Vol.21 No.44

Friday 19 March 2004    

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Kokorwe steps on big BDP toes

GIDEON NKALA
Staff Writer

3/19/2004 1:06:13 AM (GMT +2)

ASSISTANT Minister for Local Government and Member of Parliament for Thamaga, Gladys Kokorwe, was reportedly roasted by ruling party members for openly campaigning for out-going Debswana boss Louis Nchindo.


Kokorwe is said to have invited the wrath of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) officials when she recently told Parliament that Nchindo has proved himself at Debswana and would be a valuable asset to Parliament.

She had said Parliament greatly needed the services of Nchindo who she said could even serve as Vice-President.

"She has been harshly chastised for causing confusion. As a cabinet minister and an erstwhile supporter of both President Festus Mogae and Vice-President Ian Khama, she should know better and not put the President under unnecessary pressure," a BDP MP said.

The MP added that the president is already under pressure to consider so many people for the four places for nomination to Parliament after the fall of heavyweights at the primaries.

Meanwhile Kokorwe has denied that she was censured by the party and said she will repeat what she said on Nchindo given an opportunity.

"Nobody said anything to me. I have not heard anybody saying they liked or they do not like what I said but my heart is in the right place that I said it," she said.

She denied that she was campaigning for Nchindo.

"I have not talked to him about this. I was just doing what I think is right. I am not campaigning for him."

Despite Kokorwe's denial, Mmegi is reliably informed that her statements on Nchindo incensed members from both factions of the BDP. For a while this seemed to be the common denominator binding the warring parties.

An MP sympathetic to the faction led by Ponatshego Kedikilwe and Daniel Kwelagobe told Mmegi that they are worried that an MP is orchestrating an attempt to airlift somebody who does not know the party into leadership.

"The success of this economy cannot be attributed to one man," said an opinion piece in this newspaper penned by a BDP functionary.

It is understood that the Kedikilwe-Kwelagobe faction which still harbours ambition for the Vice-President's slot when Mogae leaves power think Nchindo's arrival might crowd the stage and divide attention.

Kokorwe's colleagues in the Mogae-Khama faction, particularly those who still fancy their chances are said to have been rubbed roughly by her utterances.

"She knows very well that Bagolo are not happy," said a source close the Mogae-Khama camp.

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