Kgafela-Mokoka eyes BPP Presidency
The winds of change are set to ripple through the country’s oldest opposition party, the Botswana People’s Party (BPP).
After 11 years at the helm, Motlatsi Molapisi will step down as BPP President when they go for congress later this year.
Eying his position and looking to become the first female to lead a political party in Botswana, few months after defecting from another opposition party is Kebuang Nono Kgafela-Mokoka.
The 56-year-old UB lecturer only joined the BPP last year having fallen out with the hierarchy at her previous home, Botswana Congress Party (BCP).
Upon her arrival, Kgafela-Mokaka was made Publicity Secretary.
As she explains in this exclusive interview with DANIEL CHIDA, she now has her sights fixed firmly on the party’s top post.
Why did you swap BCP for BPP?
I left the BCP because I was frustrated as a Women’s League President, the conditions which I shared with BCP Vice President and the BCP President.
When nothing changed, I left. Pardon me, I do not kiss and tell, therefore, I can’t say anything here!
Fair enough. Immediately after you arrived at the BPP, you were given the plum post of Publicity Secretary. Was that one of your conditions for joining or is there a shortage of leaders at the BPP?
I was co-opted as the Publicity Secretary to fill up a vacant position in BPP Central Committee.
As a member of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), why has the BPP been so quiet on the coalition’s recent problems?
The BPP is not silent! We issued a statement sometime back, calling for calm, peace and unity among contracting partners.
In recent years, your President, Motlatsi Molapisi’s absence from big UDC events, including last weekend’s executive meeting in Palapye, has become increasingly noticeable. What message does this send to party members?
The BPP President did not attend due to logistical hiccups. Otherwise, he has not missed any UDC National Executive Committee meetings.
[NB: The Voice has it on record Molapisi missed the UDC Congress official opening in 2018 at Boipuso Hall].
Is Molapisi seeking another term in office?
He has stated that he won’t be contesting for any position in the next elective congress.
What about you?
I will be contesting for the BPP Presidency.
If elected, what do you have for BPP?
My road map is ‘REBRANDING THE BPP: -Reviving the South, East and West’ and mobilizing the North through building structures to effectively drive membership recruitment.
I will also be establishing structures in tertiary institutions enhancing Women and Youth participation in politics, especially in decision making positions.
I also want to revive and strengthen national and international like-minded organisations and Labour movements.
Initiating and driving a comprehensive political education strategy to educate members and the public about Pan-Africanism and its relevance to different policies is also on my agenda.
I also want to introduce BPP Veteran Association. I will come with a fundraising strategy to beef our coffers.
Why should people vote for you?
Because I have the requisite skills and experience in political leadership.
I have received training in different areas such as: leadership, electoral processes, strategic planning, recruitment strategy, political education facilitation and many others that I will use to change the fortunes of the party for the best.
What motivated you to go for the top post?
What motivates me is my passion for the liberation of all groups of people in Botswana.
Parties constantly fail to meet the 30 percent quota set aside for women, who is to blame for that?
It has to do with cultural barriers and gender socialization; those are some of the problems that women face.
But as women, are you doing enough to compete for the high positions within your organisations?
I believe we are, though the gatekeepers, men, need to be commoditized about the need for women to participate in politics and contest for leadership positions.
Word is that SOPE is likely to be extended, what are your views?
BPP is a member of UDC and hence is against the extension of SOPE.
It has not helped deal with Covid-19 scourge; it has not been used to divert some funds towards procurement of Covid-19 vaccines.
Most frontliners, like teachers and the police, and a larger part of those eligible for vaccination, are yet to get vaccinated.