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.”
This week’s Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee (CC) meeting held at State House chaired by Party President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi, turned into a ‘boardroom brawl’ with Masisi expressing concerns and accusing central committee members of not adequately shielding him from opposition missiles.
The meeting which was held on Monday this week was to deliberate on a number of agenda items but the President took the moment to tongue lash his inner circle to stop silly PR blunders that are causing more harm than good. The reprimand was mostly directed to party Secretary General Mpho Balopi as well as Chairman of Communications and International Relations sub-committee, Kagelelo Banks Kentse.
It took the intervention of the Permanent Secretary to the President, Elias Magosi to arrest a dispute between the warring Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC), and the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP), by instructing the former to hand over the unfinished P100 billion docket to the latter.
But the PSP’s efforts are not enough, the two institutions are back in the boxing ring again following a letter from the DPP inviting the DCEC back into a case they long declared as “hogwash”. A savingram dated 18th January 2021 from the DPP to the DCEC is calling on the DCEC to assist with further evidence in the P100 billion case, but the DCEC which has never hidden its indifference posits that the move by the DPP can be summed up by the expressions: ‘opening healing wounds’.
A fed-up Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) Director General, Tymon Katlholo has come out guns blazing over an order from the Director of the Directorate of Public
Prosecutions (DPP), Stephen Tiroyakgosi instructing the DCEC, to solicit a statement from the Deputy Speaker of Parliament, and ruling party Member of Parliament for Mochudi East, Mabuse Pule, regarding the role he played in the issuance of Whelheminah Maswabi’s intelligence operations passport.