Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Khama nominates Somolekae for UNESCO executive board

After losing the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) primary elections in Mmadinare, former Minister of Health Dr Gloria Somolekae is hopeful that United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) will hire her for a period of two years.

This comes after President Ian Khama nominated her for the executive board of the UNESCO.

Statement from the office of the President reads, “┬áHis Excellency the President of the Republic of Botswana, Lieutenant General Ian Khama Seretse Khama has nominated Dr. Gloria Somolokae as Botswana’s candidate for the Executive Board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) for the period 2016-2019.”

The Executive Board is one of the three Constitutional Organs of UNESCO and is elected by the General Conference. It consists of 58 member states and members serve for a four year term of office.

Opposition parties; Botswana Congress and Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) have no problems with her being nominated but condemned a growing trend whereby the head of state rewards his loyalists.

MP for Gaborone Central, also spokesperson for the UDC, Phenyo Butale, said, “The fact that it is now becoming a trend that the head of state appoints or nominates his loyalists makes the whole thing look like a reward.”

Butale does not doubt Somolekae’s capabilities, “Even though Somolokae is a capable person, the growing trend whereby the President has been rewarding his loyalists’ makes the whole thing suspicious.”

He emphasised that the concern remains that people are rewarded because they are loyal to the leader and the ruling BDP. “This kills people’s confidence and the trust they have on the leader of the state.”

Botswana Congress Party Chief whip Bagalatia Arone shares the same view as Butale. He said, “Having worked with Somolokae and knowing her, she is a capable woman. I do not have any problem with her nomination because I know her level of commitment when it comes to standing for this nation.”

But Arone condemned the growing trend whereby BDP fallen heroes are being rewarded by the head of state.
He said the whole situation clouds every judgment that President Khama makes because it is not all the time that he appoints people because of their capabilities, but because they are Members of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party.

Meanwhile Dr Somolokae holds a Phd in Public Administration and a Masters in Public Policy and Administration.

As a former cabinet Minister, she is believed to have strong knowledge and experience in governance matters, democracy and electoral management, policy analysis and rural development programming.


Read this week's paper