Dr. Ponatshego Kedikilwe was on Wednesday sworn in as the country’s seventh Vice President (V.P) after being endorsed by Parliament.
Kedikilwe was nominated a preferred V.P by President Ian Khama Seretse Khama following the retirement of the ailing Mompati Merafhe on Tuesday this week.
38 members of parliament voted in favour of Khama’s choice while 12 abstained and six were absent.
The Speaker of the House, Dr. Margaret Nasha who directed the procedures of the house expressed pride at the peaceful way the power was handed down.
“This endorsement is not only historic but it is uniquely symbolic of Botswana’s entrenched culture of democracy and peaceful transfer of political power. Who said Africa can’t do it?” Nasha proudly remarked.
Kedikilwe’s ascendence to the VP position coincided with the transfer of command of the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) from Lt General Tebogo Masire to Major General Gaolatlhe Galebotswe and that of the Botswana Police Services (BPS) to a new successor, Keabetswe Makgope who took over from Thebeyame Tsimako who handed over the baton after 42 years of service.
“ I don’t want these events to go down unnoticed. They are indeed a feature of our democracy that we as a nation should cherish and uphold for generations to come. It really made me proud,” Nasha stated.
The New VP will also retain the Ministry of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources so that he can conclude some tasks of national importance which he was yet to see through, it was announced.
A political analyst, Zibani Maundeni believes that Kedikilwe’s appointment was long overdue.
He said Kedikilwe’s appointment was a good sign for both the ruling Botswana Democratic party and the country because, “it is a way of abetting the factionalism and divisions within the BDP.”