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MacD eyes BALA presidency

MacDonald Peloetletse wants to be BALA president

The Botswana Association of Local Authorities (BALA) will go for its elections on 20th January 2015 and it is evident that Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) heavy weights will slug it out for the top positions of the Association.

MacDonald Peloetletse is challenging incumbent, Rev Mpho Moruakgomo for the presidency of the Association. “Yes, I have availed myself for election as president of BALA,” said Peloetletse. He has put together a strong team for the contest. Motlhophi Leo of Kweneng District Council seeks to deputise Peloetletse while Peter Williams, the Central District Council (CDC) chairman is running for treasurer position.

James Kgalajwe of Francistown City Council will be the project officer. It is evident that Peloetletse’s team boasts of councillors who have at one stage been mayors or council chairpersons and it has vowed to modernise BALA and represent the aspirations of councillors.

Peloetletse told this publication that he wants to advance welfare issues of the councillors through BALA as president. He said he trusts that he has a strong team that will be all ears to handle issues at BALA. Sources indicate that the strong vote from the Central District, Francistown, North East, and Kweneng region, Peloetletse’s team may just white wash Moruakgomo.

The purpose of BALA is to help create an enabling environment for the Councils to become credible and recognised partners of central government and the private sector in the development process. BALA seeks to provide a forum for networking, advocacy, lobbying and capacity building to strengthen the local authorities in Botswana, reads in part the organisation’s mission on its website.

Moruakgomo has also confirmed that he will be defending his position. But he declined to share the names of members of his team. He has already had running battles with many councillors especially with a money scheme that was organised in collaboration with an insurance company. The money that the councillors had been contributing through the scheme is lost because the scheme was terminated.

BALA was formed in 1983 as a vehicle to drive the promotion of unity, solidarity and cooperation among local authorities. The organisation's founders envisioned BALA playing a key role in building a strong, democratic and development local government in Botswana.

With a membership constituted by councillors and chief executives of councils as well as councils themselves as corporate members, BALA has struggled over the years to gain the recognition it deserves and to claim an influential role in national affairs, Peloetletse intends to change all by motivating for proper recognition of BALA.

The ruling BDP’s numerical advantage usually tilts the scales in favour of its candidates at BALA. In this race, candidates who have so far shown interest are all aligned to the ruling party and it is likely that Moruakgomo’s camp could try and solicit opposition votes.

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Khan: Boko, Masisi are fake politicians

18th January 2021
Masisi & Boko

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.

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Ookeditse rejects lobby for BPF top post

18th January 2021

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.

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BDP cancels MPs retreat

18th January 2021
President Masisi

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.

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