Some estimated 15000 democrats in Bobirwa will decide who their 2019 parliamentary candidate is between former schoolteacher, cabinet member-cum-businessman Shaw Kgathi and entrepreneur, chemical and mineral processing engineer, Francisco Kgoboko during BDP’s primaries in August.
In their preparations for Bulela Ditswe primary elections, the BDP targeted to register at least 15000 voters in the constituency that has 10 wards and stretches for about 200 kilometres in the eastern corner area of the country.
The constituency borders Selibe Phikwe on the eastern side near Botshabelo location and Mmadinare on the western side all the way to the Zimbabwean border, then to Tswapong near Moletemane village to Shalimpo, the confluence of Shashe and Limpopo rivers.
Among challenges facing the constituency is the conflict between humans and wildlife especially elephants which roam between Botswana and Zimbabwe destroying crops on their trail.
Since the construction of Thune dam which waters the villages of Tsetsebjwe, Mathathane and Moletemane, provision of portable water is no longer a problem. Other villages will be serviced once the construction of the pipeline is completed. All the villages in the constituency except Lentswe-le-Moriti are electrified.
Kgathi trained as a secondary school teacher specialising in history and environmental sciences. He joined active politics in 2003 and won three successive general elections as MP for Bobirwa since 2004.
Soon after winning the 2014 general election, he was appointed Minister of Defence, Justice and Security to date. Kgathi holds an MA Degree in Sport, Culture and Development from the University of Surrey in London, United Kingdom and obtained another MA Degree in Development Studies and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Botswana.
Kgoboko joined BDP in 2011. He founded FMK Global Holdings to offer turnkey engineering solutions for companies in the mining, Tech Innovation and construction sectors. The company also offers an accelerator programme that scales up existing start-ups in Botswana and Africa.
Kgoboko runs an innovation factory to bring the best technologies to solve local needs in Botswana and set up the Botswana Business Angels Investment Network.
He has a successful commercial integrated farming business in cattle production amongst other disciplines. He remains a global consultant and mentor in the engineering field where he mentors budding engineers and entrepreneurs.
Kgoboko has a passion for economic development of his home country and the African continent.
He holds a Chemical Engineering degree from McMaster University, Ontario, Canada. He has also undergone executive education training in Management Development with the University Of Cape Town, South Africa. Kgoboko is the Founding Chairperson of Botswana Alumni Association and Patron of Botswana Primary Schools Sport Association (BOPSSA).
Bobirwa has a population of about 70000 afflicted by unemployment, especially the youth and low liquidity, whose solution is the creation of a sustainable Bobirwa economy through tapping into alternative industries such as financial, manufacturing, logistics and technology.
The pro-Kgoboko group believe they have found their man to deal once and for all with this stubborn problem. But the conservatives will not be swayed arguing Kgathi still has a lot to offer and in any case must serve another term to complete what he started.
Among his achievements they cite the construction of Thune dam now watering many villages, ensuring 21kilometres of internal roads are tarred in Bobonong village and the highway between Tsetsebjwe and Bobonong villages. There is also the commencement of the construction of the Platjan bridge and border post which will link that corridor with South Africa.
Kgathi is also credited with the opening of Mabolwe border post which links Botswana and Zimbabwe, the upgrading of Bobonong Rural administration centre, resealing of the Bobonong Lekkerport road, construction of tribal administration offices in all Bobirwa villages servicing of 1711 plots in Bobonong all which have been allocated amongst others.