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Three Ministers to retire from active politics

Labour and Home Affairs minister, Edwin Batshu

Fresh information reaching Weekend Post suggests that three serving ministers will not be seeking re-election in 2019. Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, Labour and Home Affairs minister, Edwin Batshu and Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Botlogile Tshireletso are all set to retire from active politics in three years time.

This publication understands that the trio are retiring from active politics solely due to old age. All the Ministers are in their 60’s. In an interview this week, Tshireletso said she will issue an official statement on her retirement at the right time.

“I have to inform the President first because he has entrusted me with the Ministry of local development. Thereafter, I will hold a series of kgotla meetings in my constituency (Mahalapye East) to bid my constituents farewell. I will shed more light on the issue as the time goes on because I haven’t even discussed it with my family and the party,” she told this publication.

Tshireletso was first elected to Parliament in 2004 after serving for close to 20 years as a councillor.

Venson-Moitoi was cagey with details regarding her retirement from politics. “I am not in a position to comment further on my retirement. Maybe those who told you have more information than me,” she remarked. Venson-Moitoi joined active politics in 1999 when the then President, Festus Mogae appointed her as one of the four specially elected Members of Parliament. In 2004, she was elected as Serowe South MP, the position she still holds today. In addition, she has held various cabinet portfolios in Works, Transport and Communications, Trade and Industry, Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Science and Technology as well as Education and Skills Development.

Edwin Batshu’s mobile phone rang unanswered despite numerous attempts by this publication.

The former commissioner of Botswana Police joined active politics in 2008. He was elected Member of Parliament for Nkange in 2009, a position he still holds today. He has been serving as Minister of Labour and Home Affairs since 2011.

A highly placed source within the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) told this publication that the party is already identifying possible replacements for the three Ministers. At Serowe South, it is believed that former Botswana ambassador to United States, Tebelelo Seretse will succeed Venson-Moitoi should she win both the BDP primary elections to be held in 2018 and the 2019 general elections. Seretse once served as the MP for the constituency from 1999 until 2004.

At Nkange constituency, the BDP is said to be working at the speed of light to counter the growing numbers of Botswana Congress Party (BCP). Electoral results indicate that the BCP has grown significantly in the area over the years. In the last general elections, Batshu won by a slight margin of 600 over BCP’s Dr. Never Tshabang. The party has also noted the concern raised by the constituents that most of the legislators were not from Tutume, which is the major village in the constituency. Batshu hails from Maitengwe while his predecessor, Ambrose Masalila was from Nswazwi.

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BDP decides Balopi’s fate

22nd November 2021
Balopi

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee (CC) meeting, chaired by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi late last month, resolved that the party’s next Secretary-General (SG) should be a full-time employee based at Tsholetsa House and not active in politics.

The resolution by the CC, which Masisi proposed, is viewed as a ploy to deflate the incumbent, Mpho Balopi’s political ambitions and send him into political obscurity. The two have not been on good terms since the 2019 elections, and the fallout has been widening despite attempts to reconcile them. In essence, the BDP says that Balopi, who is currently a Member of Parliament, Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development, and a businessman, is overwhelmed by the role.

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BDF-Namibians shootings autopsy report revealed

22nd November 2021
BDF

The Botswana Defence Force (BDF)-Namibians fatal shooting tragedy Inquest has revealed through autopsy report that the BDF carried over 800 bullets for the mission, 32 of which were discharged towards the targets, and 19 of which hit the targets.

This would mean that 13 bullets missed the targets-in what would be a 60 percent precision rate for the BDF operation target shooting. The Autopsy report shows that Martin Nchindo was shot with five (4) bullets, Ernst Nchindo five (5) bullets, Tommy Nchindo five (5) bullets and Sinvula Munyeme five (5) bullets. From the seven (7) BDF soldiers that left the BDF camp in two boats, four (4) fired the shots that killed the Namibians.

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Gov’t confused over Moitoi’s UN job application

22nd November 2021
VENSON MOITOI

The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s decision to apply for the positions of United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and their deputies (DSRSG), has left the government confused over whether to lend her support or not, WeekendPost has established.

Moitoi’s application follows the Secretary-General’s launch of the third edition of the Global Call for Heads and Deputy Heads of United Nations Field Missions, which aims to expand the pool of candidates for the positions of SRSG) and their deputies to advance gender parity and geographical diversity at the most senior leadership level in the field. These mission leadership positions are graded at the Under-Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary-General levels.

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