No minister under the bus

SHARE   |   Tuesday, 30 April 2019   |   By Phillimon Mmeso
Makgalemele and Goya Makgalemele and Goya

… As Masisi suspends Cabinet reshuffle plan

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President Mokgweetsi Masisi has chosen unity instead of retribution following his decision not to reshuffle his cabinet after the eventful Kang congress where some ministers openly rooted against his election.

If he had gone on a retribution route, sources say, the following ministers would have lost their posts and perks – Vincent Seretse (Minister of Infrastructure and Housing Development); and assistant ministers Biggie Butale, Phillip Makgalemele and Master Goya. 

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Ahead of the Kang Congress, Masisi was under siege from some of the cabinet ministers and MPs who made extreme demands. Highly placed sources close to the president said he defied pressure to fire some of the cabinet minister’s especially junior ministers who were outrightly defying him.

“They were making the country ungovernable and threatening to resign from the party and form coalition with the opposition and remove him from state power,” revealed the source.

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During his acceptance speech in Kang, Masisi pleaded for unity among the BDP members and said he would meet with his political nemesis Venson-Moitoi and extend an olive branch. That meeting took place but has not resulted with anything substantive.

Meanwhile a number of back benchers would have benefited from the reshuffle.

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It was speculated that Minister Tshenolo Mabeo would have been moved from Ministry of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development to replace Seretse at Infrastructure.  Mabeo is an engineer by profession and has been regarded as one of the most loyal cabinet ministers who – though he was hurt by the loss in the primaries – later accepted his fate.

Veteran MP Edwin Batshu was favoured to return to cabinet and assume Mabeo’s post due to his immense political experience and his good relations with public sector unions. He is the one who is credited with softening members of the public sector unions as chairperson of the BDP Labour Committee.

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Sethomo Lelatisitswe was tipped to replace Butale as Assistant Minister of Health and Wellness. Though he has never been a favorite for party leadership, the Member of Parliament for Boteti East has proven to be loyal to the party and strong advocate for the development in his constituency. He is one of the MPs who is disciplined regarding parliamentary attendance and contributes to the debates.

There is a strong call on President Masisi to reward him with cabinet appointment for his hardworking and loyalty to the party.

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Assistant Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture (MYESC) Phillip Makgalemele was likely to have been replaced by new Moshupa/Manyana MP Karabo Gare who took the constituency from President Masisi. The youthful MP is regarded as a sharp mind whose combination with Minister Tshekedi Khama was expected to turn the fortunes at the ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture.

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The Assistant Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry- Master Goya was tipped to be set aside and replaced by Mephato Reatile. He is currently a Specially Elected MP and parliamentary candidate for Jwaneng-Mabutsane. His elevation will help him to push his campaign as he will be able to address kgotla meetings in the constituency as a cabinet minister.



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