The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) which has been denying the deployment of party cadres to government positions is secretly implementing the policy, The Patriot on Sunday has learnt. The idea was part of BDP secretary General Botsalo Ntuane party reforms during his campaign ahead of the Mmadinare congress. In his campaign document titled “BDP Reform Agenda Conversation; 22 Discussion Points” Ntuane called on the party to recalibrate their relations with government and reclaim the party authority over government.
“The party must lead government and not be subordinate as is the case presently. The voice of the party must be heard loud and clear on every single issue,” reads the document. There have been suspicions within the BDP that some senior public service employees were sabotaging government by either not implementing programmes or not taking them to the targeted people. One of the BDP’s target groups is the youth and Government has gone further to accelerate targeted programmes for this group. But some public servants have been accused of being slow in implementing the programmes.
After the General Elections the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture which is under one of President Ian Khama trusted ally Thapelo Olopeng came up with several programmes which were mostly targeting the youth. To show their seriousness with serving the youth, Government has appointed the former Vice Chairman of the party‘s Communications and International Relations Committee Lawrence Ookeditse the Director of Youth at the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture January 6. He was appointed into the BDP committee after Mmadinare congress to deputise Thapelo Pabalinga. Ookeditse - one of Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s trusted lieutenants having been part of the team that helped him in the 2014 General Elections - is also a former lecturer at University of Botswana.
Last year, he organised the first Job Summit through his company – One Source – and Masisi who has been tasked with job creation was the guest speaker. The event attracted lot of companies even government department who were the sponsors. Ookeditse has since confirmed that he has been employed as the Director of Youth but didn’t go into details. In 2011 Ookeditse was one of the shortlisted candidates for the post of BDP Executive Secretary. Sources within the BDP have revealed that the party has taken resolution to ensure that key government positions are held by party loyalists ahead of the 2019 general elections. Ookeditse will be joining other BDP members in the public service who include former Member of Parliament for Tlokweng Olebile Gaborone who is the coordinator of Poverty Eradication programme, President Khama’s pet project.
There have been complaints since the project was introduced that the public servants who were supposed to implement it were dragging their feet thus putting government at loggerheads with beneficiaries. Former Gabane/Mmankgodi MP Mmoloki Raletobana who was the Director of Government Implementation Coordination Agency has now been deployed as District Commissioner for Southern District. District Commissioners have now been moved to the Office of the President and will be in charge of the implementation of Economic Stimulus Programme. One of the most loyal BDP propagandists Dr Raphael Dingalo has been deployed from the position of Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education and Skills Development to being Deputy Clerk of the National Assembly.
According to Inside Politics Organisation, cadre deployment is the appointment by government, at the behest of the governing party, of a party-political loyalist to an institution or body, independent or otherwise, as a means of circumventing public reporting lines and bringing that institution under the control of the party, as opposed to the state. South African ruling party African National Congress (ANC) adopted the system at their congress in 1997 which called for "a deployment strategy" necessary to "identify the key centres of power" in order that the party might deploy "comrades" to areas of work on behalf of the movement.