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Masisi will be unopposed for the BDP chairpersonship and presidency!

Ndulamo Anthony Morima
EAGLE WATCH


So far we have discussed the possible battle for the presidency between His Honour (HH) the Vice President, Mokgweetsi Masisi, and Honourable Nonofo Molefhi and Honourable Tshekedi Khama II.


We have also discussed the possible battle for the presidency between HH Masisi and the Khama legacy. We concluded that Boyce Sebetlela and Robert Masitara do not have a viable path to the presidency, at least for the 2019 general elections. The only candidates that we are yet to consider versus HH Masisi are, therefore, Tebelelo Seretse, Ramadeluka Seretse and Jacob Nkate. According to a story in the Weekend Post edition of 4th February 2017 Jacob Nkate is likely to drop from the chairpersonship race and partner with HH Masisi as his Secretary General.        


This will leave Khama II, Honourable Molefhi, Tebelelo Seretse and Ramadeluka Seretse in the race. But, will they really remain in the race? In my view, these too will drop from the race leaving HH Masisi unopposed for the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) chairpersonship and presidency.


I am obliged to defend my theory aforesaid. Firstly, Khama II. I have reliable information to the effect that Khama II has informed some in the BDP that for as long as HH Masisi enjoys President Lieutenant General Dr. Seretse Khama Ian Khama’s support for the party chairpersonship and presidency he will not challenge him.


Apparently, Khama II would not want to be seen opposing his brother. This, if true, would be a complete change of heart compared to 2014 when it was reported that Khama II does not want to continue under his brother’s shadow and wants to determine his own destiny by challenging for the party chairpersonship and presidency.


Secondly, Tebelelo Seretse and Ramadeluka Seretse. These two may, especially after Nkate’s decision to partner with HH Masisi, finally realize that they cannot prevail against the Masisi-Nkate coalition. In any event, the duo was still likely to lose to HH Masisi considering their dismal performance during the 2015 Central Committee elections where HH Masisi trounced them heavily for the position of party chairperson.


Thirdly, Honourable Molefhi. Just like Tebelelo Seretse and Ramadeluka Seretse, he may drop from the race because he realizes that with Nkate and President Khama’s support HH Masisi is likely to prevail over him and any other candidate. The other reason why Honourable Molefhi may drop from the race is if he is promised the vice presidency, as some in the BDP claim he has, under HH Masisi’s presidency. But, is this possible? Can Nkate agree to drop from the race and partner with HH Masisi if he has not been promised the vice presidency?


This seems unlikely considering that Nkate has clearly expressed his ambitions of being state president. It is unlikely that he can only settle for the party Secretary Generalship. In all likelihood Nkate has been promised the vice presidency and he likely accepted the offer knowing that he will automatically ascend to the presidency when HH Masisi retires. After all, age is on his side.


But, what about the claim that HH Masisi, when asked by President Khama who his vice will be, disclosed that it will be the Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Honourable Dr. Alfred Madigele? This is a discussion for another day.


What about the claim that HH Masisi is eying former party chairperson and Member of Parliament(MP) for Tati East, Honourable Samson Moyo Guma, for the vice presidency? This is also a discussion for another day. Can Nkate have given up an ambassadorial post only to have either Honourable Madigele or Honourable Guma be vice president ahead of him?


What about the claim that the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Relations, Honourable Dr. Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi is also a candidate for the vice presidency? Honourable Madigele, Honourable Guma and Honourable Moitoi could all be safe choices considering that they have more chances of being elected MPs in 2019. Picking Honourable Moitoi would credit HH Masisi as the first president to appoint a female vice president.      


But, can Nkate really be vice president even if HH Masisi wants him to be? Unless the BDP orchestrates a constitutional amendment before the 2019 general elections, for him to be vice president he has to be an elected MP who has a constituency.


Can Nkate stand for his former constituency of Ngamiland which he lost to the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) in the 2009 general elections? The incumbent is a BDP heavyweight, former Secretary General and Assistant Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Honourable Thato Kwerepe. Can Nkate beat him in the primary elections?


There are allegations that there is a plot, sponsored by HH Masisi’s camp, to dislodge Honourable Kwerepe so that Nkate wins the party primary elections, paving away for him to be HH Masisi’s vice president if he wins the general elections. The same plan is also said to have been hatched to dislodge Honourable Molefhi who is a threat to HH Masisi’s bid to be party chairperson and president.  


If Nkate wins the primary elections, can he win the general elections in 2019?  Honourable Kwerepe won with a slim margin of only 48 votes against the BCP’s Goyamang Taolo Habano who garnered 7,015 votes. Honourable Kwerepe got 7,063 votes. Though electoral politics is not as easy as that, considering that the combined vote for the UDC and BCP during the 2014 general elections exceeded that for the BDP with 850 votes, the BDP may lose the constituency, especially in view of the BCP’s joining of the UDC.  


But, as argued in last week’s article, among the likely candidates for the BDP’s chairpersonship and presidency, it is not only Nkate who runs the risk of not being an elected MP and, therefore, being constitutionally ineligible from being the vice president in terms of section 39(1) of the Constitution. Honorable Molefhi too faces the same predicament.


Considering that in the 2014 general elections Kgoberego Nkawana of the BCP got 3,134 votes while Honourable Molefhi got 3,376 votes, winning with a margin of only 242 votes, Honourable Molefhi runs the risk of losing the Selibe Phikwe East constituency during the 2019 general elections.


Though it does not necessarily follow that the 3,134 and 979  people who, in 2014, voted for the BCP’s Kgoberego Nkawana and UDC’s Dimpho Mashaba respectively will vote for the UDC in 2019, this should be a cause for concern for Honourable Molefhi and the BDP.      
The other reason why HH Masisi is likely to be unopposed for the party chairpersonship and presidency is that the party and President Khama are likely to dissuade the other candidates from challenging HH Masisi, citing the risk of a divided BDP losing power to the UDC in 2019.


Reportedly, BCP’s recent joining of the UDC has made the BDP more fearful that the UDC may win the 2019 general elections. The BDP cannot, therefore, risk going to the elections divided by a chairpersonship and presidential contest. In the result, though the BDP Central Committee elections are still far, it is my conclusion that HH Masisi will not be opposed for the BDP chairpersonship and presidency. HH Masisi’s likely vice president, when he ascends to the presidency, is likely to be either Jacob Nkate or Honourable Molefhi or Honourable Madigele or Honourable Guma or Honourable Moitoi.

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The Daring Dozen at Bari

8th December 2020
JEFF---Batswana-smoke-unit

Seventy-seven years ago, on the evening of December 2, 1943, the Germans launched a surprise air raid on allied shipping in the Italian port of Bari, which was then the key supply centre for the British 8th army’s advance in Italy.

The attack was spearheaded by 105 Junkers JU88 bombers under the overall command of the infamous Air Marshal Wolfram von Richthofen (who had initially achieved international notoriety during the Spanish Civil War for his aerial bombardment of Guernica). In a little over an hour the German aircraft succeeded in sinking 28 transport and cargo ships, while further inflicting massive damage to the harbour’s facilities, resulting in the port being effectively put out of action for two months.

Over two thousand ground personnel were killed during the raid, with the release of a secret supply of mustard gas aboard one of the destroyed ships contributing to the death toll, as well as subsequent military and civilian casualties. The extent of the later is a controversy due to the fact that the American and British governments subsequently covered up the presence of the gas for decades.

At least five Batswana were killed and seven critically wounded during the raid, with one of the wounded being miraculously rescued floating unconscious out to sea with a head wound. He had been given up for dead when he returned to his unit fourteen days later. The fatalities and casualties all occurred when the enemy hit an ammunition ship adjacent to where 24 Batswana members of the African Pioneer Corps (APC) 1979 Smoke Company where posted.

Thereafter, the dozen surviving members of the unit distinguished themselves for their efficiency in putting up and maintaining smokescreens in their sector, which was credited with saving additional shipping. For his personal heroism in rallying his men following the initial explosions Company Corporal Chitu Bakombi was awarded the British Empire Medal, while his superior officer, Lieutenant N.F. Moor was later given an M.B.E.

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A Strong Marriage Bond Needs Two

8th December 2020

Remember: bricks and cement are used to build a house, but mutual love, respect and companionship are used to build a HOME. And amongst His signs is this: He creates for you mates out of your own kind, so that you may find contentment (Sukoon) with them, and He engenders love and tenderness between you; in this behold, there are signs (messages) indeed for people who reflect and think (Quran 30:21).

This verse talks about contentment; this implies companionship, of their being together, sharing together, supporting one another and creating a home of peace. This verse also talks about love between them; this love is both physical and emotional. For love to exist it must be built on the foundation of a mutually supportive relationship guided by respect and tenderness. As the Quran says; ‘they are like garments for you, and you are garments for them (Quran 2:187)’. That means spouses should provide each other with comfort, intimacy and protection just as clothing protects, warms and dignifies the body.

In Islam marriage is considered an ‘ibaadah’, (an act of pleasing Allah) because it is about a commitment made to each other, that is built on mutual love, interdependence, integrity, trust, respect, companionship and harmony towards each other. It is about building of a home on an Islamic foundation in which peace and tranquillity reigns wherein your offspring are raised in an atmosphere conducive to a moral and upright upbringing so that when we all stand before Him (Allah) on that Promised Day, He will be pleased with them all.

Most marriages start out with great hopes and rosy dreams; spouses are truly committed to making their marriages work. However, as the pressures of life mount, many marriages change over time and it is quite common for some of them to run into problems and start to flounder as the reality of living with a spouse that does not meet with one’s pre-conceived ‘expectations’. However, with hard work and dedication, couples can keep their marriages strong and enjoyable. How is it done? What does it take to create a long-lasting, satisfying marriage?

Below are some of the points that have been taken from a marriage guidance article I read recently and adapted for this purposes.

POSITIVITY
Spouses should have far more positive than negative interactions. If there is too much negativity — criticizing, demanding, name-calling, holding grudges, etc. — the relationship will suffer. However, if there is never any negativity, it probably means that frustrations and grievances are not getting ‘air time’ and unresolved tension is accumulating inside one or both partners waiting to ‘explode’ one day.

“Let not some men among you laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor let some women laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames.” (49:11)

We all have our individual faults though we may not see them nor want to admit to them but we will easily identify them in others. The key is balance between the two extremes and being supportive of one another. To foster positivity in a marriage that help make them stable and happy, being affectionate, truly listening to each other, taking joy in each other’s achievements and being playful are just a few examples of positive interactions.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “The believers who show the most perfect faith are those who have the best character and the best of you are those who are best to their wives”

UNDERSTANDING

Another characteristic of happy marriages is empathy; understanding your spouses’ perspective by putting oneself in his or her shoes. By showing that understanding and identifying with your spouse is important for relationship satisfaction. Spouses are more likely to feel good about their marriage and if their partner expresses empathy towards them. Husbands and wives are more content in their relationships when they feel that their partners understand their thoughts and feelings.

Successful married couples grow with each other; it simply isn’t wise to put any person in charge of your happiness. You must be happy with yourself before anyone else can be.  You are responsible for your actions, your attitudes and your happiness. Your spouse just enhances those things in your life. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers.”

COMMITMENT

Successful marriages involve both spouses’ commitment to the relationship. The married couple should learn the art of compromise and this usually takes years. The largest parts of compromise are openness to the other’s point of view and good communication when differences arise.

When two people are truly dedicated to making their marriage work, despite the unavoidable challenges and obstacles that come, they are much more likely to have a relationship that lasts. Husbands and wives who only focus on themselves and their own desires are not as likely to find joy and satisfaction in their relationships.

ACCEPTANCE

Another basic need in a relationship is each partner wants to feel valued and respected. When people feel that their spouses truly accept them for who they are, they are usually more secure and confident in their relationships. Often, there is conflict in marriage because partners cannot accept the individual preferences of their spouses and try to demand change from one another. When one person tries to force change from another, he or she is usually met with resistance.

However, change is much more likely to occur when spouses respect differences and accept each other unconditionally. Basic acceptance is vital to a happy marriage. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “It is the generous (in character) who is good to women, and it is the wicked who insults them.”
“Overlook (any human faults) with gracious forgiveness.” (Quran 15:85)

COMPASSION, MUTUAL LOVE AND RESPECT

Other important components of successful marriages are love, compassion and respect for each other. The fact is, as time passes and life becomes increasingly complicated, the marriage is often stressed and suffers as a result. A happy and successful marriage is based on equality. When one or the other dominates strongly, intimacy is replaced by fear of displeasing.

It is all too easy for spouses to lose touch with each other and neglect the love and romance that once came so easily. It is vital that husbands and wives continue to cultivate love and respect for each other throughout their lives. If they do, it is highly likely that their relationships will remain happy and satisfying. Move beyond the fantasy and unrealistic expectations and realize that marriage is about making a conscious choice to love and care for your spouse-even when you do not feel like it.

Seldom can one love someone for whom we have no respect. This also means that we have to learn to overlook and forgive the mistakes of one’s partner. In other words write the good about your partner in stone and the bad in dust, so that when the wind comes it blows away the bad and only the good remains.

Paramount of all, marriage must be based on the teachings of the Noble Qur’an and the teachings and guidance of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). To grow spiritually in your marriage requires that you learn to be less selfish and more loving, even during times of conflict. A marriage needs love, support, tolerance, honesty, respect, humility, realistic expectations and a sense of humour to be successful.

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Chronic Joblessness: How to Help Curtail it

30th November 2020
Motswana woman

The past week or two has been a mixed grill of briefs in so far as the national employment picture is concerned. BDC just injected a further P64 million in Kromberg & Schubert, the automotive cable manufacturer and exporter, to help keep it afloat in the face of the COVID-19-engendered global economic apocalypse. The financial lifeline, which follows an earlier P36 million way back in 2017, hopefully guarantees the jobs of 2500, maybe for another year or two.

It was also reported that a bulb manufacturing company, which is two years old and is youth-led, is making waves in Selibe Phikwe. Called Bulb Word, it is the only bulb manufacturing operation in Botswana and employs 60 people. The figure is not insignificant in a town that had 5000 jobs offloaded in one fell swoop when BCL closed shop in 2016 under seemingly contrived circumstances, so that as I write, two or three buyers have submitted bids to acquire and exhume it from its stage-managed grave.

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