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BCP VP on stepping down and unity in the UDC

SEFHARE/RAMOKGONAMI MP: Dr. Kesitegile Gobotswang

History would judge us harshly if we, the BCP and BNF, failed to work together to unseat the BDP in 2024 – Gobotswang

Member of Parliament for Sefhare/Ramokgonami constituency, Dr Kesitegile Gobotswang, has been a notable absentee from the lists of those vying for Botswana Congress Party positions.

The BCP Vice President, who also once served as the party’s Secretary General, is hanging up his boots.

In this interview, he talks to The Voice Reporter, DANIEL CHIDA, about his resignation from the vice presidency and about the future of the UDC.

The BCP was supposed to go to an Elective Congress this weekend but the party’s Central Committee took a decision to postpone it until September, if Covid-19 cases go down.

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Q. Share with us your journey since getting in Parliament, what have you achieved?

It has been an exciting and learning experience. Since I have always advocated for developments in Tswapong area as well as strengthening democracy in Botswana, it was easy to adapt.

Unfortunately there was no handover from the previous Member of Parliament and as such I used the first session of parliament (November 2019 to November 2020) to ask a series of parliamentary questions to determine the state of promised development projects in the area like, Sesholo Unified Secondary, Chadibe Technical College, Ramokgonami Primary School, Road Infrastructure as well as the water situation.

During the first sitting of the first session of the 12th Parliament, the National Assembly adopted my motion calling for the review of ISPAAD, with the aim of infusing flexibility to allow row planting as well as broadcasting by subsistence farmers.

Q. Where do you think our system needs to be changed?

Our democracy requires serious reforms. We can do that by undertaking a comprehensive review of the constitution. In the main, we must strengthen oversight institutions so that they are truly independent.

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This must begin with parliament that is independent from the Office of the President.

Our media laws need to be reviewed so that we allow community radio stations and infuse self-regulation.

The state media should be transformed to become a public broadcaster like SABC or BBC.

We need direct election of the President and to introduce a true separation of powers where highly qualified citizens who are not members of parliament constitute cabinet.

This is an area of great interest to me.

Q. There are allegations that you will not seek another term in office, how true is that?

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I will not be contesting for any central committee position. I have served two terms as Vice President and one term as BCP Secretary General.

It is time to give others a chance to also serve the mighty BCP.

I would not have accepted the position of deputy leader if I did not have ambition to lead the party some day and ultimately become the President of the Republic.

I believe I am qualified. However, for now, my preferred presidential candidate remains, Dumelang Saleshando.

He is doing a sterling job so far. With respect to my future as an MP for Tswapong South or Sefhare/Ramokgonami, I would leave the discussion for another time because it can be a distraction.

I prefer to focus on the mandate before me, eyes on the ball.

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Q. There has been an allegation that you intend to jump ship and join BPF, your take on that?

Jumping ship to BPF is out of question. This is not to deny that BPF is an important strategic partner up north.

History would judge us harshly if we, the BCP and BNF, failed to work together to unseat the BDP in 2024.

The stakes are too high to let street quarrels distract us from our historic mission.

Q. Where do you see the BCP/BNF relationship under the UDC heading?

I am confident that the BCP and BNF can work together to liberate Batswana from the oppressive BDP regime.

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We don’t have to like each other. There is no marriage without occasional disagreements.

Q. Do you see the AP working with BCP with controversy surrounding the split of BMD?

If we can work with the BNF after the 1998 battle of Palapye, there is no reason why we cannot work with the AP.

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