BNF’s shifting Leadership, 58 years on


Now a party which believes that the future of opposition politics lies in coalition or aggregation, the Botswana National Front (BNF) has had a bumpy journey, which never saw the party attain state power despite several positive performances in past general elections. Puo Phaa, however, did not arrive where they are today without stewardship. So as the party celebrates its 58 year anniversary this month, Mmegi Staffer MOMPATI TLHANKANE looks back at their five leaders from the very first to the current


Daniel Kwele was the BNF’s first president and took over the leadership of the party at a time when it was not easy to be in the opposition. He led the party when no one wanted to be the leader of an opposition party. His comrades and family described him as a visionary leader who even invested some of his family resources and time to take the BNF forward. He was an educationist who taught people around him to draw a line between politics and relationships. Kwele is also said to have been the leader of the BNF at a time when it was not attractive to be in the opposition, but he made sacrifices. Kwele later resigned to go into public service. He ended up joining the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and served as an Assistant Minister in Sir Ketumile Masire’s cabinet. In the 1980s, he quit the BDP to form the Botswana Progressive Union, an outfit which died a natural death with his passing. Kwele died on November 26, 1991 at the age of 63 and was buried in Francistown. In 2016 the BNF paid tribute to their first president by putting a wreath at Kwele’s resting place.

Editor's Comment
Government’s efforts commendable!

Since the news broke, the government made sure to work hand in hand with the South African government to assist the families of the victims. The two countries came together to help the families identify the bodies of their loved ones through DNA testing. The government also announced that they would assist families with food for mourners before the funerals.Even though the deceased persons were mostly residents of Molepolole, the government...

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