Mmegi Online :: Kgosikwena helped uproot BDP in Moleps
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Tuesday 20 November 2018, 13:46 pm.
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Kgosikwena helped uproot BDP in Moleps

While youth were the face of political change in Molepolole, village elders played a big role in the defeat of Botswana Democratic Party veterans, Daniel Kwelagobe and Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri. Former Bakwena regent Kgosikwena Sebele is one of the village elders who was aggressively calling for change in his home village.
By Maranyane Ngwanaamotho 2013-10-04 09:54:56 Thu 30 Oct 2014, 17:05 pm (GMT +2)
Mmegi Online :: Kgosikwena helped uproot BDP in Moleps








In an interview with Mmegi, Kgosi Sebele declared himself a staunch member of the Botswana National Front (BNF) though he had not been active due to his former status as a regent.

Weeks before elections, Sebele addressed Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) rallies asking people to vote for Mohammed Khan for Molepolole South and Dr Tlamelo Mmatli for Molepolole South.

“I stood up and spoke about these men. I asked for votes for these men. The UDC invited me as the village elder but I also went there as a member of the UDC,” he said.

Sebele is still celebrating the fall of the two men who seem to have been a thorn in his side during his term as regent.

“I can tell you that I am happy with their fall. These are men that had no respect for me as a Bakwena regent. They used to insult me here in the Kgotla and showed absolutely no respect for me,” he said.

He said the duo caused chaos for the chieftaincy when they created a royal tree that no one understood. Villagers also thought the two politicians were too involved in the Bogosi issues.

“They created a family tree that we did no know and divided the chieftaincy in this village. They even plotted to drag my name in the mud and sent me to jail,” he continued.

Sebele was convicted and sentenced to five years in prison in 2010 for stealing a billy-goat valued at P850, and was acquitted by the Court of Appeal after serving three years.

He said that he was not being personal towards the former BDP MPs and cabinet ministers, whose fall left the country in shock. “The other thing that angered me the most was for this ruling party to be telling Batswana that opposition parties did not have money to run the country. The public needs to know that government funds do not belong to the ruling party,” said Sebele.

Kwelagobe, for a long time a heavyweight of Botswana politics, had been the longest serving legislator. He had been an MP for 45 years, and had served in the cabinet of all the country’s president – from the late Sir Seretse Khama, Sir Ketumile Masire, Festus Mogae to the current, Ian Khama. It was no wonder that he was the only one to be launched by two former presidents, Masire and Mogae, and re-launched just weeks ago

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by Khama.

But a little known academic, who established his political career just a year ago, did the impossible. Dr Mmatli, UDC’s MP-elect for Molepolole South is still a mystery to the nation who never gave him a thought prior to last weekends elections.

But in the North, where Matlhabaphiri suffered an even greater defeat to the on-fire UDC, the man who uprooted him, Khan, had been battling the field for over 10 years.  Khan, through the BNF, and now the coalition, had consistently built a support base and finally took down the man who had also served under all the BDP administrations as an assistant minister, MP and diplomat.

While the two BDP heavyweights enjoyed national status, their constituencies lacked in basic developments. Among other things that ensured the UDC win, was the fact that a pre-independence small police station still serves the over 77,000 residents, and have many of the students have to school outside the village as only one senior school, Kgari Sechele.

Mmegi has leant that also undoing to the two were internal party feuds.

A supporter of Kabo Sebele, whom Matlhabaphiri defeated in the primaries, revealed that a substantial number of people felt their man had been cheated but the ruling party failed to give him audience.

“So, a lot of people were bitter with the way Sebele (Kabo) was treated. Some BDP members wanted to punish the BDP for this treatment on him,” he said.  During the general elections campaigned, it emerged that Kabo Sebele and councillors that supported him were sidelined from all party activities. President Ian Khama allegedly added insult to injury when he publicly ‘ridiculed’ Sebele during a joint star rally in Molepolole North just before elections. “The president publicly ordered Sebele to report to his office for ‘bad behaviour’. Again Sebele’s followers were not pleased with this and decided it was time to take Matlhabaphiri out,” he said. Kabo Sebele however denied campaigning for the UDC or leaving BDP. “What I can tell you is that I am still a member of the BDP and would not campaign for an opposition party.”

On Monday, Kwelagobe’s opponent in the BDP primaries, Shima Monageng, went on Facebook to deny ever campaigning for the UDC as alleged by some party leaders in the constituency. He also stated that he was sidelined during the campaigns but continued to be a loyal member of the BDP.

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