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‘We saw it coming’

Publishing Date : 09 April, 2018


The three former ministers who were this week dropped from their ministerial positions under the new leadership of President Mokgweetsi Masisi contend that they were not dropped from cabinet as many Batswana speculate.

When reshuffling his cabinet, Masisi dropped the Lobatse legislator, Sadique Kebonang from the position of minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security; Member of Parliament for Nkange Edwin Batshu was relieved of his duties as the minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs while Lerala/Maunatlala legislator was relieved his duties from Land Management, Water and Sanitations Services ministry.

In an interview with WeekendPost on Thursday, Maele who initially talked on a very low note, later charged and said before hanging on this reporter that, “I served my term under Khama! No comment! I was not dropped or something! No comment.”
When guided that he should consider that he was appointed by constituents and that he needed to talk to them in any platform that was available, he hanged up.

Meanwhile, the Lobatse legislator’s response was that he was appointed by Lt. Gen Ian Khama to serve under his cabinet. “I was not shocked. Contrary to speculations, I asked not to be considered for appointment because I wanted to focus on Bulela Ditswe elections. And the elections are only three months away,” said Kebonang. He said he will be competing against strong opponents in the likes of Thapelo Matsheka, Tapologo Kwapa, Kamao Jacobs and one Patrick.

“And if you look at the caliber of these people, you cannot take it for granted. This is a perfect opportunity not to go back to a ministerial position,” he narrated and quickly pointed out that he was the first person to win Lobatse constituency for the ruling party in 2014 after being in the hands of opposition for 20 years.

About his relationship with president Masisi, Kebonang stated that they have a good relationship. He said he remains loyal and committed to the call, adding that, “We had lunch together at his house this afternoon. He invited me in for lunch. We talked and laughed about people’s speculations about us. I serve at the prerogative of the president.” When quizzed on the recent allegations of corruption and money laundering, Kebonang said he was clean as the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) has not implicated him in any way.

Batshu also holds the same sentiments that the new president did not drop him. His immediate response was, “I congratulate president Masisi to have appointed cabinet full of the youths whom we will definitely not hesitate to advise from a distance. There is always a start to have a balanced mixture,” he noted, adding that he encourages other youths to know that cabinet is not only designed for the old. He said he will forever be grateful for the work he has done for this nation as a minister.

“I had always purposed it in my heart to serve for only two terms, and my term is finish next year.” He noted that he started working in the public service in 1970 in the Botswana Police Service, and graduated to many departments until to date. He also highlighted that he was grateful of the developments he brought under his constituency including the ones still under construction. Asked if he was going to refuse should the president appointed him in his new cabinet, Batshu said, “I would not refuse.”



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