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Lawyers turn Gaborone South into their electoral battlefield

Tshepo Kehemile



Gaborone South constituency is slowly gaining the reputation of a happy hunting ground for politicians with a legal background.

And this year will be no different, especially with incumbent Member of Parliament who is also deputy Speaker Kagiso Molatlhegi not standing.Molagtlhegi did not contest the Botswnaa Democratic Party’s primary election last year thereby paving way for lawyer Dumezweni Mthimkhulu – a one-time independent candidate in the 2014 general election.

Mthimkhulu will be pitted against another lawyer and former Gaborone Mayor Nelson Ramaotwana of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC). In 2014 Molatlhegi narrowly won Gaborone South constituency with 3872 votes against UDC Murray Dipate’s 3629 votes.

Botswana Congress Party’s Akanyang Magama polled 2318 votes whilst Mthimkhulu managed only 1475 votes.The Midweek Sun conducted a simple random survey this week in the five wards – Babusi, Bontleng, Naledi North, Naledi South and Selemela – which make up the constituency and found that constituents are not happy with the way things have panned out over the years.

A Gaborone South resident Thabo Mbure decried lack of developments. “Roads are damaged, and the water drainage system is poor it gets dirty and unhealthy for our children whenever it rains. “Water stops in front of our yards and attracts mosquitoes which then cause diseases. Umployment is high in our area with youth staying at home doing nothing,” he lamented.

One of the youth said that they have since resorted to small businesses to earn a living since the companies that they used to work for in Gaborone-West Industrial have closed. “Life is very difficult here my brother. I sell fresh chips and Russian sausages. I am pleading with government to create jobs for us as we have so many responsibilities,” said one.Olorato Topo, 30, who runs a car-wash is sceptial and does not think a change of political representation will alter their living standards for the better.

“These people who we elect in power every time to be our advocates never address our problems. Look it takes a month to fix a sewage system when it breaks down!” he said.For his part, Mthimkhulu said that the problem with Gaborone South constituency is that it has been lacking a representative who grew up in the area. The constituency, he said, has been represented by outsiders.

“The people of the constituency need a representative like me, who can be able to voice out their concerns at Parliament as I have experienced it as well.“I know how they feel,” he said, adding that he would also tackle other issues such as poor housing and low salaries. He feels that Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) must build houses that residents can afford.

Further, he feels that government and the private sector should collectively work together towards creating jobs for the constituents. He also advocates for the establishment of an Old Age home in the constituency as there are old people who need to be cared for but do not have that luxury because there is no one to cook and help them with chores at their homes.

UDC’s Ramaotwana said there is a great need to create employment for the constituents of Gaborone South. “The majority of population in the constituency is youth, and they have nothing to do.
“Most of them are not working and something should be done about this because if we delay or fail to do so, all sorts of criminal activities will fall upon us.”

As for the few individuals that have managed to open small businesses such as carpentry or artworks he said they need coordination from “our side and the space to expand their growing enterprises”.

Ramaotwana reiterated the importance of residential land for the constituents. “There is no land allocated to the people of the constituency, people do not have places to stay and that causes displeasure to the electorate,” he said. Meanwhile, it remains to be seen how the courts will decide the dispute between Botswana Movement for Democracy and the UDC, which might influence how things turn out in the constituency.

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BDP to crack whip on dissidents



Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) is poised to crack the whip on members that attended last month’s “illegal” Serowe meeting that was allegedly called by the Central Region party elders.

The meeting was to discuss what transpired during the regional congress where President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi was endorsed as the preferred candidate to lead the party against the recommended name of Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi.

The party has since scheduled disciplinary hearings for the affected members following a complaint letter from Steady Sethaba – Chairman of Serowe West Branch dated March 1st 2019.
About 28 people have been listed in the complaint letter as some of the attendants. Dr Khama and Dr Venson-Moitoi have not been listed in the complaint letter, although they were present as well as Member of Parliament for Tati East Samson Moyo Guma who is also vying for the party’s Secretary General position.

BDP National Disciplinary Committee Vice Chairman Yame Tshepo Kebabonye has since written to the affected BDP members that the hearings are scheduled for the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19 of April 2019 in the morning at party head office. Through the letter dated 6th March 2019 Kebabonye has called on those appearing to have availed their statements of defence within 14 days of receipt of the summons. In the complaint letter Sethaba had indicated that the meeting was in violation of the party constitution because it was not called by an established organ of the party.

“The speakers also deliberately misled and incited the meeting attendants by speaking in a way that was aimed at leaving them believing that the regional congress led the delegates to do what was unconstitutional. “Of late there has been an emergence of unruly behaviour by some members of Serowe constituencies which necessitate for appropriate remedial action before it gets out of control,” Sethaba said in the complaint letter.

The Serowe “illegal”meeting was held on the 24th of February 2019 and was attended by among others former President Dr Ian Khama, Dr Venson-Moitoi, Member of Parliament for Tati East Samson Moyo Guma and Roseline Panzirah-Matshome who is vying for Deputy Secretary General post ahead of the party’s elective congress in July this year. Also, in attendance were most of Central District BDP councillors. Following this meeting party Secretary General Mpho Balopi revealed that disciplinary action would be taken against those members who attended the ‘illegal meeting.’

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Yvonne Mooka



Many will remember Apostle Joel Keitumele as Ntsoro the comedian who would leave people in stitches with his rib-cracking jokes.

Now an apostle who leads Heavenly International Soul church with his wife Amo Keitumele, he confided in The Midweek Sun that he has never bought powers to make himself and his church powerful as it is often alleged by members of the public.

Two years ago, there were allegations that he had lost his mind after he failed to honour an agreement with a seller of powers in Ghana. “They were saying I was mentally disturbed and that I was being tormented by a snake because I dishonoured an agreement from a seller of powers in Ghana. I have never been to Ghana and the rumours were baseless,” he said, adding that someone even lied that his aunt works at Sbrana Psychiatric Hospital and had seen Keitumele at the hospital.

He also recalled the time he was invited at Btv with now born again Shumba Ratshega. He was wearing two rings. “One was my wedding ring and the other on my right hand was a Versace. A caller asked why I was wearing the other one and there were talks that it’s for powers.” He said he took it off and gave it to the presenter to wear and that nothing happened to him.

Lately, there are allegations that he wears an eagle belt, known in street lingo as ‘Prophetic belt’and purpoted to have powers to increase miracles in church and to attract more people. It is won by several other pastors and prophets among them, Shepherd Bushiri, Alph Lukau, Passion Java and Eubert Angel. He confirmed that he has it. He however said there is nothing like a prophetic belt or prophetic shoes.

“Of recent, God released a cloud of young prophets and these like their older mentors or spiritual fathers are stylish and they like fashion. “We have tapped into that. So most of us have Versace shoes, Eagle belts because we like looking good. People refer to them as ‘Prophetic this and that’ but there is nothing prophetic about them.

It’s just that we like them but we don’t need them for powers,” he said. Keitumele confirmed that he sells the trending shoes and belts at his store in Gaborone. “We just like our belts. Nothing more. The power is in the price. Monna ke monna ka setlhako le lebante,” he said.

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