A dark cloud hovered around the University of Botswana this Wednesday where the late Gomolemo Motswaledi was employed as an administrator.
He has been serving in the finance and administration department for the past nine years, from the Ministry of Labour and Home Affairs where he was a cultural administrator. By 1pm, the UB’s public affairs had not received an official announcement about his death.
However, some of the department staff members said they had already heard about it from local radio stations and other people who were close to the vice president of the Umbrella for Democratic Change. At his department, the atmosphere was quite tense and gloomy.
His boss, deputy vice chancellor finance and administration Dawid Katze could not grant Botswana Guardian an interview. “No, I’m not in a position to speak,” he said with clear pain on his face. In front of the administration block, people were spotted in small groups and pairs. Majority were discussing the sad news of the likeable politician’s death as shown by the expressions on their faces and their general body language.
A foreign lecturer said he last saw Motswaledi on Btv on Monday addressing a political rally with zeal. For members of the auxiliary staff, Motswaledi was humble, kind and jovial. Matlhale Ramokapane from the UB Protection Services had brought him an orange, which he requested from her on Monday.
“Unlike a lot of our big bosses here who don’t greet us, Motswaledi always came to greet us and even asked about our welfare in Setswana,” she said, adding that the deceased would even greet her at malls when he spotted her not wearing work uniform. To her, Motswaledi was like a brother and his laughter would always cheer her up. A cleaner at UB, Dolly Mokgosi said the late Motswaledi used to advise her and the rest of her colleagues on how to approach their supervisors when all was not well with them. She last saw him on Monday where they met at one of the offices.
“I’m known as a cleaner here but for Motswaledi, I was a woman of dignity. Actually, my ears are still filled with his loud Monday laughter,” she said. A Bachelor of Arts student Kago Maabanyane said Motswaledi’s passing has touched the whole nation. “He was a national asset. For standing against President Ian Khama, I respected him for being that bold and the president will never forget that,” he said.