To resign as MP and quit politics -claim
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Eric Molale has rubbished growing allegations within the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) that he has finally made up his mind to quit politics.
Three weeks ago, Molale together with Dr Thapelo Matsheka and Member of Parliament for Mmathete/Molapowabojang Dr Edwin Dikoloti met President Mokgweetsi Masisi at State House where they requested to be dropped from cabinet in order to focus on their constituencies.
President Masisi is said to have talked them out from resigning from cabinet as it will be viewed as a sign of no confidence on his administration. Molale is said to have now made up his mind and will resign as a Member of Parliament for Goodhope/Mabule as well as from active politics in June this year. Highly placed sources have revealed that Molale is adamant that he has done his part for the country, having served in the public service for over 40 years. “He wanted to finish his term as an MP but something seems to have triggered him to retire before the 2024 general elections,” revealed the source.
The relationship between Molale and President Masisi is said to have not been a rosy one as he was suspected to be still aligned to the previous administration of President Ian Khama where he served as Permanent Secretary to the President before he was nominated as Specially Elected Member of Parliament and appointed Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration.
“He is one of the most experienced cabinet ministers and I think he is frustrated that he is sidelined. The Masisi administration is failing to tap into his experience and he feels the best decision is just to quit and focus on his health and family,” revealed a close source.
Asked if it is true he is planning to step down as an MP, Molale retorted via WhatsApp saying “tap (sp) such information from the one who told you that. Am not a gossiper”.
Molale who used to be regarded as the blue eyed boy of the system having risen from being an Assistant District Officer (Development) in Tsabong in 1981 to become Permanent Secretary to President Festus Mogae and later Khama is still regarded as the most experienced technocrat. He was expected to be the anchor in President Masisi’s cabinet and offer guidance but was pushed to Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, a move that shocked many.
Molale’s acceleration into the top public service started in 1994 when he was appointed private secretary to the then Vice President Mogae rising to be his senior private secretary when Mogae assumed Presidency in 1998. Molale saw his career shoot up when he assumed the PSP position when Mogae removed redeployed Molosiwa Selepeng to Australia as an Ambassador in 2003.
When Khama assumed office in 2008, he retained Molale as PSP and kept an iron grip on the public service. He was one of the central figures in the infamous 2011 industrial action which saw many public service workers dismissed from work.
In November 2014 President Khama nominated him as specially elected MP and subsequently appointed him minister in the officer of the president. He retained control of the public service as it fell under his portfolio. The Mabule-born technocrat turned politician was now riding the powerful upwelling of support from President Khama and this did not sit well with veteran Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) stalwarts.
A political opportunity arose after the 2014 general elections when Member of Parliament for Goodhope/Mabule James Mathokgwane tendered his resignation and Molale threw his hat to contest the bye elections. After he won the BDP primaries he resigned from parliament and cabinet but to the surprise of many, President Khama retained him as cabinet minister. This fuelled speculation that he was earmarking him for the bigger office and it did not sit well with some ruling party elites.
He lost to Barolong paramount chief Kgosi Lotlaamoreng II of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) by 6152 votes to 4372. He was later in the November session re-appointed SEMP.
Molale went on to win Goodhope/Mabule constituency in 2019 general elections garnering 9844 votes against Dr Patrick Molotsi of Umbrella for Democracy (UDC) who got 5935 while Tumisang Letsa Kana of Alliance for Progressives got 508 votes.