DOUBLE VICTORY: Kgosi Lotlaamoreng II will now have control over all Barolong as their area Member of Parliament after he trounced Minister Eric Molale in the weekend bye-election. The Tribal territories Act barred him from accessing Barolong who are beyond Mabule to the South east. It is also evident that his road to the National Assembly had long been orchestrated.
The victory of Kgosi Lotlaamoreng II in last week’s bye-elections re-affirmed the significant influence of Dikgosi over their tribes and how they still command respect among their communities.
Kgosi Lotlaamoreng became the fifth Paramount Chief to be a Member of Parliament in the history of Botswana. This follows Sir Seretse Khama, the founding president of Botswana, Kgosi Bathoen II of Bangwaketse who entered parliament in 1969 after defeating the then Vice President Quett Masire. The trend continued in 1998 when President Lt Gen Ian Khama, otherwise known as Kgosi Khama IV retired from the army to join politics.
In 2009, Kgosi Tawana II of Batawana was elected Member of Parliament under the ticket of the ruling party. Kgosi Tawana later dumped BDP in favour of Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) a member of the UDC. Despite the UDC not doing well in the northern part of Botswana, Tawana was able to retain the constituency under opposition ticket, becoming the first opposition candidate to win in Maun.
Following the resignation of Member of Parliament for the constituency James Mathokgwane, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) leadership moved swiftly to engage Kgosi Lotlaamoreng II to contest under the party banner in the subsequent bye-election.
WeekendPost has been reliably informed that UDC leadership, led by President Duma Boko approached Kgosi Lotlaamoreng II prior to Mathokgwane’s resignation. “UDC leadership were privy to Mathokgwane’s situation and knew that sooner or later he will resign,” a source revealed. “Kgosi Lotlaamoreng II was informed of the possibility of Mathokgwane’s resignation and he agreed in principle to stand.”
While Mathokgwane’s resignation came as a shocker to many, the same could not be said about UDC leadership. The party knew that they were sitting on a time-ticking bomb and they were much prepared for the situation.
A few days, after Mathokgwane resigned, media reports pointed to Kgosi Lotlaamoreng as the man UDC would trust for the job. More speculation was raised a week after Mathokgwane’s resignation when Kgosi Lotlaamoreng II summoned his tribe requesting them “to release him from his duties so that he could go and rest”.
In the meantime, BDP’s bid to reclaim the constituency was marred by controversies. At the outset, there were efforts to block Molale from contesting, and then there was also the issue about the BDP leadership’s proposal to have Molale’s as a lone contender which ultimately did not see the light of the day.
Subsequent to the BDP primary elections, in which Molale emerged victorious, Fankie Motsaathebe, one of the front runners ahead of the elections disputed the result. The matter was hastily resolved in the final hours before the contesting parties registered their candidates with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).
Molale’s victory was not helped by the fact that he had more hecklers in the BDP than in the opposition. There were reports that Molale’s bid for the parliamentary seat was motivated by his presidential ambitions. Molale was already in parliament through the Specially Elected dispensation when he decided to run, giving the reports about his ambitions credence.
While BDP’s focus was on the elective congress in Mmadinare following Mathokgwane’s departure, UDC began the campaigning since day one. Boko held a meeting at the constituency to mitigate the situation which put the party in a bad light. Botswana National Front (BNF), a member of UDC unanimously resolved to move its annual party conference to Goodhope, with the view of boosting its presence in the constituency.
The aftermath of Mmadinare Congress was followed by reports that Tebelelo Seretse, who had lost the chairpersonship to Mokgweetsi Masisi and her team, did not support Molale in his bid to win the constituency proclaiming that he was already in parliament.
During the campaign in the run-up to the Goodhope-Mabule bye-elections Seretse and her team had a case pending at Tsholetsa House, disputing the chairmanship results. Seretse’s team was too disengaged at the constituency and rarely participated in the bye-election campaign.
Molale was a prime target of the troublesome Botswana Federation of Public Service Unions (BOFEPUSU) during the campaign. Molale was described as ‘enemy number one’ of the workers. BOFEPUSU leadership publicly endorsed Kgosi Lotlaamoreng and he was described as “friends of workers.”
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.