Panzirah-Matshome dies

Portia Mlilo
LATE; Roseline Panzirah -Matshome

Section of BPF cadres suspect foul play

Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) founding Secretary General, Roseline Panzirah Matshome has died.

The fiery and charismatic politician who was not afraid to speak up her mind died at Sidilega Private Hospital following what was reportedly a heart attack.

However some suspicious but scared membes of the BPF said they could not rule out the possibility of foul play in the political maverick’s demise unless an independent autopsy is done.

The outspoken SG was one of those who played a role in the formation of the BPF after defecting from the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) in 2019.

One of the grieving cadres, who preferred not to be named for fear of victimization, compared Panzirah Matshome’s death to that of a Zimbabwean activist, Patson Dzamara of Zimbabwe.

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“Dzamara was allegedly diagnosed with cancer which eventually resulted in a heart attack, It was suspected that he was poisoned by Polonium-210,” said the concerned mourner who went on to explain that P210 is a poison that allegedly causes cancer, which accelerates to heart attack within six to eight months.

When asked about the issue of Matshome’s independent autopsy, BPF Patron former president, Ian Khama said, “Under the circumstances it is understandable why BPF members want it to be done.” However he did not elaborate further on which circumstances he was referring to.

Asked about his alleged escape of attempted P210 poisoning in one of the camps in the Okavango Delta, Khama said, “I cannot deny that I was informed of such an attempt. I was told I escaped because I did not come to the location as expected”. Khama has reiterated in different interviews with different media houses that his life was in danger.

Meanwhile BPF President Biggie Butale steered clear of foul play allegations and described Matshome as a hardworking woman who gave her all in administration and campaign work.


Describing her death as a great loss to the family, BPF and the nation at large, Butale said it is rare to find such commitment in today’s politics.

“She was a pro women empowerment activist and her commitment and energy was unmatched. That aspect of gender activism has suffered a big blow. She believed women are as capable as men. She was a frank and open person. We have lost a hard worker and we are still shocked. It was a short illness, which progressed very fast. She was hopeful she would get better. May Her Soul Rest in Eternal Peace,” said Butale

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