Taking a breather from Politics

Daniel Chida
FORMER MAYOR: Kagiso Thutlwe
The once-controversial City Mayor, Kagiso Thutlwe who was popularly referred to as ‘Vho Mayor’ has gone off the limelight since losing elections in 2019.

Thutlwe was in office for only one term before the Botswana Democratic Party reclaimed the mayoral chain.

The Voice Staffer, DANIEL CHIDA speaks with the man who was once seen by some in the political circles as the future Member of Parliament for Gaborone Central.

Q. How has life been since you left office?

Life post the mayoral office has been good.

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I’ve been focusing more on spending time with family.

It has also been a perfect and opportune time to give more time to business adventures.

All in all, it has been a refresher to just live a life away from the glaring flashlights of everyday.

Q. The BNF congress is on the cards and your name is not mentioned in any faction, why?

BNF congress is on the cards you are right, but you are wrong to attribute us to factions.

We don’t have factions at the BNF, rather it’s temporary groupings often referred to as lobby groups.

Even the constitution of the party makes it explicitly clear on the issue of lobby groups.

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Answering your question, I’m fully behind President Duma Boko and the lobby group he is part of.

Remember this is just an internal contestation of comrades and being in support of Boko for renewal of the mandate doesn’t mean I have a problem with other comrades contesting for the same.

If congress takes a decision otherwise, as a disciplined cadre of the party I would subject myself to the decision.

BNF prides itself on democratic centralism principles!

Q.You were once touted as Gaborone Central’s future MP; do you still have any interest in contesting for that constituency?

A coalition is a complex organisation and must be handled with care.

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Any comment might be misconstrued and used to spark internal robust debates and engagements.

As such constituencies are placed under the management of affiliate partners, and if the said constituency is under the care of the BNF, I was definitely going to contest.

Remember I once contested in 2009 so it won’t be something new or challenging.

Q.If brought back as mayor what will you do differently?

If brought back as the mayor I would definitely push for decentralization of power to the local government and have independence away from the central government in terms of budget, planning, and governance.

I have no doubt whatsoever that once this has been achieved, all would fall in place.

It will be much easier to have an economy that is inclusive, job-rich, and pro-poor.

Furthermore, I would push for modernization of our infrastructure rail, road, telecommunications, water, and connectivity.

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Even reform the business environment to accelerate domestic investment and increase inflows of foreign direct investment.

Above all, we need to set Botswana firmly on the path to readiness for the 4th Industrial Revolution.

I can spend all day here sharing brilliant ideas for the city and its economic potential but the real change lies with decentralization of power to local government and has executive powers to our cities, towns, and districts.

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That is the focus and once we have that it would be much easier for the local government to set its own agenda with its own budget.

Q. Why is it that your party members and those of the Botswana Congress Party are always at each other’s throats on social media?

Politics by nature is a ground for the contestation of ideas, at times they can be robust debates.

What is very unfortunate is to have members of the BNF and BCP abusing the robust debates and descend to a discourse that appears as internal fighting.

We must encourage members to debate issues robustly and engage each with respect and civility at proper forums and structures.

What ought to be done is to strengthen our internal disciplinary processes and develop a social media policy that governs activists and members on social media. My opinion!

Alliance for Progressives (AP) and Botswana Patriotic Front(BPF)are on the verge of forming a working relationship with UDC towards 2024, your take?

AP and BPF must be part of the coalition to consolidate into one going to the 2024 general elections, and I must hasten to state that I’m personally happy that the leadership of the two parties and that of the coalition are at the table for negotiations meant to bring the two to the fold.

They need to be given space to wrap it up and maybe be urged to do much more quickly.

The members on the ground are already united.

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