MOSHUPA: Moshupa/Manyana constituents are concerned about the whereabouts of their area Member of Parliament (MP) and also Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security, Karabo Gare.
Instead, the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Political Education Committee (PEC), met with party members to try to ask members to compromise if possible or follow the party proper procedure if primary elections were to be held. Already over 10 members have shown interest in contesting for the Moshupa East council by-election, which will be held on December 18, 2021. “This is worrisome because there is no communication from the MP’s office on what is happening with our MP.
As residents, we do not want to know what he is suffering from but to communicate to say that he is well or not. There are a lot of things going on in the constituency that need him to attend to or to explain them to residents,” a concerned resident said. “For example, MPs have been holding Kgotla meetings updating them about developments and other pending issues.” Early October, Mmegi tried to reach Gare to engage him on poor governance at state enterprises that fall under his ministry.
This was after it came to the fore that Botswana Meat Commission, National Food Technology Research Centre, National Agricultural Research and Development Institute (NARDI) appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Statutory Bodies and State Enterprises had summoned the Minister to answer for the leadership vacuums at the institutions.
Mmegi then reached out to Gare who referred questions to his assistant Beauty Manake stating that he was on leave. Manake would field the questions and eventually appeared before the parliamentary committee as the Acting Minister. Manake had even before then always been out there offering the ministerial duties more than Gare. She answered parliamentary questions, traversed the country with President Mokgweetsi Masisi as they gave away small stock.
These would raise suspicion to some that there could have been a fallout between Gare and Masisi and that there could have been plans to drop him from the Cabinet.
It has since emerged that Gare is unwell and currently on sick leave hence Manake is the Acting Minister and not Assistant. When reached for comment on the whereabouts of Gare, BDP chief whip Liakiat Kablay said the Minister is on sick leave and he had informed Parliament. “As the party, we know where he is and we cannot comment much on the matter. He had gone for a medical checkup and he will be back when he is better,” Kablay said in an interview on Thursday. Gare’s constituency office head, Ronald Lekokoma said people should not panic as Gare will be back in Parliament soon. “He has been on leave since last month. I however, cannot discuss reasons for his leave.
But I can assure the nation that he is doing well and will be back at work end of this month,” he said.