Long-time Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) stalwart Jacob Dickie Nkate has decided to hang up his political gloves after he lost the primary elections over the weekend.
The maverick former cabinet minister and ambassador lost to incumbent MP for Ngami Thato Kwerepe by a margin of 449 after he garnered 2233 votes against Kwerepe’s 2682. Speaking to the Botswana Gazette on Monday evening, Nkate said even though he noted some irregularities especially with the voters roll, he has decided to accept his fate and move on with his life.
‘‘I have so many things I can do with my life and continuing to fight in politics is not one of them. I am tired, my family is also tired and as such I have taken a bold decision to call it quits’’, the outspoken former MP for Ngami said.
He confessed that he didn’t anticipate a loss in the primaries given the hard work he had put into his campaign. ‘‘To be honest with you, I didn’t see it coming. Victory was certain but it was never to be’’, Nkate revealed.
Asked whether he would stand for election in the central committee at the party’s congress in 2019, Nkate said he was over and done with active politics and therefore would not be standing for any position in the party. ‘‘I will not even seek to attend the congress as a delegate,’’ said the former BDP Secretary General, affectionately called Ramma by his close associates. In fact, Ramma is the name fondly used by Nkate when addressing his peers. His mother affectionately calls him Radisente.
A lawyer by profession, Nkate has held several leadership positions both in the party and government. He has served in the BDP Youth League and the Central Committee as Secretary General. During his time in parliament, Nkate was appointed to cabinet and served as Minister at various Government Ministries. After losing the Ngami Constituency to the opposition in 2009, Nkate was appointed Chief Executive Officer at the then Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority (BEDIA). Then President Ian Khama later appointed him Botswana ambassador to Japan. On his return from Japan, he contested for Secretary General position at the BDP congress in Tonota where he lost to Mpho Balopi.
The 57 year old free-spirited lawyer-cum-politician is married to Queena Nkate and with whom he has 3 sons, Mogamisi , Seele and Bame. He also has a daughter, Tebogo. He counts former President Festus Mogae as his role model.