Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Chairman Daniel Kwelagobe has revealed that he will not seek any leadership position in the party. He rules out future participation in the Central Committee or any other party structure in future following his defeat in the October elections.
Kwelagobe who lost his constituency, Molepolole South, to Dr Tlamelo Mmatli of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) will go down in the history books as a Member of Parliament who has served most terms in the Botswana Parliament.
Kwelagobe has been the MP for that area since 1969 and has defended the constituency on eight successive occasions. The fall of Kwelagobe also saw the UDC taking Molepolole North from BDP as Botswana National Front (BNF) veteran, Mohammed Khan dethroned former Cabinet minister, Gaotlhaaetse Matlhabaphiri.
Kwelagobe told Weekend Post this week that he is done with active politics and he will not seek any central committee position going forward.
Kwelagobe has served in the central committee since 1967, first as the Deputy Secretary General, Secretary General and Chairman of the party until 2013 when he voluntarily stepped down from his position and announced that he was not seeking re-election at the Maun Congress. “I am not going to contest for any party position in future but I remain a BDP member and I will continue serving the party,” says Kwelagobe. The veteran former legislator said he is now venturing into farming.
Kwelagobe remains the only MP to have served under all the presidents of Botswana. He was recruited to the party by BDP founding President Sir Seretse Khama. It is in the 1980s after Seretse’s demise that Kwelagobe emerged as the most powerful man in the party. With Seretse gone, Kwelagobe become synonymous with the name BDP. A hardworking and charismatic individual, Kwelagobe was known to have the impetus to traverse the country in an effort to build party structures and canvass for support.
KWELAGOBE ENDORSES VP MASISI Despite mixed reactions over the appointment of Mokgweetsi Masisi as the Vice President, Kwelagobe has pledged his support for President Khama’s choice noting that as a BDP member he is compelled to support the president’s choice.
He said for the BDP, the most important thing is that Khama has chosen someone he wants, and someone who he knows will work amicably with. “I often say Vice Presidency is like marriage, you choose someone who easily relates with you and it is solely on the president to pick that person,” observed Kwelagobe.
Kwelagobe never had an amorous relationship with the current President Ian Khama as more often than not, the two clashed in factional wars. Kwelagobe is the legendary Barataphati faction stalwart which in the past included the likes of former Vice President Ponatshego Kedikilwe. It is generally believed that Kwelagobe was instrumental in the formation of Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), a splinter party formed in 2010 by Barataphati members disgruntled with President Khama’s leadership style.
However, it is believed that Khama and Kwelagobe smoked the peace pipe towards the 2014 general election in an effort to bring stability within the party and enhance election prospects. Kwelagobe was used to recruit back Barataphathi members who went on to form BMD, among them Samson Guma and Botsalo Ntuane.
Kwelagobe a long time friend of former Speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Margret Nasha stood by Nasha’s side during the Court Case in which the Attorney General was challenging the constitutionality of the standing orders in regard to voting of the Speaker of the National Assembly, Deputy Speaker and endorsement of Vice President.
Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng together with Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Elias Magosi, this week refused to name and shame the worst performing Ministries and to disclose the best performing Ministries since beginning of 12th parliament including the main reasons for underperformance.
Of late there have been a litany of complaints from both ends of the aisle with cabinet members accused of providing parliament with unsatisfactory responses to the questions posed. In fact for some Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) backbenchers a meeting with the ministers and party leadership is overdue to address their complaints. Jwaneng-Mabutsane MP, Mephato Reatile is also not happy with ministers’ performance.
Bokamoso Private Hospital is battling a P10 million legal suit for a botched fibroids operation which resulted in a woman losing an entire womb and her prospects of bearing children left at zero.
The same suit has also befallen the Attorney General of Botswana who is representing the Ministry of Health and Wellness for their contributory negligence of having the unlawful removal of a patient, Goitsemang Magetse’s womb.
According to the court papers, Magetse says that sometimes in November 2019, she was diagnosed with fibroids at Marina Hospital where upon she was referred to Bokamoso Private Hospital to schedule an appointment for an operation to remove the fibroids, which she did.
Magetse continues that at the instance of one Dr Li Wang, the surgeon who performed the operation, and unknown to her, an operation to remove her whole womb was conducted instead. According to Magetse, it was only through a Marina Hospital regular check-up that she got to learn that her whole womb has been removed.
“At the while she was under the belief that only her fibroids have been removed. By doing so, the hospital has subjected itself to some serious delictual liability in that it performed a serious and life changing operation on patient who was under the belief that she was doing a completely different operation altogether. It thus came as a shock when our client learnt that her womb had been removed, without her consent,” said Magetse’s legal representatives, Kanjabanga and Associates in their summons.
The letter further says, “this is an infringement of our client‘s rights and this infringement has dire consequences on her to the extent that she can never bear children again”. ‘It is our instruction therefore, to claim as we hereby do, damages in the sum of BWP 10,000,000 (ten million Pula) for unlawful removal of client’s womb,” reads Kanjabanga Attorneys’ papers. The defendants are yet to respond to the plaintiff’s papers.
What are fibroids?
Fibroids are tumors made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. They develop in the uterus. It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of women will develop fibroids in their lifetime — however, not everyone will develop symptoms or require treatment.
The most important characteristic of fibroids is that they’re almost always benign, or noncancerous. That said, some fibroids begin as cancer — but benign fibroids can’t become cancer. Cancerous fibroids are very rare. Because of this fact, it’s reasonable for women without symptoms to opt for observation rather than treatment.
Studies show that fibroids grow at different rates, even when a woman has more than one. They can range from the size of a pea to (occasionally) the size of a watermelon. Even if fibroids grow that large, we offer timely and effective treatment to provide relief.
The Alliance for Progressives (AP) President Ndaba Gaolathe has said that despite major accolades that Botswana continues to receive internationally with regard to the state of economy, the prospects for the future are imperilled.
Delivering his party Annual Policy Statement on Thursday, Gaolathe indicated that Botswana is in a state of do or die, and that the country’s economy is on a sick bed. With a major concern for poverty, Gaolathe pointed out that almost half of Botswana’s people are ravaged by or are about to sink into poverty. “Our young people have lost the fire to dream about what they could become,” he said.