The former MP for Mahalapye West, Bernard Bolele is said to be on the verge of entering the race for the Secretary General(SG) of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).
Impeccable sources confirmed to this publication that the co-founder of the party’s GS26 student movement will be going public on his campaign after gauging his prospects at the party’s National Council to be held on the 16th– 17th July in Gaborone ahead of an elective national congress scheduled August.
Article 27.1 of the BDP constitution empowers the National Council as the body entrusted with reviewing implementation of its policies as determined by its National Congress. When reached for comment on his intentions to join the race, Bolele told this publication in a curt response that he was not in a position to confirm nor deny intentions to declare his ambitions for the position.
However, if he chooses to enter the race, Bolele will be entering a scrum of contestants for the troubled portfolio which has now swelled to include three former cabinet ministers. The latest to enter the fray is former cabinet minister, Kavis Kario who is also former MP for Selibe Phikwe West constituency. The incumbent Deputy SG and former Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Shaw Kgathi is also in the race to ascend a notch higher in party’s pecking order.
Also in the race is former Minister of Health and ex-MP for Mmathethe/Molapowabojang constituency Dr Alfred Madigele who is also reputed to be eyeing a parliamentary comeback through Gaborone South constituency.
Meanwhile, the SG position has been the black sheep of the party’s central committee portfolios following a major fallout between incumbent, Mpho Balopi and his principal President Mokgweetsi Masisi. Balopi affirmed his disinterest in retaining his position in 2021.
Phakalane estates businessman and the party’s former youth wing leader, Lesang Magang also declared interest in the race for the position only to withdraw after failing to garner enough support. Apart from Magang, the current Chief of Staff in the Office of the President, Boyce Sebetlela’s campaign has also petered out.
BDP SG CANDIDATES
Kario enjoys the unbridled support of the party’s National Youth Executive Committee(NYEC) signaling that he is the preferred candidate of the party’s leadership.
Holds a B.Eng (Mining) degree from the United Kingdom’s Leeds University besides leadership and management programs he undertook in various institutions including Harvard Business School and Cape Town Graduate School of Business.
Kario is also a former Vice Chairman of NYEC as well as former Deputy Mayor of the Selebi Phikwe Town Council.
He currently works for Lucara Diamonds as a Mining Manager for Karowe Diamond Mine.
The former Minister for Defence Justice and Security is a former teacher. He has been Deputy SG for two consecutive terms after rising to prominence during the presidency of former President Ian Khama.
He had previously served in cabinet as Minister of Youth Sports and Culture.
Kgathi was ousted in the party’s primary elections ffor MP for Bobonong constituency for Bobirwa constituency by Francisco Malesela Kgoboko who also went on to lose in the general election to opposition’s Taolo Lucas.
Furthermore, Kgathi was among a handful of BDP MP’s who were heavyweights in the previous administration where he commanded respect with a promising stack of fortunes. Kgathi’s stature was immense coupled with an outstanding pedigree and gravitas. His stature has since taken a knock with his ouster from parliament.
The qualified physician is also a former MP and former Minister of Health who lost out in the party’s primaries in 2018 to Dr. Edwin Dikoloti.
The charismatic Madigele operates a string of private health facilities primarily based in Gaborone’s Phase 4 area.The area is where he has relocated his party membership and based his political ambitions.