President Lt Gen Ian Khama yesterday (Friday) met Dikgosi and Church leaders to discuss the country’s state of affairs. The President hopes of coming up with a long-lasting solution to the problems that afflict the country.
Khama had called the meeting to express his displeasure and concerns at the path the country, particulalry the youth, seems to be taking. One of the central issues that formed the core of the discussions was the soul of the nation and its future.
This was the second meeting meeting of its kind since Khama took office. He held a similar meeting with the partners in 2008. Weekendpost can reveal that the churches and Dikgosi aired their grievances, particulaly on the ‘refusal or lack of implementation of the Kgosi Gaborone commission report on moral issues.
The president expressed shock at the conduct of some of the citizens when reacting to various issues and events. Khama called on the faith-based-organisations and Dikgosi to come to the party and assist in nation building. He acknowledged the state’s lack of action on some issues and promised to take into consideration some of the concerns raised by the two groups.
In an interview, the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs, Edwin Batshu could not share the details of the meeting’s resolutions as they are not for public consumption.
The Minister however briefly shared the proceedings of the meeting, “the president had called faith-based organisations and Dikgosi to discuss the state of the nation and its affairs. As you are aware these leaders are the custodians and protectors of culture and values of our society. He wanted them to help review how far we have come, the current challenges and other related issues,” he said.
Batshu said Khama had urged Dikgosi and the church leaders to confront the challenges and not to assume that the fate of the society rests with the state alone. He admitted that the challenges are cumbersome. “Moreover one of the central issues was the Kgosi Gaborone Commission report on moral issues. We discussed how far we have gone in implementing its recommendations and heeding its concerns and resolved that we do a review and see what we have neglected and so forth,” he said.
Batshu added that central to the discussion was also the issue of national building. It is understood that the churches and Dikgosi called on the government to be tolerant and encourage citizens to be tolerant to other stakeholders in their respective positions.
WeekendPost has established that the conduct of Batswana in social media is also of great concern to the President. Khama, it is understood, is of the view that Batswana’s behaviour therein leaves a lot to be desired.
The churches and Dikgosi are of the view that the joint advisory committee of Ntlo ya Dikgosi and Botswana Council of Churches (BCC) report on social values should be the guiding document. They hold that it has been neglected. In 2008, Khama set up a Presidential Task Force on the promotion of good social values chaired by Kgosi Puso Gaborone, a young Chief of Batlokwa.
This was set up following concerns and realization that our value systems, both traditional and christian, were being compromised and eroded by other value systems, as such resulting in Batswana generally replacing good traits of respect with self-destructive and anti- social behaviors, poor discipline and low self-esteem.
It is understood that Khama wants to mend relations with Dikgosi and Church leaders going foward.The President has held several meetings with church leaders recently and has promised to look into some of their long-standing grievances.
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.