- Is expected to face Ambassador Dorcus Makgato
As the battle for the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) primary elections intensifies in Tswapong South, Deric Ramaano has emerged as the party pooper for Dorcus Makgato.
For some time now, the name of Botswana’s High Commissioner to Australia has been the only one making the rounds in the constituency for the primaries.
However, while Ramaano has neither denied nor confirmed his parliamentary aspirations, a man believed to be one of his foot soldiers, Oscar Diboko, has confirmed it.
“I can confirm that Ramaano has declared his interest and is busy making inroads in preparation for the BDP primary elections,” he said in an interview. “This means he will face Dorcus Makgato, who has also has been preparing herself.
“Democrats have welcomed him in Tswapong South and see him as the credible candidate to upset Makgato. In addition to his home village of Ramokgonami, Ramaano enjoys huge support in most wards in the constituency.”
Diboko said most people behind former public servant – who is now a Pan-Africanist and human rights activist – believe he is the only credible person who can reclaim the constituency for the ruling party after it was lost to opposition in the 2019 general elections.
“Since independence, this constituency was under the BDP until it was lost in 2019 when Makgato was the parliamentary candidate,” Diboko said.
“Our belief is that we lost the constituency to opposition in 2019 because of divisions that engulfed democrats in the constituency. People believe that as a new entrant, Ramaano can end the factions.”
While Makgato seems to have kept his aspiration a secret and recently dismissed allegations of politicking when contacted by this publication, facts on the ground point to a different story.
This was also recently raised by the incumbent MP, Dr Kesitegile Gobotswang, in a letter of complaint to the Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP), Emma Peloetletse, in which he accused Makgato of misconduct and abuse of public office and wanted her investigated.
“Makgato, who is a former minister as well as a former MP for Sefhare-Ramokgonami, toured the constituency on a mission of a partisan political nature,” he wrote.
“During her visit, without any justification, she toured Borotsi Clinic that is currently under construction. She also visited Sefhare Primary School and Sefhare Junior Secondary School where she donated cash totalling P20 000 without disclosing the source of funds.
“As the area MP, I was neither made aware of nor invited to these events that were graced by a person who represents the President of Botswana in Australia.
“This clearly indicates that these were partisan frolics of her own calculated to endear her to the people of Tswapong South. It is however unclear as to who facilitated these visits to the constituency.”