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Govt throws out Dikgosi demands

Government through the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD) has thrown out of the window the piercing demands submitted by Dikgosi from the last Bogosi Pitso. Government says the demands by the traditional leaders cannot be entertained as they require a lot of resources.

The requests by Dikgosi were led by Chairman of Ntlo Ya Dikgosi (NYD) Kgosi Puso Gaborone, who bluntly told the then Assistant Minister Kgotla Autlwetse that they want a ministry that would specifically address issues of Bogosi and culture. The request was following a trail of others the traditional leaders asked for especially with respect to their powers. “Merero (consultations) should be under one roof; culture should be taken to where Bogosi is. I am advocating for one thing; Ministry of Bogosi and Traditional Affairs,” Kgosi Gaborone said at the Pitso.

Following that meeting, in which the government officials including Ministers gave Dikgosi confidence that their demands will be implemented, it is now appearing to be a far-fetched dream. “The establishment of the Ministry requires resources both manpower and budget,” Ministry’s Permanent Secretary (PS) Boipolelo Khumomatlhare said. He continued; “The prerogative for creation and abolition of offices, inclusive of ministries, rests solely on the President as per the constitution,” he said when asked about the implementation of the demands.

While Dikgosi are now left in limbo and chances of their demands being put in place slowly evaporating, the Ministry through the Department of Tribal Administration will carry out an assessment of tribal administration. This will be aimed at determining whether the department is feasible as it is or it will need to be upgraded to a Directorate position or to be a stand-alone ministry considering its magnitude.

“The study recommendations will assist on the way forward on the proposed matter. DPSM on the other hand is also looking into different mandates of Ministries with a view of rationalizing. The two exercises need to be completed before submissions can be made on the establishment of a Ministry,” Khumomatlhare responded to WeekendPost enquiry.

Late last year there was to be another Pitso in Francistown, which was cancelled last minute. It was at that meeting where the new Minister, Eric Molale was expected to share with Dikgosi how far the government is regarding their requests. The meeting is still in the pipeline and it is anticipated before April this year.

Chairman Kgosi Gaborone was not available to comment on these matters this week as his phone rang unanswered. However, Kgosi Kebinatshwene Mosielele had this to say; “We submitted our demands to the government and we expected to meet Minister Molale about them late last year but we could not as the meeting was postponed. So we are waiting to meet him so that he can give answers as to whether our requests will see the light of the day or what. We will take it from there.”

Another Dikgosi plea to the government was to scrap off some sections of Bogosi act. Among those is section 15, which is focused on withdrawal of recognition of Kgosi by a Minister. It reads in part: ‘the Minister may caution or reprimand the Kgosi; order the stoppage of increment of the salary of the Kgosi; suspend the Kgosi; if he or she considers it to be expedient and in the interest of peace, good order and good governance, depose such Kgosi or extend the suspension for a period not exceeding two years.’

Government on the other hand is diverging with Dikgosi on this one. “Whereas these sentiments have been expressed by Dikgosi in the present scheme of things, the sections are likely to be retained as they are there as a regulatory mechanism to ensure ethical conduct on the part of Dikgosi,” said the PS. It is however noted that Bogosi Act of 2008 is currently under review and consultations on the issues raised will be done with relevant stakeholders.  

The last Kgosi to be de-recognized was Kgosi Kgafela of Bakgatla in 2011. Kgosi Seepapitso IV in 1994 was once suspended and government withheld fifty percent of his salary as a Chief, these Dikgosi do not want to see this happen again hence vehement advocacy to scrap the sections calling for de-recognition. Dikgosi have also spoken in one voice that they need security equivalent to those given to judges as they do the same toil of solving disputes.

Private and personal secretaries must also be availed to the leaders to do their job diligently, they concurred. The government has also thrown these demands into the dustbin, as it is not sustainable. “The total number of Dikgosi in the country is 670 excluding Headman of Arbitration (Bo-Ralekgotla). The provision of security for Dikgosi may not be sustainable. It should also be noted that the current terms and conditions of Dikgosi employment has no provision for security. In case that Dikgosi might be in danger when presiding over cases, Botswana Police Service are present to render security,” Permanent Secretary Khumomatlhare explicitly said.

The government has also maintained that the terms and conditions of employment have no provision for personal secretaries. However, it is said there are Court Clerks in customary courts who provide secretarial service to Dikgosi. Dikgosi are also speaking in one voice to have state of the art Kgotla Offices and are also demanding same automobiles like the ones used by Ministers. The 2018 Pitso was aimed at drafting the five year strategy for Dikgosi, before then the last meeting was in 2015.

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Gov’t shy to shame failing ministers

22nd February 2021

Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng together with Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Elias Magosi, this week refused to name and shame the worst performing Ministries and to disclose the best performing Ministries since beginning of 12th parliament including the main reasons for underperformance.

Of late there have been a litany of complaints from both ends of the aisle with cabinet members accused of providing parliament with unsatisfactory responses to the questions posed. In fact for some Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) backbenchers a meeting with the ministers and party leadership is overdue to address their complaints. Jwaneng-Mabutsane MP, Mephato Reatile is also not happy with ministers’ performance.

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Bokamoso, Gov’t in P10M womb removal suit

22nd February 2021

Bokamoso Private Hospital is battling a P10 million legal suit for a botched fibroids operation which resulted in a woman losing an entire womb and her prospects of bearing children left at zero.

The same suit has also befallen the Attorney General of Botswana who is representing the Ministry of Health and Wellness for their contributory negligence of having the unlawful removal of a patient, Goitsemang Magetse’s womb.

According to the court papers, Magetse says that sometimes in November 2019, she was diagnosed with fibroids at Marina Hospital where upon she was referred to Bokamoso Private Hospital to schedule an appointment for an operation to remove the fibroids, which she did.

Magetse continues that at the instance of one Dr Li Wang, the surgeon who performed the operation, and unknown to her, an operation to remove her whole womb was conducted instead.
According to Magetse, it was only through a Marina Hospital regular check-up that she got to learn that her whole womb has been removed.

“At the while she was under the belief that only her fibroids have been removed. By doing so, the hospital has subjected itself to some serious delictual liability in that it performed a serious and life changing operation on patient who was under the belief that she was doing a completely different operation altogether. It thus came as a shock when our client learnt that her womb had been removed, without her consent,” said Magetse’s legal representatives, Kanjabanga and Associates in their summons.

The letter further says, “this is an infringement of our client‘s rights and this infringement has dire consequences on her to the extent that she can never bear children again”. ‘It is our instruction therefore, to claim as we hereby do, damages in the sum of BWP 10,000,000 (ten million Pula) for unlawful removal of client’s womb,” reads Kanjabanga Attorneys’ papers. The defendants are yet to respond to the plaintiff’s papers.

What are fibroids?

Fibroids are tumors made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. They develop in the uterus. It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of women will develop fibroids in their lifetime — however, not everyone will develop symptoms or require treatment.

The most important characteristic of fibroids is that they’re almost always benign, or noncancerous. That said, some fibroids begin as cancer — but benign fibroids can’t become cancer. Cancerous fibroids are very rare. Because of this fact, it’s reasonable for women without symptoms to opt for observation rather than treatment.

Studies show that fibroids grow at different rates, even when a woman has more than one. They can range from the size of a pea to (occasionally) the size of a watermelon. Even if fibroids grow that large, we offer timely and effective treatment to provide relief.

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Masisi warned against a sinking Botswana

22nd February 2021
Ndaba GAolatlhe

The Alliance for Progressives (AP) President Ndaba Gaolathe has said that despite major accolades that Botswana continues to receive internationally with regard to the state of economy, the prospects for the future are imperilled.

Delivering his party Annual Policy Statement on Thursday, Gaolathe indicated that Botswana is in a state of do or die, and that the country’s economy is on a sick bed. With a major concern for poverty, Gaolathe pointed out that almost half of Botswana’s people are ravaged by or are about to sink into poverty.  “Our young people have lost the fire to dream about what they could become,” he said.

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