Five In BOPEU Presidential Race

Bopeu Bulding PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO
Bopeu Bulding PIC: MORERI SEJAKGOMO

The race for Botswana Public Employees Union (BOPEU) president elections slated for Thursday in Palapye has pitted five candidates, including the incumbent Masego Mogwera, who reclaimed office following a series of High Court and Court of Appeal judgments.

The final judgement brought her 27 months in the wilderness to an end.

For the neutrals, it promises to be a mouthwatering affair as Mogwera faces off with her nemesis, Olefile Monakwe, the former first deputy president who toppled Mogwera and led BOPEU into the 27 months of court battles that eventually ended in wars lost.

However, Monakwe enters the presidential elections heavily weakened by the fact that none of his lieutenants in the BOPEU National Office Bearers (NOB) during his 27 months’ stay at the top have chosen to back him for the all-important seat in BOPEU.


His then treasurer, Panana Dipatane, is currently more of a Mogwera ally than his.

Dipatane has chosen to stand as an independent candidate. Monakwe has also been abandoned by his first deputy president Donald Mekgwe, who will be seeking to be elected the first deputy president under one Scaba Khupe, herself another former Monakwe ally, who has decided to face off with him for the president position.

Back in 2019 at the Kasane Congress elections, Khupe stood for the BOPEU National Appeals Board under the Monakwe ticket.

Monakwe would have expected Mekgwe to back him having installed him as the first deputy president at the ill-fated Palapye Congress of 2020, which has since been nullified by the courts, rendering Mekgwe’s appointment void.

Khupe also has another former Monakwe ally Matilda Masame as her deputy president candidate. Masame can be credited for igniting the BOPEU battles as she was the antagonist in the first factional war that toppled Mogwera in 2019, during the run-up to the Kasane Congress. At the time Masame was the second deputy president.

Monakwe is also without his second deputy president Patricia Raditladi who has decided to stand on a different ticket, a development that perhaps confirms that Monakwe is on his own.

The fourth presidential candidate is Isaac Marobela, himself a former presidential candidate in the Monakwe faction at the last elective congress in Kasane, where he lost to Mogwera.

This time though, it would seem Marobela has cast away any association with Monakwe, and would rather take him on instead. Kebonye Watota, is the fifth presidential candidate in the BOPEU elections but is generally seen as lightweight by any of the other candidates.

President Mogwera will still have Martin Gabobake, who stood on her ticket as her first deputy president at Kasane, but lost to Monakwe.

Gabobake is this time standing for the treasurer position on Mogwera’s slate while trusted lieutenant, Mothusi Mojela, who fought many court battles alongside Mogwera to return the president to office, is contesting for the first deputy president position.

Editor's Comment
Happy Independence!

We are 56 years old and what do we have to show for it? Looking at where Botswana started and where it is today, there are a lot of developments, but whether the developments match the number of years we have enjoyed as a country is a topic for another day.The fact that cannot be denied is we have seen major developments, but we are still lacking in several pertinent areas.Our beautiful country imports almost everything. We import fuel, food,...

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