Minister of Transport and Communications, Dorcas Makgato who is also the Chairperson of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Women’s wing has somewhat earned herself the reputation of an iron lady
This week Voice Reporter SHARON MATHALA spoke Makgato about why the Women’s Wing has surprisingly taken a back seat and refused to endorse the party’s first ever female Presidential hopeful Pelonomi Venson Moitoi.
With just a week before the much talked about historic Presidential election, Makgato has categorically stated that the women’s wing will never vote for someone simply because she is a woman.
Afternoon Minister can you start by first telling us why the party decided to postpone the women’s wing elections?
What you should note is that the women’s wing election will happen sometime this year.
We decided to postpone from the initial set date because we had received request from the BDP structures who had indicated that they would need to send three badges of delegates to Kang and that proved to be a burden on them.
We were asked to consider moving the election on that basis and after consulting the central committee and many other members of the party we decided to postpone the women’s wing election.
You are said to have apologized and mended your relationship with President Masisi sometime last year. Why did you decide to apologise?
Me apologise why? Look I have never belonged to any faction.
I will never belong to any faction so those who say I apologized to Rre Masisi for whatever reason are imagining things.
Why has the women’s wing not backed a Female Presidential hopeful?
We held a general assembly, which was in Mogoditshane back in December-which Mma Venson was a part of in her capacity as a Minister and a member of Parliament and she was actually presenting in the meeting- we took the resolution then that we will back President Masisi and his government for the next 10 years.
Mind you at the time Mma V had not indicated that she will not contest for any seat.
Why are you against Mma Venson’s decision to challenge for presidency?
It’s her right. I don’t hate her for it. It’s just that I don’t know her reasons for challenging the seating President.
Do you think the party will emerge united after the elections in Kang?
This is not the first time we go into a heated election and this is not the first time we have differences of opinion.
I don’t know why this particular election would make people suggest that we will come out of it divided.
The BDP has an instrument that guides it and that is the constitution and we will abide by it. We will host election, come out of Kang united and move on.
Do you believe President Masisi is the right man to drive the BDP to victory at the coming general elections?
He is the same man we endorsed as Vice President and the same man we endorsed as the President of Botswana last year.
I do not know what has changed or at least nothing has been brought to me that would suggest he is not fit enough.
He has laid out his road map for the country and has so far upheld his promises.
What are your thoughts on the Former President Ian Khama and HE Masisi feud? Do you think there is room for reconciliation?
Their feud, like you put, is for obvious reasons not an ideal situation not only for the BDP but for the country.
Their tension should not however derail us from what is important; this here is not about personalities.
This is about our country, Botswana.
There are talks of break always from the party, And new party formations. Is this the case on the ground within the BDP?
What break always, what is happening now is just difference of opinion and people exercising their rights as per the constitution.
We are going to Kang we will vote and come back to focus on running the country.
Will you be running for the Women’s wing chairperson again at the coming elections?
Yes I definitely will. I don’t see why not.
There are rumors that Mma Masisi has hinted she may want to run for your position, are you aware?
I have not heard of such rumors.
What efforts have you undertaken to increase women participation in politics?
One of our resolutions at the women’s wing general assembly was to advocate for an increase in the number of female specially elected councilors and women in leadership positions.
We have also decided to host more workshops on women participation in politics and also have taken a stand to encourage all our members to vote for women only.
But this time you will not vote for Mma Moitoi?
That is a different scenario altogether don’t confuse issues and ask me two questions in one.