* BNF activists are reported to be divided over her departure * We are Batswana before belonging to political parties - Dr. Nkoane

Former Botswana National Front Women’s League (BNFWL) president, Dr Bonang Nkoane, who resigned recently from her party has joined the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), Botswana Guardian has been reliably told.

Nkoane who took over the BNFWL in 2022 does not need any introduction. She is a scholar and a lecturer at the University of Botswana Chemistry Department since 2009 where she climbed the ladder from Analytical

Chemistry to Senior Lecturer - Analytical Chemistry teaching students from all levels, 100 to PhD level; in addition to teaching analytical methodologies.

Botswana Guardian has it in good authority that Nkoane and other new members were going to be introduced at the BDP Women’s press conference scheduled for last Sunday, but it was cancelled due to the tight operating schedule of the Chairperson of the BDP Women’s Wing, and Minister of Finance, Peggy Serame.

Although Botswana Guardian confirms that Nkoane has certainly joined the BDP, neither her nor the BDP were in position to confirm or deny.

In her diplomatic response, Nkoane said, “My focus is on my personal life, my professional career and contributing towards nation building. We are first Batswana before we belong to any one of these political parties and our alliance must be towards the country first. Needless to say, I may choose to assist some women in their campaign towards 2024 as time goes on,” she said.

BDP spokesperson, Kagelelo Kentse could neither shed any light save to say, “The BDP will be extremely excited if Dr Nkoane was to join the party, she is a valuable asset and will definitely add value to the party.”

Those close to Nkoane said she has always been inclined towards the politics of the BNF, simply because of its socio-economic principles that strive towards equality of all communities in Botswana.

They say she started as a young girl whose father was a Botswana Peoples Party (BPP) activist in the 1970s. But he left active politics at the end of that decade to assume his position as headman for boora-Malakana.

Sources at the BNF said during Nkoane’s formative years, the current Member of Parliament for Jwaneng Mabutsane Constituency, Mephato Reatlile, who was a close family friend, became one of the people who inspired her as he was entrenched in the BNF philosophy. Nkoane became interested in the BNF and then followed it silently.

It was not until 2014 when she decided to take membership of the BNF and started being active, for she believed that change of government was good for democracy of any country. Because of her meaningful contribution, in 2022 she stood for the presidency of the BNF Women’s League and won.

They say she has always wanted the BNF Women’s League to be visible and for women to stand for elections in large numbers. And as such she, (the BNF) participated in a Gender Audit facilitated by EISA.

The audit helped the organisation to come up with objectives of what they wanted to achieve. The BNFWL was focused on achieving its objectives and brought hope to many women within the BNF.

Because she believes that leadership of any organisation is the same, even if it is a political party, she emphasised the need to have a roadmap that is followed, and all work towards a common goal where there is collective leadership with democratic centralism guiding decision making.

Sources close to her say unfortunately, at the BNF this was not the case, they had a leader in Adv. Duma Boko who allegedly could not and did not work with his Central Committee. They accuse him of using the Executive Committee (EC) to reverse decisions of the CC, and implement them without having been ratified by the CC.

It is said that the CC found itself working round in circles, creating a lot of internal chaos which extended to the lower structures to the extent of fuelling divisions and factionalism throughout the BNF.

Those who still wanted Nkoane claim that she felt it was pointless to remain in such an environment where she was "wasting her resources” for nothing hence, her resignation to focus on her personal and professional life.

Nkoane‘s close associates say having been in the public eye, almost every political party has approached her after learning of her resignation from the BNF.

Her professional career includes over 20 years’ experience as a quality control and quality assurance practitioner spanning over three institutions, Botswana Bureau of Standards, Botswana Metal refinery and University of Botswana.

She oversaw optimisation of Botswana Metal Refinery processes – a portfolio she influenced its creation, saving the company money and improving the quality of products.

She was also Chairperson of Botswana Testing Laboratory System (BTLS - an association of testing laboratories), responsible for development and implementation of its strategy.