* BDP structures in Sefhare-Ramokgonami Constituency divided

Divisions are sinking deep in the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) in the Sefhare-Ramokgonami Constituency, following claims that former area MP and now Ambassador Dorcas Makgato will be coming back to reclaim the constituency.

Makgato, who is a former cabinet member in both current President Mokgweetsi Masisi and former President Ian Khama’s administrations lost the constituency to incumbent area MP Dr. Kesitegile Gobotswang. Dr Gobotswang recently reported Makgato to President Masisi for allegedly campaigning in the constituency, while she is a public servant.

BDP, which has been in control of the constituency since independence, lost it to the opposition during the 2019 general election which was said to have been influenced by former president Khama who had a fallout with the ruling party and went on to form the BDP-offspring, Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF).

Makgato, who recently visited the constituency is said to be destined for a major comeback, a move which is supported by the party structures, especially the Letswapo Region and Branch leadership. This is said to have unsettled fellow democrats who wanted to participate in the coming Bulela Ditswe.

Some of the BDP members who support those who are to go toe-to-toe with Makgato are said to have expressed their concern with the party leadership. Makgato was reported to the president by Dr. Gobotswang after she pledged and went ahead to support football teams from the constituency for a soccer tournament.

Information reaching Botswana Guardian, is that the complaint is from democrats who support University of Botswana Academic Leonard Sesa, who according to many was expected to sail through during the party’s primary elections. Sesa is said to be one of those close to the president and enjoys his support. The tables are said to have turned when the branch approached the party leadership and indicated that the only person who can give Dr. Gobotswang a run for his money is Makgato.

Makgato’s name in the football tournament and her recent visit to the constituency is said to have caused an uproar where she was accused of abuse of office by using the office of ambassadorship to gauge the momentum in the constituency.

Makgato told this publication that it is unfortunate that people use her public appearance for political mileage without informing themselves of her mandate.

She stated that as a representative of the country on behalf of the president, she can visit any area in the country as long as she spreads the government’s gospel being its programmes and policies.

“I am still a public servant serving under the directions of the president of this country. What I do has nothing to do with politics. Those who associate my work back home with politics are misleading the public.

“All I do when I am in the mother land is to assist my people in the little way I can. The focus should be mind-set change, how we build our communities and our country to become a high-income country, that is my focus even where I am,” Makgato said.

Branch Secretary Tekolo Gosego said he is aware of the rumour but dismissed it. He said no formal complaint has been launched with the branch.

According to Gosego they cannot dictate what Makgato should do, since whatever she does is not falling within the purview of the party.

“All we know is that when she is here it is because she is here on behalf of the president which is why her title is H.E. She will be doing things as a public servant. What we heard is that the football Organising committee approached a company she co-owns with her sons for sponsorship.

“They agreed to sponsor the tournament as the company and not as an individual with political ambitions. And for the record, the party has not issued a writ and the said culprit has not shown any interest.

“Once the writ is out, any BDP member in good standing can contest in line with party processes and procedure of our primary election rules and regulations,” Gosego responded.

Sesa told Botswana Guardian that he has no qualms with anyone. He said so far, he is happy where he is and rumours of being worried is news to him. Sesa who is currently reading for his PHD stated that several people have approached him asking him to represent them.

According to Sesa, he has not declared his candidature. Sesa confirmed that he was approached in 2020. Sesa who is the chairman of Lentswe La Batswapong is said to have been approached because of his community work. He indicated that he is still digesting the issue and will respond accordingly when the time is right.