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Boteti chiefs demand answers over Kenewendo

Publishing Date : 18 November, 2019

Author : DAVE BAAITSE

The announced and election of his six Specially Elected Members of Parliament by President Mokgweetsi Masisi and National Assembly respectively, for the 12th Parliament has caused an uproar as favourites for the posts were left out.


Many had anticipated that the youthful Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, who was head-hunted from Ghana, Bogolo Kenewendo and former Sefhare-Ramokgonami Member of Parliament, Dorcas Makgato, will make the cut. The snubbing of Kenewendo has caused a stir in Boteti, a development which may cause unrest for Vice President Slumber Tsogwane.  


Kenewendo was tipped to succeed Tsogwane as Boteti West MP in 2024. Kenewendo who is an internationally celebrated and acclaimed economist, had relocated to Ghana, but was recalled by then President Lt Gen Ian Khama, at the recommendation of Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi. It is alleged that the coming of the youthful Minister was a calculated move to replace Tsogwane who had indicated that he will not be contesting the 2019 general elections.


Masisi would later upon his ascendency to the highest office-in a strategic move- appoint Tsogwane his Vice President and convinced him to contest the 2019 elections for his last term before paving way for Kenewendo in 2014. Tsogwane had initially scheduled to retire from politics at the end his fourth term, but was coaxed to stay further while the apparent heiress to the throne, Kenewendo, was being groomed. It is reported that in his recent campaigns, Kenewendo was used as the face of Tsogwane’s campaign, a move that saw him win with a slim margin against Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC)’s Sam Digwa.


Last week Masisi announced his six Specially Elected Members of the 12th Parliament which compromised of; Philda Kereng, Kgotla Autlwetse, Unity Dow, Beauty Manake, Kefentse Mzwinila and Peggy Serame. On the eve of the nominations, Kenewendo wrote an emotional sending off message on her Facebook profile signalling the end of her three year political career.


 It is alleged that, influential residents of Boteti have met and expressed their dissatisfaction to their Dikgosi on how they have been tricked by Tsogwane and Masisi, into believing that Kenewendo was the future MP of the area and the she will be retained in cabinet. A close source told WeekendPost that all Dikgosi met to map a way forward regarding the matter. A very close source also reported that Kenewendo’s father is not a happy man. The old man who came to bid her daughter farewell when she left for Ghana on Tuesday, felt that Botswana government ‘used’ her daughter and dumped her.


When contacted for comment, Kgosi Diane Jacob of Rakops told this publication that indeed they met with unhappy members of their community last week who want to petition Tsogwane. Kgosi Jacob however denied allegations that they met as Dikgosi and resolved to summon Tsogwane over the Kenewendo matter. “What I can confirm is that people are not happy. At the moment we are awaiting elders from Mopipi including Bogolo’s parents to lodge a complaint with us and we will take it from there,” he said.


 Kgosi Jacob did not rule out the possibility of calling Tsogwane to come and account to Morafe on the decision that President Masisi took to not to include Kenewendo as SEMP as they have been made to believe. Efforts to contact Bogolo’s father proved futile as his mobile phones rang unanswered. Kenewendo was one the youngest Ministers in the world and she also served as the Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Defence, Security and Foreign Affairs.


She is a member of the UN Secretary- General’s High-Level Panel on digital cooperation Chaired by Jack Ma and Melinda Gates, founder of Molaya Kgosi Trust, a women’s empowerment initiative and one of Botswana’s first youth delegates to the United Nations General Assembly. Her decorated educational background boosts of MSc in International Economics from the University of Sussex, United Kingdom. Kenewendo received the prestigious Chevening Scholarship in 2012.


She is the beneficiary and Alumni of the US President’s Young African Leaders Initiative for young women. Bogolo is the 2012  recipient for Ten Outstanding Young Persons (TOYP) award by JCI Botswana; 2016, recipient, Botswana Change Makers Award in Business and leadership; 2016, recipient, Formidable Woman award; 2016, honoured through the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office International Leaders Program; 2019, she was named one of Chevening’s 35 Global Change-makers. In Parliament, her voice was associated with inclusivity; inclusivity in development and ensuring services reach the people in a timely manner as their share of the national cake. Aligned with the Sustainable Development Goal message of “Leave no one behind”.

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