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Makgato admits to her impending cabinet chop

Makgato admits to her impending cabinet chop
February 19
11:11 2018

STAFF REPORTER

The feisty Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Women’s Wing president, Dorcas Makgato has made a sullen admission of her awareness that she will be dropped from her post as a cabinet minister once Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi attains full executive powers.

Makgato is the Minister of Health and Wellness.

This publication has seen a WhatsApp message exchange between Makgato and an opposition colleague where she appeared to have resigned herself to her dreary fate in the looming new dispensation.

The opposition politician who was once a BDP functionary and a leader in its structures before decamping to one of the opposition parties still maintains exceptionally close contact with former colleagues in different positions in the BDP.

Makgato, while speaking for herself in the WhatsApp exchange also mentioned that herself “and others” whom she did not name will be dropped from their cabinet posts post come April 1st.

Informed sources who spoke to this publication have stated that, like any other new president, Masisi is looking to consolidate his power and support base by reconfiguring the cabinet through positioning his loyalists to key posts.

They further noted that Masisi will also be seeking to mark a clear departure from the previous administration and to shake off widely held perceptions that he will be a mere Khama stooge.

Makgato, who is also Member of Parliament for Sefhare-Ramokgonami constituency, is said to have been roving in BDP circles that were against the leadership of Vice President Masisi towards the crucial Tonota congress.

She was believed to have been sympathetic to the alternative Nonofho Molefhi and Botsalo Ntuane nexus of power.

But now, since Masisi’s convincing evisceration of all opposition in the party at the elective congress last July, the fiery and brash minister who hasn’t lost any contest to Masisi stands out like a sore thumb with a huge bull’s eye on her person.

The same opposition politician also claimed that the fallout between Masisi and Makgato resulted from the latter pursuing a motion to topple Masisi from the heights of power in the party.

“She was pushing a motion sponsored by (President Ian) Khama to slap Masisi with a motion of no confidence. After Masisi agreed with Khama’s terms and conditions for when he assumes the presidency, he asked her (Makgato) to drop it, but Masisi was already aware of his true enemies,” the source stated.

“But she is very strong in the party and Masisi should play his ball wisely,” highlighted a source.

However, this publication has not managed to get the terms and conditions referred to by the source by press time.

Besides Makgato, the Global Post has been made to understand that Masisi has already bandied about four names that will either be ejected from ministerial portfolios and or demoted to lower ministries.

It is said Masisi is contemplating dropping Sadique Kebonang from the Ministry of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security.

The number one reason is said to be Kebonang’s failure to show explicit loyalty to Masisi who was instrumental in his ascension to the ministerial post.

Rather, it is said he continued to maintain a perplexing loyalty to Khama.

Other ministers whom it has been claimed are living on borrowed time include Alfred Madigele, Biggie Butale, and Thapelo Olopeng whom claims have been made he will be shipped off to “a smaller ministry.”

Olopeng’s assistant in the Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development Kefentse Mzwinila is tipped to succeed him.

When contacted for comment Makgato told this reporter that the “real Makgato” has left her phone behind.

She then professed ignorance on the allegations before blasting off: “It’s a Sunday, ga ke a theogela.”

She continued to state: “You don’t have news, so you want to make me your story. Go and talk to those who gave you the story and finish it there. If you write anything besides what I said, ga rena go utlwana.”

For his part, Butale noted that as far as he was concerned, Masisi valued his contribution and that he will be surprised if he is dropped from his cabinet portfolio.

Apart from the cabinet ministers this publication has been made to understand that MP for Nata-Gweta Polson Majaga, MP for Francistown East Billy Buti, Francistown West legislator Ignatius Moswaane and the party chief whip Letlhakeng-Lephepe legislator Liakat Kablay are not in Masisi’s plans.

 

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