Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Race for PHK’s replacement in Mmadinare begins underground

The race within the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) for the Mmadinare constituency has begun.

At least three names are being touted as possible contenders to replace the high profile politician and the incumbent MP for Mmadinare who is also the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Ponatshego Kedikilwe, who has announced that he will not be seeking re-election in 2014.

Mmadinare still remains one of the BDP’s heartlands. Kedikilwe has enjoyed an uninterrupted three decade winning streak as the area MP, starting 1984.┬á

The Specially Elected Member of Parliament who is also the Assistant Minister of Finance and Development Dr. Gloria Somolekae, BDP activists Kefentse Mzwinila and Motlamorago Gaseitsiwe are said to be favourites to replace Kedikilwe. 

Mzwinila has disclosed that he has been approached by party elders in the constituency as well as the youth requesting him to stand.

“I have been approached by youth and other constituents from Mmadinare, Sefophe, Mogapinyana Diloro and Tobane who have asked me to stand and I will consider their requests when the time is right,” said Mzwinila this week.

Mzwinila started active politics in 1999. He has served the BDP in several capacities, including as the National Youth Chairperson between 2006 and 2008. He has also served in the BDP sub-committee and the Central Committee after he was co-opted into the BDP youth league in 2002. In addition, he has served the party in the cell, ward and branch committees in the constituency. But he has a historical bargage to take care of. Just before the 2009 General Elections, Mzwinila was suspended for political misconduct but was later pardoned by President Ian Khama after he apologised.

Gaseitsiwe himself has not denied or confirmed his candidature, saying he has never been approached to stand.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if there are elders in my constituency who want me to represent them.┬á I was born and bred in this constituency. One would accommodate such a request when the┬átime is right,” ┬ásaid Gaseitsiwe, who has served the BDP as the constituency chairperson between 2009 and 2010.

Somolekae was not available for comment as she was reportedly outside the country. She has not been active in politics until she was hand-picked to become a Specially Elected MP.

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Digital edition of The Telegraph, December 2, 2020.