The amiable Shima Monageng is taking on the formidable MP for Molepolole South, Daniel Kwelagobe in the fight for the hearts and minds of BDP members in the next primary elections.
Monageng, fondly known to many as ‘Uncle Shima’ has challenged the political heavy weight twice before and lost but the man clearly still has some stamina left in him for round three.
The gentle and versatile Shima who is equally known for his DJ skills and love for Jazz as he is for politics recently had a chat with Voice reporter, Daniel Kenosi about what makes him tick.
Good day Shima Monageng. It’s a pleasure having you on my political seat.
Pleasure is mine.
Q. A lot of people would know you as a DJ. Where did you and politics meet?
I think as people say, politics is part of life and those who want to think that they are apolitical are simply fooling themselves.
I have been in a way politically awake from a long time but I decided to become active in politics when I became the Chairman of the Kweneng Rural Development Association (KRDA) because it simply opened my eyes.
I came to the realization that for me to help develop Molepolole I needed to be active in politics. That is when I felt
I could try my luck to become an MP and hopefully push developments from parliament hence my proposition to become the BDP candidate for Molepolole South in the next general elections.
Q. What does it take then for one to be a Chairman of such a big organization like KRDA?
This is an organization that helps bring developments to Molepolole. The candidates are chosen from the Kgotla.
I showed interest and people voted me in after that the board decided that they wanted me as the chairman. I was lucky to be elected as the chairman.
Q. Why then would you want to go to parliament when you playing such a significant role at KRDA already?
The reason I want to go to parliament like I said earlier, is to go push for development from the top. I think advocating for more developments is the primary role an MP should play. I take it that you have noticed that our president goes out to lure investors to Botswana and by doing that he doesn’t point out a specific village but does that for Botswana and I take it that when those investors come then an MP should do his best to lure them to his village or town but surprisingly we see Molepolole lagging behind.
An MP should also unite his constituents and this is also lacking in Molepolole. We are divided because there is no unifying factor.
Q. Sounds like you want to say the incumbent DK Kwelagobe has failed Molepolole and its people?
I don’t think there is any MP in this country who can say he has done better but there is always room for improvement.
Having challenged Daniel Kwelagobe was my way of saying there is need for change and change for better not worse Daniel Kwelagobe became an MP over forty years ago and I take it that he is now old and tired.
Q. But you are campaigning on a ticket of party which has been in power for over 40 years like Kwelagobe. It is the same BDP led Government that has failed to bring the development you wish to see in Molepolole. How would you bring change within that set up?
Come on, there’s National Development Plans for the country. It is when this cake is cut that an active MP should fight hard to get the largest share for his constituency.
If you just remain silent then development to your constituency will lag behind.
The MP has to be vocal but if you just remain silent no one will remember you.
Q. But there is an outcry from opposition benches that Government always favour BDP candidates when allocating developments making it appear as if opposition members are useless and don’t advocate for development in their areas. De-campaigning them in a way.
That is totally not true.
The Government is led by BDP and we have professionals in offices who are qualified for their jobs and I don’t think they will ever allow such.
People just say that to gain political mileage. BDP has more councilors and MPs and in most cases it would appears as if they are favoured.
BDP has been in power for over forty years. Don’t you think it has over stayed?
It has been here even before you were born, that’s true but what I always tell people is that BDP doesn’t force itself into power but Batswana continue to vote it back which shows that they still trust it.
If your grandparents have been together for over fifty years, would you ever suggest that they part ways because they have been together for long and I guess my example answers you well.
Unless if your grandparents are not in good terms of course in which case they should divorce.
Q. But if my grandfather is said to be using unscrupulous tactics to keep my grandmother I would suggest they part, which brings me to a point that BDP is said to be at an advantage because it uses Government resources to campaign- a disadvantage to opposition parties. Your take on that?
People sometime just talk because they can. We have the Ombudsman and courts.
If BDP is using Government resources, people have the right to take it to court.
If there is anyone out there who feels BDP is using Government resources to campaign then they should march to court.
Q. The same judges at court are appointed by the BDP leader, President Ian Khama who happens to have more powers than anyone so in that case our courts are useless.
Let’s respect the judges’ professional intellect. I have never heard of any judge who has resigned under pressure.
I have never heard of anyone complaining that BDP leaders are interfering with their job.
Of course they fear being victimized. Most of them retire at seventy.
Come on!! Do you think someone at that age would fear being victimized?
Some of them are foreign and if they feel they are not free they would have long gone back to their countries but all is well so no BDP leader is interfering with their job.
Q. We hear you want to challenge DK for the third time. What gives you confidence that you will make it this time around?
It must be clear that I am the only person who has put his name forward to challenge DK in the next primary elections.
I hope my party will give me the green light to contest. If they give me the chance I will definitely be ready to take DK on. I am like a boxer.
It doesn’t matter whether my opponent is a giant or not I will I will throw my jabs until the old man gets tired. I have what it takes to lead Molepolole South.
I have challenged him twice and now he knows that there is competition.
Q. Talking about DK, he has been in parley for over forty years. What do you think should be an ideal age or term for an MP to stay in parliament?
Times change and I take it that one should be around parliament for two terms and if you still feel you have the energy then it should be three terms only.
You should leave office whilst people still love and respect you.
Q. DK was recently spotted giving out blankets in almost all his wards; you did the same last week. I take it that it’s now President Khama’s hobby to give out blankets. Is that a new BDP campaign strategy?
Heheheh!! We give out blankets because that is what the business community is willing to give for us to pass on to the poor.
I don’t blame my party members for doing that and the good that you do will follow you so that certainly means people who have received the blankets will remember us when voting.
Q. Do you think the BDP’s next congress will be a do or die event?
I don’t think so.
The youth wing congress went well, women’s wing was successful as well and the party congress will be a major success as well and we can bet on that one.
Q. Have you heard of the new kid on the block? That is the Umbrella party.
Yes!! It exists in Molepolole and I have heard much about the BMD but its dying a slow death because the people who formed it are going back to the ruling BDP. Umbrella exists because of Khan in Molepolole but if he was not there it would have long collapsed.
Q. We thank you for your time and wish you all the best as you take on DK.
Cheers!! I hope I will get the green card to take on him.