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Khama says BDP wanted to fire Tshekedi

Former President Lt Gen Ian Khama has said Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), wanted to expel his younger brother Tshekedi Khama, from the party, but has since chickened out after being warned that they will lose the constituency.  

Speaking at a rally in Serowe West this week, Khama said President Mokgweetsi Masisi has since resorted to actions that seek to cause division between him and Tshekedi. Khama has expressed his desire to see Tshekedi dumping the ruling party, because he believes the party is mistreating him. Khama wants Tshekedi to join the newly formed Botswana Patriotic Front, a party he founded.

“They did not want him in the party. Last year December they attempted to fire him. They were advised that once they fire him, their party is going to lose Serowe West constituency,’’ Khama said. Khama descended to Serowe West constituency, on a sole mission of asking the constituents whether they will vote for Tshekedi Khama in the October polls if he stays put in the BDP. “In May, I had a meeting at Serowe Show Grounds to tell you about my decision to quit Botswana Democratic Party. It was not the fact that I hate BDP leadership, it was because they were mistreating me,’’ Khama said.

Khama said the BDP has even made life difficult for Tshekedi, by expelling his campaign manager from the party. It is reported that the campaign manager was using a BDP vehicle to advance the interest of the BPF, and not that of the BDP. Khama, however, believes the blame should rest on the BDP chairman in Serowe region, Steady Sethaba, whom he accused of causing confusion. The former President, said the said vehicle was dispossessed from Tshekedi’s campaign manager, but his younger brother was not consulted.

He also expressed concern that BDP is giving the nation a wrong impression that he and his younger brother hate each other. “The BDP leadership wants to separate us. We are brothers of the same blood; we are close to each other and there is nothing between us. It appeared in local newspapers that we hate each other, it is not true,” Khama said. He revealed that after he joined BPF, Masisi started going with Tshekedi wherever he was going to prove to people that we hate each other.

“I moved to BPF and he is remaining with Tshekedi in BDP. That is the wrong impression that is being created,” he said. Khama said when he left the BDP, he was not the only one who was having a problem with BDP leadership. “BDP Members of Parliament do visit me, telling me that President Masisi is oppressing them.  Government is made up of 29 MPs, if he troubles them they will leave him,” he said. Khama said Masisi is intending on dividing BaMangwato, contending that there are plans to divide Central District and turn sub-districts into fully-fledged districts as way of diluting his influence.

Most of the attendants, who spoke at the rally indicated that they want Tshekedi to follow suit and join BPF. Tshekedi has previously indicated that Khama will decide his fate. It is not clear whether Tshekedi will leave the BDP before nomination undertaken later this month.  
After deliberations, Khama has promised to deliver the message to Tshekedi, that Serowe West constituents will only vote for him if he joins and contest under the BPF.

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Fighting vulture poisoning in KAZA region.

3rd February 2023
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,’

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Giant in the making: Everton Mlalazi

3rd February 2023

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.

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African countries call on WHO to increase funding

2nd February 2023

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.”

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