Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Botlogile Tshireletso has warned that Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) may lose power in 2019 if substantial developments are not delivered to the people during the 11th parliament.
Debating the budget for the Ministry of Transport and Communications presented by Minister Tshenolo Mabeo, Tshireletso who is Member of Parliament for Mahalapye East said there was a high likelihood that BDP would have lost Mahalapye East had it fielded somebody else to contest the constituency.
She said only her charisma saved the party after a number of projects were not delivered in the last parliament despite promises given to the constituency. “I had to go to my constituents and plead with them to understand the economic situation of that time,” she said. “It’s only that they love me but if it was somebody else they would have voted for another candidate,” she added.
Tshireletso said with the economic situation now back to normal, there is no excuse not to deliver on developments, and especially on roads they had long been promised. In an unusual gesture, Tshireletso accused government of doing injustice to her constituents, warning that 2019 could prove fatal if nothing is done. “I want to leave a legacy and have something to show that I have done for my constituents,” said Tshireletso. She was swift to however hint that she does not necessarily mean she is quitting as MP in 2019.
Tshireletso decried unequal distribution of developments and noted that some constituencies are way ahead of others.
She said promises should be delivered, lest people lost confidence in the current government and vote for those promising to do better. “Just like women, if another man approaches them and promises to diligently take care of them, they will fall for that man,” she said. “So like a husband vying for his wife to not look elsewhere, we need to do the same for our people as the ruling party,” added the charismatic MP.
Tshireletso garnered 4,406 against 2,479 of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC)’s Harry Mothei, while Ernest Nthobelang of Botswana Congress Party (BCP) got 1,147, and an independent candidate Neo Magowe was voted by 1,053 people. Despite this result Tshireletso said she was worried that the possibility of losing the constituency was still there since a lot of promised road projects were not delivered during the last parliament.
Minister Mabeo had announced in his budget proposal to parliament that P809 million will be allocated to road projects. Tshireletso wanted her constituency to be given priority this financial year owing to the fact that the road design is already there, only awaiting construction to begin.
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.