Moitoi opens up
Minister of Educationand Skills Development,PelonomiVenson-Moitoi has said that shewants to become the BotswanaDemocratic Party (BDP) chairpersonin order to offer assistanceas far as the institutionalidentity of the party is concerned.Speaking in an exclusive interviewwith The Gazette onMonday afternoon, Moitoi said itwas time for her to do somethingfor the party. On the institutionalidentity of the party, she said thehistory of the party was not documentedsuffi ciently for the nextgeneration.“This is something that I knowI can offer the BDP.
I have tobuild this institutional memory.We have never had a womanchairing this party and I haveasked myself why not. I believethat the BDP women will giveme support and that will be evidentin Maun,” she said.Asked why Assistant Ministerof Local Government and RuralDevelopment Botlogile Tshireletsowas not happy when namedin her lobby list, Moitoi said theyare currently in talks with Tshireletso.“I believe in consulting. Iexplained to my team that mywish is to see the BDP womenforming part of the central committee.I have every reason to believethat my team also believe inthat,” she said.Moitoi admitted that she askedveteran politician Patrick Balopi,who was also running for theposition of party chairperson,to yield. “He is an elder that Iworked with for many years.Fortunately, he was my Ministerat Home Affairs while I wasDeputy Permanent Secretary.I am not ashamed to say I haveasked him to yield in realisinghis eldership.
I am happy thathe yielded in support of womenand I am honoured to say that heshowed that he knows how I operate.At the end of the day weare all members of the BDP andwe just happen to be in a contest.He is an additional member inmy lobby list,” said Moitoi.Moitoi, who has youthfulMember of Parliament for GaboroneWest South; Botsalo Ntuanein her campaign team, is convincedthat her campaign is movingon the right direction.On allegations that some of theUnions have endorsed her, shesaid, “Unions are public offi cers,they are not supposed to meddlein politics. So their endorsementof me in politics should havenever been a feature in the fi rstplace. I would have never soughttheir support politically.
”She said that in the beginning,her relationship with the Unionswas hostile. She said that hostilitywas due to lack of proper consultationsfrom the Ministry onissues that affected the Unions.“I don’t think it was personal,we fought a lot for the last twothree years and eventually theyrealised that on some occasionsI was right. What I did was toopen doors to share informationbetween me and them. The importantthing was to say everythingthe way it was and stick tothe rules. We still do not agree ona few things but we understandeach other,” she said.She said if she wins at theMaun congress, she would considerit a victory if at least thecentral committee is made up ofa minimum three women, hopingthat the president will nominateone to make them four altogether.
“That is the bare minimum,which one hopes for,” Moitoiadded.Questioned why the womencongress ended without resolutionsshe said, “I left the congressa little bit earlier. Those are issuesof growth in the party. Wesometimes have to do a lot oftraining as women. We shouldhave seminars as well. Those arethe kinds of things I will addressif I win. I do things because I havea job to do. I do not do things tobuy any position. I am surprisedthat all of a sudden people areasking whether I will cope. Yes,I am busy but I will cope becauseI have done it before. There is anold English saying that ‘if youwant anything to be done, takeit to a busy person because theyknow how to be busy’.”Reached for comment, Ntuanesaid he could not confi rm or denywhether he is on Moitoi’s campaigningteam.
According to University of BotswanaPolitical Science lecturerLeonard Sesa Venson Moitoi’scampaign for the chair will havea profound impact, not only onthe party but on her individualpolitical career looking forwardto the 2014 general elections.Sesa said, “she has had a toughtime dealing with the Ministry(Education and Skills Development)and failure to capture thechair with the perceived supportfrom the President would showweakness on her part and notrefl ect well to her constituency(Serowe South).”He said Venson Moitoi’s camplooks to be confi dent as she issaid to have much support fromparty elders including that of thePresident but should be wary ofdescending voices in the party.On factions, Sesa said whilethey will raise their ugly headsleading to the congress, PresidentKhama’s lack of tolerancetoward them will lessen theireffectiveness, “He doesn’t careabout factions, and so his fi rmapproach will quell them.”