Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi has described the late Gaerolwe Kwerepe – the first Member of Parliament for Ngami, who died on February 16 at Letsholathebe Memorial Hospital – as humble and loving person. Masisi said Kwerepe was a true politician who had volunteered and worked hard for the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and Botswana at large. He was speaking at Kwerepe’s memorial in Maun on Thursday. Masisi also said Ngamiland people are lucky to have had someone like Kwerepe who was part of the first batch of 31 elected MPs that made up Botswana’s first National Assembly post-independence in 1965. Kwerepe retired from politics in 1994 after serving for 20 years as an MP. Masisi said Kwerepe served at the time when politics was a hard job, forcing him to sacrifice his life to preach the democratic words among Batswana. Masisi recalled that Kwerepe told him that he used to travel more than 200 kilometres on a donkey campaigning for the BDP. “Kwerepe used to travel long distance from Tsau village to Qangwa which is home to Gcwihaba today to campaign for the BDP on a donkey carrying a gun with 13 bullets,” he said. He said in those days it was hard because Botswana was a poor country which lacked roads and telephones. Masisi also praised him as a humanitarian who pledged the little he had to the party during hard times. “Kwerepe used to sell his cows and send the money to BDP in Gaborone during hard times,” he said.
BDP secretary General, Mpho Balopi said Kwerepe inspired many politicians, adding that he is lucky to have been working for a party that Kwerepe fought for during those days. He added that Kwerepe was a true democrat who wanted the best for his people. Kwerepe’s son Thato - the assistant minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration – said that he was inspired by his father to join politics. Like father like son, Kwerepe is also the MP for Ngami. Describing his father Thato said he had great love for people and this is what motivated him to join politics.
He said his father was instrumental in advising the government in 1993 when the Ovaherero and Ovambanderu were renouncing their citizenship to return to their ancestral land of Namibia. He said the then President Masire had a hard time but Kwerepe advised the president to allow the communities to go with their belongings. He was laid to rest in Maun on February 25.