A recent appointment of a Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) official as a Consulate Officer by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has set off yet another round of negative criticism aimed at the ruling party.
Clifford Maribe, the Public Relations Officer in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Clifford Maribe, has confirmed the appointment of Metlhaeno Gaseitsiwe as a consulate officer.
The BDP official’s history places him as an activist for the BNF during the reign of the legendary opposition icon Dr Kenneth Koma. The officer also served as a former mayor under the then main opposition party flag.
Following the splits and factions within the BNF after the 1999 general elections, Gaseitsiwe defected to the United Democratic Front (UDF) in 2001.
He was said to have been in a stagnant position until he joined the ruling party in 2007. Two years later, he was appointed consulate officer, a position BCP vice president, Kesetegile Gobotswang, thinks he is not well qualified for.
“Gaseitsiwe is not competent enough to fill such a rank; he doesn’t even have the needed requirements to perform the tasks that he will be assigned to do,” said Gobotswang.
Gabotswang said that the ruling party is exploiting its power by appointing some of its incompetent members to represent the country in issues concerning foreign affairs.
He calls these developments a real setback for Botswana in terms of pursuing the agenda of the country in other places that are of vital importance for the growth of the country.
Citing as an example of BDP’s ‘ignorant appointments’ the likes of Peloekgale Seloma and some other BDP officials in diplomatic positions.
The BCP official believes such ranks of power are sensitive and should be based on merit and candidates should have met set requirements.
Media Reports over the years have cited the controversial belief that some Botswana politicians believe that moving to join the ruling party could advance one’s career rather than remaining in opposition parties that have nothing to offer.
It has also been alleged that BDP recruits influential opposition candidates by promising them flourishing greener pastures.
“It doesn’t come as a surprise to us,” said Gobotswang. “It’s actually a trend that the people have seen amongst the ruling party candidates over the years; it’s just a shame that our country pays the price for politically-biased appointment such as that of Gaseitsiwe.”