The paramount chiefs of Bakgatla and Batawana, Kgosi Kgafela II and Kgosi Tawana III’s common unpleasant view of the current administration could see the two controversial leaders form a structured working relationship.
Currently Kgafela is on a self-imposed ban in South Africa, while Tawana is a Member of Parliament for the opposition, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC)
According to recent reports, Kgafela is said to be mending his rough relationship with the government, after President Lt Gen Ian Khama sent a peace delegation to address the differences the two parties. Other reports suggested that Kgafela is expected back in Botswana sometime in March. But according to Matsaakgang regiment Batawana still want to consort with the leader.
Although Kgafela and Tawana’s first planned meeting this year in South Africa was re-scheduled, the two are planning to set up another meeting soon. Kgosi Tawana and his age regiment, Matsaakgang were set to leave for South Africa to first attend the Royal Bafokeng Financial Year (RBFY) event in Rustenburg and later have a meeting with Kgafela. Before heading to South Africa, Tawana and the regiment were also scheduled to pass through Kgatleng, Mochudi and meet with Bakgatla royals and Kgafela’s regiment Mangana.
But according to Matsaakgang Chairman, Douglas Mokenane there is a possibility that they will not attend the meetings both in Mochudi and South Africa. Mokenane told this publication that this is due to some internal matters that could not be revealed.
But a highly placed member of the regiment has revealed that Tawana is expected to leave for South Africa early on Thursday. This reporter understands that Tawana will have closed meetings with Kgafela after the RBYF event. The member however could not reveal any further details about the meeting.
Mokenane indicated that Kgafela and Tawana have always had a royal relationship, and while he could not state the same for the tribes, he said that both Batawana and Bakgatla age regiments needed to establish a relationship and nurture a bond between both tribes.
Mokenane explained that it is the role of the two regiments to support and see that the views, ideas and aspirations of their dikgosi (Kgafela and Moremi) are achieved. He added that it does not matter if the ideas of the two chiefs differ with the government but they traditionally have a role to uphold the aspirations of their paramount chiefs.
“If Tawana and Kgafela are concerned about how the present government controls this country, automatically Mephato also become concerned as their advisers. And it remains our responsibility to make sure that our merafhe also understand the concern of our chiefs and uphold that,” he explained.
Mokenane revealed that the regiments support both Tawana and Kgafela on issues they had with the government. He expressed his shame on Botswana’s leadership and blamed it for the woes both Kgafela and Tawana are faced with.
“Tawana is complaining that land royalties be given back to rightful owners of the lands; and Kgafela has always battled with government about the issue of discipline, and the need to overhaul the Republican constitution. All this are issues of national concern, so instead of the government taking the blame for its wrongs, the blame is shifted to those with good intentions,” he expressed.
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.