Wednesday, January 19, 2022

PHK calls it a day

Veteran politician and Member of Parliament for Mmadinare, Ponatsego Kedikilwe, has announced that he will retire from active politics in 2014.

The MP, who is also the Minister of Minerals, Water and Energy, announced at a Kgotla meeting in Mmadinare on Monday.

Kedikilwe later confirmed to the Telegraph that he would not seek re-election in 2014.

“Yes I will not be standing in 2014. Tshimologo ya sengwe le sengwe e na le bokhutlo jwa yone.

(Every beginning has an ending),” Kedikilwe said without stating reasons. The most plausible reason for his not seeking re-election may be that age has caught up with him. He did not immediately divulge his future plans.

The retirement of a man who was once tipped to be Botswana’s president will most likely raise tantalizing speculations as to what might have been. Having harnessed all Botswana Democratic Party structures behind him, Kedikilwe was expected to shove former president Festus Mogae ÔÇô then vice president -aside in a contest for the country’s top post.

The then president, Ketumile Masire, swiftly intervened and took away the party’s power to choose its own president by amending the Constitution to have the vice president automatically ascending to the presidency in case of a vacancy.

This ensured that Kedikilwe would never challenge Mogae for the presidency ÔÇô and Botswana’s history took a detour.

By the time he retires, Kedikilwe will have been a member of parliament for a continuous period spanning 30 years, having first entered parliament in 1984.

For almost the entire period of his political life in parliament, he has been a senior minister save for a few years after he resigned following his differences with the then President Festus Mogae and Vice President Ian Khama.

Mogae had publicly endorsed Khama for the position of ruling party Chairman, a position that was at the time held by Kedikilwe.

Kedikilwe has served under former Presidents Sir Ketumile Masire, Festus Mogae and serves under the incumbent President Ian Khama.

He will be remembered for leading a Presidential Commission that led to the Revised National Policy on Education of 1994.

He will also be remembered for having overseen a significant and historic 10 year Agreement between Botswana and De Beers expected to turn Botswana into a diamond hub.

A key aspect of the Agreement is the relocation of the De Beers Diamond aggregation offices from London to Gaborone.

RELATED STORIES

Read this week's paper