'Chiliboy' takes sabbatical from politics

Tumediso Rakgare
Tumediso Rakgare

The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) activist, Tumiso "Chiliboy" Rakgare says he has taken sabbatical from politics and would not be returning for 10 to 15 years.

Amidst talk that he had taken the bold decision to stand as mokoko [independent candidate] at Mogoditshane, where he did relatively well at the 2014 general elections, finishing second to the then Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) candidate, Rakgare says he will not be returning to politics until 2029 at the earliest.

“I have long told my employer, Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU), that I am no longer active and won’t be standing for any political office for the next 10 years, because I want to focus on my professional growth.

“I feel I am working for a very good apolitical institution that respects the political choices of their diverse membership.

They have given me a chance and I am committed to repaying their faith in me.

“Since I graduated as a business administration student from the University of Botswana, BOPEU had been the only institution to give me the opportunity to practise what I learnt in the classroom.

“Otherwise since my graduation, all my life I was largely known as the radio football presenter, and then the politician, but I cherish this opportunity to be doing what I went to the university for, especially during these difficult times when unemployment is so high.”

Rakgare says he works as a college administrator at BOPEU college, known as ILES, which recently unveiled veteran trace unionist and educationalist, Shandukani Hlabano as its executive director.

“Comrade Hlabano is a fountain of knowledge and is vastly experienced. I am very excited to be working under him at ILES.”

Asked to say why he has lost interest in politics, Rakgare said he was not ready to throw away the chance to earn a living for his wife and their son.

“I am a family man, I have been married for four years now, I want to take care of my family and our parents, I am still young, politics I can see it after 2029 or even beyond that,” he says.

However Rakgare confesses that making it public that he has quit politics also saddens him as he does not want to hurt special friends he lives behind.

“At the BCP we were brought up to be well-cultured individuals, with respect for the family and the party, so naturally I wouldn’t like to hurt people like Dumelang Saleshando and his wife, Taolo Lucas and his wife, Mike Dingake and his wife and the wonderful people who supported me during my tenure as the BCP youth league president, but this is a decision I had to take, because politics is very expensive.”

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