Botswana Congress Party (BCP), an affiliate of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), has this week confirmed that they distance themselves from the ongoing preparation for the objections of the 2019 General Elections results.
In earnest BCP and their leader, Dumelang Saleshando accepts the just released results in which the party emerged with the highest number of seats amongst the umbrella affiliates; Botswana National Front (BNF) and Botswana People’s Party (BPP). The BCP moved from a paltry three seats in 2014 General Elections, to a whopping 11 seats (in UDC), as opposed to the BNF’s 4, while BPP failed to win a parliamentary seat.
In the just ended elections, the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), vanquished the opposition parties combined, by achieving a resounding victory that increased its popular vote from 48 percent to virtually 52 percent. BDP amassed 38 Members of Parliament while the opposition managed 19 seats in which UDC got 15, Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) manged 3 while Alliance for Progressives (AP) trailed behind with 1 seat.
Therefore, in terms of the objections, the BCP having achieved a great performance feels they are fine with the results, especially in the North side of the country. “I am fine with the results. We have accepted the election results. In Maun, there is no issue that warrants any protest with the High Court against the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC),” Saleshando told the WeekendPost this week.
But the BCP leader emphasised that, it does not mean however that they can stop those especially the BNF with issues on the other side of the country, to pursue their petition with the court within the mandatory 30 days. “Election petition is allowed in 30 days after elections. All have a right to file petition. We allowed candidates to talk to lawyers of the party,” he observed.
Asserts he won’t count his chickens before they hatch in terms of LOO
Although Saleshando who is the leader of BCP with majority opposition seats in parliament under the umbrella, and by virtue of him being the Vice President of the UDC, says he cannot reveal his plan, vision and main agenda as the presumed Leader of Opposition elect because he cannot count his chickens before they hatch.
On BCP taking over the leadership of UDC from the BNF
Saleshando has put it in the hands of those who call for exchange of leadership from the BNF to BCP of the UDC on their belt. “It’s not for me to say, people will decide on who takes over the UDC at a later stage and time. There is a procedure if there is need to be and the delegates will decide,” the UDC VP pointed out to this publication.
Saleshando grills Masisi for thinking BCP is dead after their recruitments
According to the Maun West elect, Masisi said they killed the BCP after recruiting the likes of BDP Gaborone region Chair, Lotty Manyapedza and others “but we proved them wrong.” In the Southern part of the country, he highlighted that the BCP/UDC did not do well and therefore lost some constituencies where they were incumbent. “As such we have to find out about this in our final report.” He stressed that the UDC launches looked good with good numbers in attendance and there was no early warning bell or red flag to illustrate they may be losing them come election day.
He explained that there is a possibility that in terms of the fight between Khama and Masisi; maybe Masisi supporters were fighting for fellow Southerner in the election. In the last three of four elections, the BCP President pointed out that their numbers have been growing steadily and this is easy to explain in statistics. In addition he mentioned that the BDP split to form BPF also made their job easier, as it worked for the UDC.
He believes the old days of people staying long in parliament is over
The MP, who comes back in a different constituency after losing Gaborone Central in 2014, pointed out that the parliament is wiser with relatively new legislators. “To the extent that most MP’s are new, it’s good for institutional renewal, the old days of people staying for long in parliament is over,” he stressed out. He however said although the BDP is bringing people who are new to politics, the opposition on the other side are highly experienced.
Priority to Maun West and not the country per se
My mind is to have a Maun constituency plan, Saleshando pointed out. “In Gaborone Central, people were told that I only excel on national issues and therefore I will jealously prioritise Maun first and Ngamiland on a second level, then country later” he concluded.
As a response to avert vulture poisoning currently going on in Botswana and KAZA region, Birdlife Botswana has collaborated with three other partners (BirdWatch Zambia, BirdLife International & Birdlife Zimbabwe) to tackle wildlife poisoning which by extension negatively affect vulture populations.
The Director of Birdlife Botswana, Motshereganyi Virat Kootshositse has revealed in an interview that the project which is funded by European Union’s main goal is to reduce poisoning related vultures’ death and consequently other wildlife species death within the KAZA region.
He highlighted that Chobe district in Botswana has been selected as a pilot site as it has experienced rampant incidents of vulture poisoning for the past few months. In August this year at least 50 endangered white backed vultures were reported dead at Chobe National Park, Botswana after feeding on a buffalo carcass laced with poison. In November this year again 43 white backed vultures were found dead and two alive after feeding on a zebra suspected to have poisoned. Other selected pilots’ sites are Kafue in Zambia and Hwange in Zimbabwe.
Kootshositse further explained they have established a national and regional Wildlife Poisoning Committee. He added that as for the national committee they have engaged various departments such as Crop Productions, Agro Chemicals, Department of Veterinary Services, Department of Wildlife and National Parks and other NGOs such as Raptors Botswana to come together and find a long-lasting solution to address wildlife poisoning in Botswana. ‘Let’s have a strategy or a plan together to tackle wildlife poisoning,’ he stated
He also decried that there is gap in the availability of data about vulture poisoning or wildlife in general. ‘If we have a central point for data, it will help in terms of reporting and advocacy’, he stated
He added that the regional committee comprises of law enforcement officers such as BDF and Botswana police, village leadership such as Village Development Committee and Kgosi. ‘We need to join hand together and protect the wildlife we have as this will increase our profile for conservation and this alone enhances our visitation and boost our local economy,’ he noted
Kootshositse noted that Birdlife together with DWNP also addressed series of meeting in some villages in the Chobe region recently. The purpose of kgotla meetings was to raise awareness on the conservation and protection of vultures in Chobe West communities.
‘After realizing that vulture poisoning in the Chobe areas become frequent, we realise that we need to do something about it. ‘We did a public awareness by addressing several kgotla meetings in some villages in the Chobe west,’ he stated
He noted that next year they are going to have another round of consultations around the Chobe areas and the approach is to engage the community into planning process. ‘Residents should be part of the plan of actions and we are working with farmers committee in the areas to address vulture poisoning in the area, ‘he added
He added that they have found out that some common reasons for poisoning wildlife are farmers targeting predators such as lions in retaliation to killing of their livestock. Another common incident cross border poaching in the Chobe area as poachers will kills an elephant and poison its carcass targeting vultures because of their aerial circling alerting authorities about poaching activities.
Kootshositse noted that in the last cases it was disheartening the incidents occurred three months apart. He added that for the first time they found that some of the body parts of some vultures were missing. He added harvesting of body parts of vultures is not a common practice in Botswana, although it is used in some parts of Africa. ‘We suspect that someone took advantage of the availability of carcasses and started harvesting their body parts,’
The music industry is at a point where artists are jostling for space because there are so many aspirants trying to get their big break, thus creating stiff competition.
In the music business it’s about talent and positioning. You need to be at the right place at the right time with the right people around you to propel you forward.
Against all odds, Everton Mlalazi has managed to takeover the gospel scene effortlessly.
To him, it’s more than just a breakthrough to stardom, but a passion as well as mission directly appointed by the Lord.
Within a short space of 2 years after having decided to persue a solo career, Mlalazi has already made it into international music scene, with his music receiving considerable play on several gospel television and radio stations in Botswana including other regional stations like Trace Africa, One Gospel, Metro FM in South Africa, Hope FM in Kenya and literally all broadcast stations in Zimbabwe.
It doesn’t only stop there, as the musician has already been nominated 2 times and 2 awards which are Bulawayo Arts Awards (BAA) best Male artists 2022, StarFM listerners Choice Award, Best Newcomer 2021 and ZIMA Best Contemporary Gospel 2022, MLA awards Best Male artist & Best Gospel Artist 2022.
Everton’s inspiration stems from his ultimate passion and desire to lead people into Godly ways and it seems it’s only getting started.
The man is a gospel artist to put on your radar.
Minister of Health Dr Edwin Dikoloti says Africa member states call on World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure equitable resource allocation for 2024-2025. Dr Dikoloti was speaking this week at the WHO Executive Board Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.
He said countries agreed that there is need to address the budget and funding imbalances by increasing the programme budget share of countries and regions to 75% for the next year.
“The proposed budget for 2024-2025 marks an important milestone as it is the first in Programme Budget in which country offices will be allocated more than half of the total budget for the biennium. We highly welcome this approach which will enable the organization to deliver on its mandate while fulfilling the expectations for transparency, efficiency and accountability.”
The Botswana Health Minister commended member states on the extension of the General Programme of Work (GPD 13) and the Secretariat work to monitor the progress towards the triple billion targets, and the health-related SDGs.
“We welcome the Director’s general proposed five priorities which have crystalized into the “five Ps” that are aligned with the GPW 13 extension. Impact can only be achieved through close coordination with, and support to national health authorities. As such, the strengthening of country offices is instrumental, with particular focus on strengthening national health systems and on promoting more equitable access to health services.”
According to Dr Dikoloti, the majority of countries with UHC index that is below the global median are in the WHO Africa region. “For that, we call on the WHO to enhance capacity at the regional and national levels in order to accelerate progress. Currently, the regional office needs both technical and financial support in order to effectively address and support country needs.”