Kehetile, the reluctant politician

Kehetile was inspired by President Ian Khama to join politics
Kehetile was inspired by President Ian Khama to join politics

FRANCISTOWN: Although it was Thatayaone Tshuba Kehetile’s time to try his luck for a political position, he surprised many by clinching the Dukwi ward during last year’s general elections.

“I am not a career politician. It is my conviction that we are all created equal with dignity to reach our highest human potential. But too often, there are structures that make it only the few and privileged to have a good life. I am ready to stand up for the people of Dukwi so that they can live dignified lives,” said the Dukwi councillor Kehetile, the first in his family to break into politics.

The cherry on top is that at 35, the tourism management graduate of the Durban University of Technology in South Africa currently holds the title as the village’s youngest councillor.

He said President Ian Khama’s grassroots political approach inspired him to develop deep interest in politics. Business magnate and former Member of Parliament David Magang also inspired Kehetile to love politics. “I would one day wish to become successful in life like Khama and Magang. They are down to earth people who easily interact with anyone regardless of their (people) social status. Khama and Magang are visionary and pragmatic politicians,” said Kehetile adding that he took some pointers in Magang’s book The Magic of Perseverance.

Although this was Kehetile’s first race, he said he joined the BDP in 1993 and wants to serve only two terms in order to see the implementation of some of his motions.

“Right now motions that were passed by my predecessors have just been implemented. It would be nice to see my motions implemented while I am still the village councillor. However, the people of Dukwi will determine if I stay for two terms or not,” he said. Leading a village that has been resident to the refugee communities for decades, Kehetile’s biggest headache is livestock theft. He notes that some locals connive with rogue refugees to steal livestock belonging to Dukwi residents and neighbouring villages.

“Most of us in Botswana depend on farming to sustain our lives. So you can imagine the difficulties that will affect most households if thieves steal their livestock with reckless abandon,” said Kehetile.

He stated that the BDP government is aware that a lot of people in Dukwi and the country at large especially the youth are not employed but should also not rest on their laurels and expect government to cater for all their needs. He however, advises them to utilise current programmes geared towards improving their livelihoods. The councillor said that currently there is no post office in Dukwi, which forces residents to go to Sowa Town every month to collect their old age pension and mail.

“This is one challenge that I wish to address during my tenure. I sometimes have to transport elders to go and get their pension at Sowa Town because some of them have no means of doing so,” said Kehetile.

“There is no storm water drainage system in our village and I plan to have addressed this during my tenure. The lack of the drainage system is a ticking time bomb because it leaves some households literally subdued in water during the rainy season,” said Kehetile.

In addition, he said plans to open a trust fund that can generate money for the village so as to avoid total reliance on government, are underway.

“The trust fund will come in very handy for the Village Development Committee which needs funds to carry out some of its projects,” said Kehetile who campaigned on the ‘five B’ pillars of batho pele (community first), botho (humidity), boineelo (devotion), boikgapho (discipline) and boamaruri (honesty).

Before venturing into politics, Kehetile worked as a Land Board member for Marapong Sub-Land Board from 2007 to 2017. “I have never worked in tourism since I graduated in 2004,” he was quick to explain.

He is currently the vice-chairperson of the community and social development committee at the Central District Council, and a member of the finance committee.

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