillary Clinton got three million more votes than Donald Trump or in Year 2000 that Al Gore got a half million more votes than George W. Bush, but we have what is called a State by State winner takes all system where each State  is  assigned  a  number  of  electors  to  our  Electoral  College  and  the  candidate  who  wins  the popular vote within each State takes 100 percent of the electors to the Electoral College,” explained Dr Rozell.

“And that is why mathematically, it is possible for someone to win the popular vote but lose the presidency.”

Dr Rozell indicated that in 2016, Hillary Clinton won very large popular majorities in some big population States like California, but the system allows a candidate to only have to  win  a  State  by  one  vote  to  win  a  100 percent of  its  electors,  the  margin  does  not  matter.

“Donald  Trump  won  many  more  States  by  smaller  margins,  hence  he  got  an  Electoral  College majority.”

Another interesting features by the way of US constitutional system, according to Dr Rozell, but extremely rare, is what is called the faithless elector.

“That’s the elector to the Electoral College who says, ‘I’m not going to vote the popular vote in my State, I think my State made a bad decision and I’m going  to  break  with  the  popular  vote,’’ Dr Rozell said.

“That’s constitutionally a very complicated matter in our federalism system because although the federal constitution says electors may exercise discretion, most States have passed State laws making it illegal for any elector to the Electoral College to break faith with the popular vote of that State, it is a criminal act that can be penalized if one is to do that. And we just had an important Supreme Court case that upheld the right of the states to impose and to enforce this restriction”

There are 538 electors at the Electoral College, 270 is the magic number, the candidate who gets 270 or more becomes President of the United States.

If however there are more candidates, and  this  happens  extremely  rarely,  and  a  third  candidate  got  some electors  to  the  Electoral  College  denying  the  two  major  party  candidates,  either  one  getting  a majority, nobody gets 270 or more, then the election goes to the House of Representatives and the House of Representatives votes among the top three vote getters as to who should be the next President.

“You’d have to go back to the early 19th century to have such a scenario, and that’s not going to happen this year unless there is a statistical oddity, which would be a perfect statistical tie of 269 to 269 which could happen but you can just imagine how incredibly unlikely that is,” stated Dr Rozell.


Since the 2000 United States presidential election, red states and blue states have referred to states of the United States whose voters predominantly choose either the Republican Party (red) or Democratic Party (blue) presidential candidates.

Many  states  have  populations  that  are  so  heavily  concentrated  in  the  Democratic party or the Republican party that there is really no competition in those states.

California is a heavily Democratic State, so is New York and Maryland. It is given that Joe Biden will win those states. Meanwhile Texas, Florida and Alabama are republicans. So, the candidates will spent no time campaigning in those states because it is already a given.

However there are swing  states, where  there is a competition between about five and 10 states total in each election cycle that make a difference, and that is where the candidates end up spending almost all of their time.

“So  it  ends  up  making  a  national  contest  for  the  presidency  actually  look  like  several  state-wide contests with candidates spending a lot of time talking about State and local issues in those parts of the country,” said Dr Rozell.

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Masisi to make things right with Dangote

26th October 2020

High Commissioner of the Federal Government of Nigeria to Botswana, His Excellency Umar Zainab Salisu, has challenged President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi to move swiftly and lobby Africa’s richest man, Nigerian Billionaire, Aliko Dangote to invest in Botswana.

Speaking during a meeting with President Masisi at Office of President on Thursday Zainab Salisu said Dangote has expressed massive interest in setting up billion dollar industries in Botswana.  “We have a lot of investors who wish to come and invest in Botswana , when we look at Botswana we don’t see Botswana itself , but we are lured by its geographic location , being in the centre of Southern Africa presents a good opportunity for strategic penetration into other markets of the region,” said Salisu.

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