The lion of Letlhakeng

Daniel Chida
NEWLY ELECTED: Letlhakeng District Council Chairperson, Anderson Mathibe

Mathibe roars to power in new council

The controversial kid of politics, Anderson Mathibe’s career hit a new high this week when he was elected Chairperson of the recently upgraded Letlhakeng District Council.

The 34-year-old Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) member scraped to victory, overcoming his suspended comrade, Meshack Tshenyego by nine votes to seven.

The council is made up of 16 councillors, including 10 from the BDP and six from the opposition.

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The Voice’s DANIEL CHIDA caught up with the ambitious young man who first joined the ruling party in 2009 before abruptly resigning on the eve of the 2014 general elections to contest for parliament as an Independent Candidate in Letlhakeng-Lephephe. It proved an ill-fated decision as he was soundly beaten at the polls.

Mathibe briefly found a home within the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) before retracing his steps to the BDP in 2016, where he remains to this day….

Congratulations on your new position, did you see that coming?

After the announcement was made that our sub-council was among those which were to be upgraded into a full council, I received calls from people telling me that my chance was now.

They told me that our council will need a young leader with great vision. I consulted with people in our area and they advised me to go for it hence I didn’t hesitate to raise my hand.

  • Why?

This is solely because I have for a very long time made an assessment as to how our fellow residents would benefit out of this new development.

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  • As a relative new comer to council, were you not afraid of sabotage from jealous colleagues?

I may be new in council but I have been working with all of them at party level including the house. I have trust in our members. Some of the opposition assured me of their votes too but since voting is confidential you will never know who did what. What is left is to deliver.

  • What should people expect from you?

Although there is not much time left before we talk of the next general elections, our area has been a bit behind in developments. As the new captain and aligning with our President, Mokgweetsi Masisi’s vision, I promise to deliver on a number of things, such as untapped agricultural opportunities despite the unused land we have.

Youth unemployment is high and we have to come with measures as council to absorb some of them or create jobs. We have parastatals that can be engaged to train them so they sustain themselves.

There is no mechanism in place for consultations as we need different opinions ka Motswana a re Moroto wa o esi ga o elele. We need frameworks that will strengthen collaboration amongst ourselves. We need to make decisions as a collective in order to pave the way for ownership and commitment amongst our communities.

  • Anything else?

There is need for prompt implementation of projects in line with our 2019 party manifesto and the President’s roadmap. We cannot operate parallel to that. There is also need for formulation of Council Strategy and align it with the country’s vision.

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Taking developments and council to the people will bridge the gap between local government and communities. Since there is need for funds to achieve all our dreams we have to formulate ideas of multiple and alternative streams of revenue to curb dependence on Central Government.

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