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BDP MP Candidates on Red alert

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has decided to go to elections without ‘double-dealers’ and focus only on the trustable cadres.

The latest development has seen the party hatching a plan to recall at least three parliamentary candidates before elections. The top hierarchy believes they might jump off the moving train at the eleventh hour. WeekendPost is reliably informed that by now the party could have long recalled three parliamentary candidates on conditions that they are believed to be ‘sleeping with the enemy.’s

The trio of Jwaneng-Mabutsane’s Mephato Reatile, Mmadinare’s Molebatsi Molebatsi and Francistown West’s Ignatius Moswaane are the targets who are likely to be the causalities of the plan. Already there are some who are already waiting in the wings to take over, should the plan materialise. Reports from Tsholetsa House indicate that they are not content with Reatile representing the party in Jwaneng-Mabutsane constituency.

This it is said to be emanating from the cordial relationship the candidate has with the former President Lt Gen Ian Khama who has now metamorphosed into BDP arch-enemy.  “The belief is that he is Khama’s ally and it will not be easy to convert him. He is also believed to be some of those that leaks the party strategies with the outsiders, Khama to be precise,” disclosed a highly placed source this week.

Intentions to get rid of Reatile who was brought into parliament by Khama in 2014 as a Specially Elected Member of Parliament has always been thought of but without sufficient grounds to eject him. It is said it was first mooted during the primary elections where the party preferred his rivals. Last week, when he was launched all the party high officials shunned the event until Botlogile Tshireletso intervened.

“Initially he was to be launched by former VP Ponatshego Kedikilwe and Shaw Kgathi but he was told on Friday that they won’t make it on Friday while the launch was on Sunday and he had to run around until he convinced Mma Tshireletso. What puzzles the mind is most of the party officials were from Kgalagadi North and the expectation was one or two could have graced his launch,” said the informant.

For his part Reatile said: “I believe it was just commitment from party elders as VP [Slumber Tsogwane] told me but I am not sure as to whether they want to fire me. For me, we should just respect Khama as our former boss since he can’t return to power anyway, but we should accord him respect.” Meanwhile Molebatsi who won against Minister of Minerals Land and Water Sanitation Kefentse Mzwinila is also teetering on the cliff. The party believes he is aligned to the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) and might cross the floor with their seat after elections.

 “Already Tebelelo Seretse (campaigns manager) and Boy Sebetela have visited the constituency informing him that voters don’t want him. Apparently the minister [Mzwinila] has been running a parallel governance in the constituency to discredit Molebatsi because of his relations with BPF,” disclosed an informant. Last week some councillors wrote to their regional leadership saying the working relations with their MP candidate have reached low ebb. It is said while the party has failed to knock him out through technicalities they are still adamant that he might not contest the elections under the BDP ticket.

He is expected to be launched by Kedikilwe this week and already it is predicted that his launch could be a low key vent just like that of Reatile. “There was no good health between councillors and myself but the party through BOMASE representative in the central committee Ngaka Ngaka, Boyce Sebetela and Executive Secretary Ame Makoba reconciled us. So far we are good. In respect to BPF we know each other because they were once BDP members and we do talk to each other since they were in the structures before going there but apart from that there is no any relationship I can talk about,” said Molebatsi when responding to these reports.

Moswaane is also facing the same situation but with a twist. “Not like they don’t want him like the two but the utterances he made about the P900 million tender is the case. For now his future will be determined by the report from the region and delegation sent by the leadership to investigate if there are any external forces influencing him. But they have admitted that it will be difficult to fire him because he is an independent mind,” added a source.

“I am working well with the region as well as the Central Committee and I have not received any communique to recall me. We only met as a constituency after last weekend debacle in respect to ask the Central Committee as to what happened but we were advised to come up with new date for launch which will be on the first and second week of next month,” Moswaane said about possibilities of him being fired from the party.


Meanwhile other three BDP MPs in the Central District are in a tricky situation as to whether to continue with their party or join the newly formed BPF. They have been given up to the end of this month to have decided their fate by BPF. Fresh information says Tshekedi Khama could have defected this week but decided to freeze the move until the dissolution of parliament where he is also expecting to get his Ministerial package which he does not want to risk losing by crossing the floor now. As is, he is also left with only two council candidates in his constituency with the rest having joined the BPF.

Palapye’s Master Goya has been approached by constituents including his campaign manager alerting him to open his eyes as most voters are going to BPF, says a source.  This has put him under pressure as his constituency is regarded as BPF stronghold with some already lining up to contest under the party should he reject the advice from his inner circle.

This is the same thing that has left Shoshong parliamentary candidate Philip Makgalemele shaking as BPF, should he resist to join them have decided to partner with UDC’s Aubrey Lesaso to oust him. Both Goya and Makgalemele have been given up to the end of this month to have made up their minds.

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ENVIRONMENT ISSUES: Masisi asks Virginia for help

24th March 2023

President Mokgweetsi Masisi says the issue of sustainable natural resources management has always been an important part of Botswana’s national development agenda.

Masisi was speaking this week on the occasion of a public lecture at Virginia Polytechnic, under theme, “Merging Conservation, Democracy and Sustainable Development in Botswana.”

Botswana, according to Masisi, holds the view that the environment is fragile and as such, must be managed and given the utmost protection to enable the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“It is necessary that we engage one another in the interchange of ideas, perspectives, visualizations of social futures, and considerations of possible strategies and courses of action for sustainable development,” said Masisi.

On the other hand, dialogue, in the form of rigorous democratic discourse among stakeholders presents another basis for reconfiguring how people act on their environments, with a view to conserving its resources that “we require to meet our socio-economic development needs on a sustainable basis,” Masisi told attendees at the public lecture.

He said government has a keen interest in understanding the epidemiology and ecology of diseases of both domestic and wild animals. “It is our national interest to forestall the dire consequences of animal diseases on our communities livelihoods.”

President Masisi hoped that both Botswana and Virginia could help each other in curbing contagious diseases of wildlife.

“We believe that Virginia Tech can reasonably share their experiences, research insights and advances in veterinary sciences and medicines, to help us build capacity for knowledge creation and improve efforts of managing and containing contagious diseases of wildlife. The ground is fertile for entering into such a mutually beneficial partnership.”

When explaining environmental issues further, Masisi said efforts of conservation and sustainable development might at times be hampered by the emergence and recurrence of diseases when pathogens mutate and take host of more than one species.

“Water pollution also kills aquatic life, such as fish, which is one of humanity’s much deserved sources of food. In this regard, One Health Approach imposes ecological responsibility upon all of us to care for the environment and the bio-diversity therein.”

He said the production and use of animal vaccines is an important space and tool for conservation, particularly to deal with trans-border animal diseases.

“In Botswana, our 43-year-old national premier pharmaceutical institution called Botswana Vaccine Institute has played its role well. Through its successful production of highly efficacious Foot and Mouth vaccines, the country is able to contain this disease as well as supply vaccines to other countries in the sub-region.:

He has however declared that there is need for more help, saying “We need more capacitation to deal with and contain other types of microbial that affect both animals and human health.”

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Masisi saddened by deaths of elephant attacks

24th March 2023

President Mokgweetsi Masisi has expressed a strong worry over elephants killing people in Botswana. When speaking in Virginia this week, Masisi said it is unfortunate that Batswana have paid a price with their own blood through being attacked by elephants.

“Communities also suffer unimaginable economic losses yearly when their crops are eaten by the elephants. In spite of such incidents of human-elephant conflict, our people embrace living together with the animals. They fully understand wildlife conservation and its economic benefits in tourism.”

In 2018, Nthobogang Samokwase’s father was attacked by an elephant when travelling from the fields, where he stayed during the cropping season.

It was reported that the man couldn’t run because of his age. He was found trampled by the elephant and was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.

In the same year, in Maun, a 57-year-old British woman was attacked by an elephant at Boro and died upon arrival at the hospital. The woman was with her Motswana partner, and were walking dogs in the evening.

Last month, a Durban woman named Carly Marshall survived an elephant attack while on holiday in the bush in Botswana. She was stabbed by one of the elephant’s tucks through the chest and was left with bruises. Marshall also suffered several fractured ribs from the ordeal.

President Masisi Botswana has the largest population of African elephants in the world, totaling more than 130 000. “This has been possible due to progressive conservation policies, partnerships with the communities, and investment in wildlife management programmes.”

In order to benefit further from wildlife, Masisi indicated that government has re-introduced controlled hunting in 2019 after a four-year pause. “The re-introduction of hunting was done in an open, transparent and democratic way, giving the communities an opportunity to air their views. The funds from the sale of hunting quota goes towards community development and elephant conservation.”

He stressed that for conservation to succeed, the local people must be involved and derive benefits from the natural resources within their localities.

“There must be open and transparent consultations which involve all sectors of the society. It is against this backdrop that as a country, we lead the continent on merging conservation, democracy and sustainable development.”

Masisi stated that Botswana is open to collaborative opportunities, “particularly with identifiable partners such as Virginia Tech, in other essential areas such as conservation, and the study of the interplay among the ecology of diseases of wild animals and plants, and their effects on human health and socio-economic development.”

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Gov’t commit to injecting more funds in fighting HIV

24th March 2023

Minister for State President Kabo Morwaeng says government will continue to make resources available in terms of financial allocations and human capital to ensure that Botswana achieves the ideal of eradicating HIV and AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.

Morwaeng was speaking this morning in Gaborone at the High-Level Advocacy event to accelerate HIV Prevention in Botswana. He said the National AIDS and Health Promotion Agency (NAPHA), in partnership with UNAIDS, UN agencies, the Global Fund and PEPFAR, have started a process of developing transition readiness plan for sustainability of HIV prevention and treatment programmes.

“It is important for us, as a country that has had a fair share of donor support in the response to an epidemic such as HIV and AIDS, to look beyond the period when the level of assistance would have reduced, or ceased, thus calling for domestic financing for all areas which were on donor support.”

Morwaeng said this is important as the such a plan will guarantee that all the gains accrued from the response with donor support will be sustained until the end when “we reach the elimination of HIV and AIDS as a public health threat by 20230,” he said.

“I commit to continue support efforts towards strengthened HIV prevention, accentuating HIV primary prevention and treatment as prevention towards Zero New Infections, Zero Stigma, Discrimination and Zero AIDS related death, to end AIDS in Botswana.”

He reiterated that government commits to tackle legislative, policy and programming challenges that act as barriers to the achievement of the goal of ending AIDS as a public health threat.

In the financial year 2022/2023, a total of 119 Civil Society Organizations, including Faith Based Organizations, were contracted with an amount of P100 million to implement HIV and NCDs prevention activities throughout the country, and the money was drawn from the Consolidated Fund.

Through an upcoming HIV Prevention Symposium, technical stakeholders will use outcomes to develop the Botswana HIV Prevention Acceleration Road Map for 2023-2025.

Morwaeng stated that government will support and ensure that Botswana plays its part achieving the road map. He said there is need to put hands on the deck to ensure that Botswana sustains progress made so far in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

“There are tremendous achievements thus far to, reach and surpass the UNAIDS fast track targets of 95%- 95%- 95% by the year 2025. As reflected by the BAIS preliminary results of 2021, we now stand at 95- 98- 98 against the set targets.”

“These achievements challenge us to now shift our gears and strive to know who are the remaining 5% for those aware of their HIV status, 2% of enrolment on treatment by those aware of their status and 2% of viral suppression by those on treatment.”

Explaining this further, Morwaeng said shift in gears should extend to coming up with robust strategies of determining where these remaining people are as well as how they will be reached with the necessary services.

“These are just some of the many variables that are required to ensure that as a country, we are well positioned to reaching the last mile of our country’s response to the HIV and AIDS pandemic.”

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