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Khama, Boko snub Masisi inauguration

Former President Lt Gen Ian Khama and leader of the main opposition party Duma Boko, yesterday [Friday] failed to show-up at the inauguration of newly elected President Mokgweetsi Masisi.  

The duo were expected to grace the event by the virtue of the positions they hold. Former President, Festus Mogae graced the event, receiving a standing ovation from the 5000 crowd during his arrival. Another prominent figure, Ponatshego Kedikilwe, who served as Vice President from 2012-2014, also attended the inauguration. He was joined by among others former MPs and former cabinet ministers.  

Boko who served as Leader of Opposition from 2014-2019, was nowhere to be seen yesterday. However, other leaders of opposition parties; Ndaba Gaolathe of the Alliance for Progressives (AP), as well as Advocate Sidney Pilane of the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), were in attendance. After an intense campaign, UDC failed to dislodge BDP from power, garnering only 15 seats in the process, two less than in the past general elections. If that is not enough, Boko also lost his parliamentary seat to Anna Mokgethi of the ruling party. 

The Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) leader, Biggie Butale also snubbed the inauguration. BPF yesterday released a statement indicating reasons behind the decision to snub the inauguration of Botswana 5th president. "The BPF and its Patron, former President Khama will not be attending the event as we believe grand election fraud took place in this election,” said a statement authored by party spokesperson, Justice Motlhabani.

The party which is a splinter of the ruling party, claimed that government used the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) to mobilise people to attend as well as the extravagant nature of the event “which is not in line with our known modesty for all past presidential inaugurations.” “We are also against aggressive efforts being put into trying to get people to attend the inauguration never before done , to give the impression of a popular President for the benefit of visitors, hence the use of the BDF to try to draw people and live screening,” Motlhabani.  

Khama, who left office at the end of his term in March 2018, has had an acrimonious relationship with his successor soon after leaving office. The fallout, emanating from various factors lead to the formation of BPF, which Khama founded. Prior to elections, Khama was optimistic that the BDP under the leadership of Masisi will succumb to defeat at the hands of UDC/BPF axis. The loose relationship between BPF and UDC has helped the opposition to win a significant number of seats in Central District, with BDP losing Serowe, Bobonong, Mahalapye and Tswapong constituencies for the first time since 1965.

In the Southern part of Botswana however, it was a different story. In unexpected turn of events, BDP eroded UDC support in the traditional Botswana National Front (BNF) strongholds, including winning the entire Gaborone constituencies for the first time since 1979. The BNF poor showing is already causing a rift between the party and its partner, the Botswana Congress Party (BCP), which saw its fortunes rising considerably. Of the 15 UDC seats, BCP contributed 11 seats, while BNF only brought home four constituencies.

BNF has since rejected the result fraudulent, while BCP has accepted the result. While Boko snubbed the inauguration, his deputy and the leader of BCP, Dumelang Saleshando graced Masisi’s inauguration, and like a score of political figures, he was received to a thundering cheer by the crowd. Elected MPs from the opposition also attended the inauguration, save the three MPs from BPF, who did not show up.

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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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