Former North West District councillor for Boseja ward in Maun, Baphutholodi Kgari, has been elected as chairperson of the Botswana Democratic Party for North West Region unopposed.
He takes over from prominent businessman John Wellio who had been at the helm of the region for a period of two and a half years. At the regional elections held in Tsau village over the weekend, Wellio had made it clear that he was not standing.
Keapoletswe Keapoletswe, former councillor for Kareng is the Deputy Chairperson.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Kgari said he is ready to make the region a much successful one through dedication and team work. He said his roadmap is already set, and that it includes the re-establishment of most party structures which have since collapsed.
“The realisation has been that most of them only function towards general elections and later collapse due to laxity on the part of some of our members. With the support of my dedicated team, we will from time to time hold seminars so as to take views on how to move the entire party forward. We will also tour the region to obtain fresh ideas from fellow democrats, while also addressing their grievances and concerns”, he said.
Kgari also said that it has come to their realisation that there are serious issues amongst BDP members, following the recent general elections which saw the opposition seizing most constituencies which used to be BDP strongholds. Through the support of President Ian Khama and the party central committee, he said they intend to retain the Okavango and Maun West constituencies which were snatched by the UDC and BCP respectively.
He said, “I believe in my team. As you may be aware, it is a team made up of well experienced people with the much needed expertise. For now I wouldn’t say our task will be smooth sailing, but I foresee better things coming our way”.
Other new members include Frisco Gabokakangwe, the current Secretary General of the BDP National Youth Executive Committee who was elected as regional Secretary. He is deputised by Bernadette Malala, former Ngamiland District Commissioner. The position of treasure was won by Ikakanyeng Nkape, while Wilson Mlazie from the Chobe district is the deputy treasurer. The North West region is made up of the five constituencies of Maun East, Maun West, Ngami, Okavango and Chobe.