Kenneth Masego Segokgo has been named the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) parliamentary candidate for Tlokweng constituency in the upcoming bye-election after the death of Member of Parliament for that constituency, Same Bathobakae.
A former science teacher for 10 years, Segokgo is a qualified Educationalist from the University of Botswana.
Voice Journalist, Onneile Setlalekgosi speaks to the parliamentary hopeful about his nominations and plans for the future.
Q: Congratulations on your nomination as the UDC parliamentary candidate for Tlokweng constituency. How did you emerge as the UDC’s preferred choice?
Thank you. Proper consultations were done. There were two candidates that showed interest.
Tlokweng councilor, who is also a sub-council chairperson Mma Nkwe, had indicated her interested but the party convinced her to fulfill her councilor duties, and because I had no role that people had elected me to, I became the chosen one.
I have been the constituency chairperson, so I guess that’s one of the reasons that informed the decision to nominate me.
Q. You worked closely with the health fraternity in the past. What prompted you to join politics?
I got the inspiration from my late father, Phaladi Kefeletswe Segokgo years back. He was a BNF activist, and he served as a councillor around 1999.
I took a deliberate step to be active in politics after retirement from the civil service.
I was a Science teacher for many years at Mater Spei Senior School in Francistown. I produced impressive results during my time.
I used to lead a school club dubbed Pledge 25, which was mainly for the youths.
Through the club experience, I ended up serving at the Health fraternity as a National Recruitment Coordinator at National Blood Transfusion Centre.
Q. What legacy would you like to leave if you were to be elected Member of Parliament?
If I win during the upcoming By-election, I would definitely prioritise land issues.
It is one of the sensitive issues that really need to be dealt with urgently.
I would also like to leave a legacy of empowered women so If I got elected an MP, I would table a motion that Women’s Day, which falls on March 08th be declared a public holiday.
Women and their contribution to the economy must be appreciated.
Q. Talking of women, in your view, how do you see representation of women in local politics?
Women’s participation in politics is akin to women’s participation in church.
Many women are in politics but few are in leadership positions, just as women fill up churches but pastors are mainly men.
Q. As an Educationist, What do you have for unemployed youth?
It’s all about bringing back the jobs. We are exporting many jobs from here.
Some of the minerals such as Soda Ash are exported to be processed outside the country instead of doing it right here at home to create more jobs.
Q. Looking at the fact that a woman held this constituency, do you think you are ready to fit in her big shoes?
Those are big shoes to fill indeed; the late Same Bathobakae was a political powerhouse.
She was the BNF’s Vice Chairperson, she had so much responsibility within the party, but I hope I will be able to fill in and surpass what she was able to do.
Q. Who will you be up against?
I have no idea yet, BDP has not availed a candidate.
Q. Since you have been an activist for many years, what’s your view on Botswana politics?
The government is not encouraging democracy.
Opposition parties should be funded and there should be fair coverage of the ruling party and opposition party on Botswana television (BTV)