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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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Politics

The backbench is a blessing- Kablay

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I am not quitting anytime soon- Kablay

Member of Parliament for Letlhakeng/ Lephepe, Liakat Kablay is delighted to have retained his position as BDP Chief Whip.

Although there have been allegations that he was disgruntled after he was yet again overlooked for a ministerial position, Kablay has dismissed such allegations in an interview with The Voice Staffer, DANIEL CHIDA.

Congratulations on your nomination.

I am very delighted by the re- election to the role of Chief whip by President Mokgweetsi Masisi.

It shows that I did things right in the last parliament and I promise to keep working hard for the country and for our party.

I have been criticised before for speaking to the media and being open minded and I thought I was not going to make a comeback as Chief Whip.

The nomination has motivated me to whip the MPs even more so that they do what is right in parliament.

There have been allegations that you were upset that you didn’t make it into cabinet.

I know those allegations but I was never upset. I was just happy that I retained my seat as an MP.

I worked hard for that. I worked under former President Ian Khama for 10 years and he never considered me for a Ministerial position.

One thing that you have to know is that being overlooked for a ministerial position can be a blessing in disguise.

Majority of former Ministers lost elections because they focused more on their Ministerial jobs and forgot about their constituencies, so maybe it is a blessing in disguise that I was left out.

If the man who chooses cabinet does not see that I deserve to be included, then there is nothing much I can say except to help in building our party.

Is there a particular Ministry you had wished to lead?

Yes, I want to be a Minister for Local Government, it is close to my heart.

I come from an impoverished constituency and from that ministry I could effectively push for more developments in the area.

What has been your first assignment as Chief Whip?

I have been in meetings with the backbench discussing our issues and our expectations.

We don’t want a situation where we don’t have answers for poor or no service delivery by government

What do you mean?

We want a good working relationship with Cabinet because we are from the same party.

Ministers are not supposed to undermine us.

Have you been undermined before?

Yes in the past, Ministers brought motions to parliament without even consulting us and then expected us to keep quite as if we were in the know.

We were then labeled as rebels who wanted to oust some from their positions but we could not just agree for the sake of agreeing.

What was happening in the 11th parliament should not happen in this sitting.

I have spoken to the Vice President about our concerns as the backbench.

Ministers must brief their Permanent Secretaries about the BDP Manifesto so that they see that it is implemented.

People voted us into power because of our manifesto and we must walk the talk.

Are you prepared for the motion of no confidence on HE if tabled again?

That motion is dead! People lied saying the opposition was asking support from us the backbench because we are disgruntled for not making it into cabinet. That’s a big lie.

If we remove Masisi then it gives opposition a chance to take over government and that is something that we don’t want.

We have confidence in Masisi and MPs must know that some of us were voted because of him, people were voting for Masisi not us and therefore we can not turn our backs on him.

There is talk of motion on floor crossing, what is your take?

Opposition should not rely on us for their motion on floor crossing.

I told the BDP MPs that those who will connive with opposition should kiss BDP goodbye.

We are certain that no one from our side will cross.

What about BDP getting members from opposition?

Yes it is possible.

Are you referring to Pono Moathodi?

Of course, I can bet with you, we are getting him before the end of next year.

Why do you say that?

He is one of us, he likes Masisi very much and every time the President makes his way into the house, Moathodi’s face lights up with joy.

He smiles, cracks jokes and even consults him more than us.

When are you retiring from politics?

I haven’t considered quitting maybe I will contest for the last time in 2024.

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Politics

UDC court papers for download

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As the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) seeks to redeem itself by winning back seats which they believe should have been theirs at the just ended general elections, we have put together some of the court documents in which they believe will assist them in their court case.

The UDC has sought the relief of the High Court of Botswana, putting together 19 petition for both parliamentary and council seats. In the papers the UDC implicates the President of Botswana, dr. Mokgweetsi Masisi, Director General of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DISS) , Peter Magosi, BDP treasurer Satar Dada, BDP Secretary general and elected Member of Parliament for Gaborone North , Mpho Balopi, IEC officials, some BDP committee members .

The cases will be heard by a panel of 12 judges in total, in a case which is set to challenge the integrity of the IEC.

Nkaigwa Petition by The Voice Newspaper Botswana on Scribd

Boko Petition by The Voice Newspaper Botswana on Scribd

Ramaotwana Petition by The Voice Newspaper Botswana on Scribd

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Politics

Nata/Gweta

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MP Polson Majaga calls for immediate end to ‘tenderpreneur’ civil servants.

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