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Final push for Maun West

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As Batswana head for the polls this Wednesday, after months of tireless campaigning, candidates are making last gasp efforts to sway undecided voters.

Experts are predicting one of the tightest races in the country’s history and Maun West is no exception.

Over 20, 000 registered voters will decide the fate of Dumelang Saleshando of Umbrella For Democratic Change (UDC), Reaboka Mbulawa of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and Moalosi Sebati of Alliance For Progressives (AP).

Given a final chance to stake their claim for the constituency, FRANCINAH BAAITSE-MMANA sent a questionnaire to the three candidates containing a single question.

In no more than 150 words, please explain why you feel you are stronger than your opponent and deserve to win Maun West?

Despite promising to respond, Saleshando had failed to get back to Okavango Voice by the time of going to press.

MOALOSI SEBATI
I believe I deserve to win Maun West because I am a true representative of the people, who is well vested with issues of concern in the constituency. Maun West people have been longing for a long time for a leader who consults, who advocates and gives feedback to constituents and I am that leader.

I am a humble, down to earth and approachable leader who resonates well with the people. A young and vibrant leader with fresh ideas who deserves to be given a chance to represent and serve the people of Maun West as my opponents have been both given a chance at parliament and council but people were not satisfied with their service delivery.

Lastly I represent AP, a party with sound values and principles, a party that is in the quest of harvesting a new Botswana where Batswana will have a clean government, jobs for all and land will be available for everyone.

REABOKA MBULAWA
My UDC opponent is not in touch with Maun West’s bread and butter issues. He doesn’t know the people’s immediate needs. He said clearly that, “Nna ga ke mopalamente yo o epelang batho didiba,” yet over 80 percent of our voters are farmers and we have a good government programme in CCP that does exactly that.



I would rather focus on helping our farmers through the drought as a priority. Secondly he showed that he is totally clueless on tourism and he is an immediate danger to people’s livelihoods. When he adopts a draconian Zimbabwe type of evictions to leaseholders he instilled uncertainty and a possible backlash on the industry setting downwards gains and possible disinvestment by white owners.

We have noted cancellation of booking from the 18th up to the end of October. This is an early sign that tourists are reacting to possible instability by choosing other destinations and avoiding Botswana elections all together.

Maun West needs a capable representative and on the other hand, this guy is seeking employment hence he is not in touch with the constituents.



I would rather focus on helping our farmers through the drought as a priority. Secondly he showed that he is totally clueless on tourism and he is an immediate danger to people’s livelihoods. When he adopts a draconian Zimbabwe type of evictions to leaseholders he instilled uncertainty and a possible backlash on the industry setting downwards gains and possible disinvestment by white owners.

We have noted cancellation of booking from the 18th up to the end of October. This is an early sign that tourists are reacting to possible instability by choosing other destinations and avoiding Botswana elections all together.

Maun West needs a capable representative and on the other hand, this guy is seeking employment hence he is not in touch with the constituents.

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Politics

Botlogile Tshireletso – Political Journey

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Just days before the last General Elections former Mahalapye East legislator, Botlogile Tshireletso, spoke to us about her political journey, her retirement from active politics, her women’s rights activism as well as her fashion sense. We share excerpts from the interview in this episode.

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The rise and fall of a giant

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What’s next for Makgato

Is it too early to write Dorcas Makgato’s political obituary?

Will President, Mokgweetsi Masisi save her political career? These are some of the questions on everybody’s lips at the moment in the advent of the political heavyweight’s mighty fall in the October 23rd elections.

Makgato lost her parliamentary constituency in Sefhare-Ramokgonami to Umbrella for Democratic Change’s, Dr Kesetile Gobotswang with a margin of 3 779 votes.

She was also overlooked for Specially Elected Member of Parliament (SEMP) and Speaker of National Assembly.

Prior to elections, Makgato fought a lone political battle with her former benefactor and former President Ian Khama and his brother Tshekedi, in what many believed was on behalf of her party and President Masisi.

The Khama brothers through their breakaway party, Botswana Patriotic Front, were making inroads into the once Botswana Democratic Party’s stronghold constituencies. When all were quite, Makgato stood up and took the Khamas head-on, risking her political career in the process.

The Khamas invaded her territory and de-campaigned her while propping up the UDC candidate.

And now that the dust has settled and political appointments have been made, she has been left out.

Makgato is not just an ordinary member of the BDP; she is the party’s Chairperson of the Women’s Wing, and a former cabinet member.

Some political pundits have posited that if over looked Makgato could canvas for support and emerge as the leader of a faction towards the elective congress billed for next year.

However, a Political Analyst, Leonard Sesa, is still hopeful that a special position might still be reserved for the Iron lady.

“Maybe the President has something special for her and for the elections campaign chair, Tebelelo Seretse because I don’t see them being overlooked just like that,” he said, adding that if time goes by without any mention of any appointment for the two women, then the Women’s League should stand up and fight for their chairperson.

“She could have done better as a speaker because she is brave,” Sesa said.

Meanwhile the BDP Women’s League, Secretary General, Neo Maruapula could not be drawn into discussing Makgato’s future saying they are yet to meet as the league.

“I don’t want to say my own opinion and put it as that of the women’s wing. We are yet to meet and have a plan,” Maruapula said.

Efforts to get a comment from Makgato hit a snag as her mobile was off.

Makgato’s journey to parliament started in 2009 as a SEMP brought in by former president Ian Khama, something which has led to some within the BDP to label her a “ Khamarite’, at least until the time of her public fall out with the former president leading up to elections.

She however went on to win the 2014 general elections beating Gobotswang with a margin of 1552 votes. During her time she served in different Ministries such as Trade and Industry, Health and Wellness and Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs.

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Hands off Boko- Khan

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KHAN FIRES SHOTS AT PARTY VETERANS

Botswana National Front’s Kweneng Regional Secretary, Arafat Khan has defended his party President, Duma Boko from the attacks that Boko has been subjected to by party veterans since elections.

In an interview with The Voice, Khan said that for almost two years he has been ignoring the so-called BNF veterans unwarranted attacks on the BNF president hoping they will they will come back to their senses.

He also said that the other reason he did not confront the veterans right away is that he did not want to give them the recognition they did not deserve.

“I am really disappointed with their barbaric and reckless behavior especially as some of them were once entrusted with leadership positions in the BNF. I never expected them to be communicating with the party through the media when they know that the party has proper laid down channels of communication,” said Khan.

Khan further pointed out that the veterans association was created to be an advisory committee and not an active party structure.

“It’s unfortunate that some opportunists, divisive characters and well known clowns are now abusing this organ to fight political and personal battles on behalf of some extremely over ambitious BNF leader(s). Most of these political ancestors masquerading as veterans have dubious credibility and some of them have dismally failed in the tasks they were assigned by the movement.”

Khan said that instead of ‘barking’ at Boko every now and then, it would be prudent for the disgruntled veterans to accept that they have long reached political menopause and that they are irrelevant and have nothing to offer.

“It’s worth noting that the BNF is not a one man show, it is run by the central committee and the UDC is run by its NEC not Boko alone. He is a democratically elected leader of the BNF and we will support him as long as he is the President. He doesn’t need any unsolicited advice from perpetual losers and political rejects,” the former BNF Youth league Secretary General lashed out.

Khan was responding to accusations that have been leveled against Boko by the veterans following UDC defeat at the October 23rd elections.

The veterans had come out guns blazing to blame Boko for the loss, accusing him of having run the party as a one man show at the exclusion of party structures and even going further to call for his resignation from the party presidency.

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