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Manake’s affairs rock the BDP

Amid a controversial cabinet reshuffle and claims of insurgency in the Botswana Democratic Party, reports that Assistant Minister Beauty Manake was having a field day with married ministers have emerged to further rock the party.

The attractive Assistant Minister of Agriculture has been dogged by rumours of several high-profile affairs with cabinet ministers and Members of Parliament for sometime.

Last week, things reached an ugly climax when the angry wife of one of her alleged married lovers confronted her on the phone.

In an exclusive interview with The Voice, Manake, who is married herself and denies ever having an affair, confirmed receiving a call in which she was told in no uncertain terms, ‘to stay away from my man’.

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“She phoned me. Yes! I mean would you be happy if you got information that someone is dating your husband? Of course not! She did call me about it. We spoke and she told me that she doesn’t like my relationship with her husband. I asked which type of relationship she was talking about and she said any type of relationship we have and that was the end of the phone call,” clarified Manake.

The 37-year-old Assistant Minister went on to explain she was friendly with fellow cabinet ministers and backbenchers largely because they share similar views on how to take Batswana forward.

“I have very good relations with some Members of Parliament, it’s Thiite, Healy, Talita, Mavhange, Molebatsi and Dow. And yes, most of them are men – so what should I do since politics is a male-dominated area?” she quipped.

Pressed further to explain why her relationships with male colleagues seemed to be making their spouses uncomfortable, she maintained there was nothing out of the ordinary about the way she related to the men.

“I have only dated one cabinet member and no, I will not tell you who it is. That was a long time back and that is private,” she said.

The outspoken politician also took the opportunity to challenge and question the discriminatory and double standards used to judge women.

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Accusing jealous ministers of spreading lies to tarnish her name, Manake said, “What is sex after all? If at all I am sleeping with these men what good or bad can sex between two consenting adults do to our economy? This is the mindset change we need to make. This is how weak men can be. They are concocting lies against me because they know they can’t touch me when it comes to my job and so they make up all these false stories about me!”

Highlighting one such ‘fairytale’, Manake said, “I remember the time they said I beat up the VP, I asked VP about it and he was shocked. VP has never even looked at me in that particular way. It is all a lie.”

When quizzed about a party she allegedly hosted at her home two weeks ago, Manake dismissed the reports as part of an elaborate plot to assassinate her character.

“Their ultimate goal is to get me fired and it normally happens towards a cabinet reshuffle,” she insisted.

The Assistant Minister further explained that contrary to allegations she broke covid-19 protocols, it was Specially Elected MP Unity Dow who hosted a few people for lunch in her honour. Afterwards some of the invited guests went to Manake’s house.

“It was not a party. I was with my family, my brother his wife, his kids, my cousins, and some male cabinet members,” stated the Assistant Minister, who expressed shock that someone then decided to report her to the President for allegedly breaking Covid-19 protocols.

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“What message does this send to young women who want to join politics? I am just glad my husband and family are strong people. I am not about these games. I would rather leave cabinet and parliament if this is what politics is about,” she declared.

As the interview ends, Manake asks as a parting query, “Why is it that when a man does it, it is not news but when a woman does it, all hell breaks loose?”

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