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.
TK, GOYA, MAKGELEMELE GIVEN MONTH ULTIMATUM
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.
An international report complied in South Africa dubbed ‘Legal Gender Recognition in Botswana’ says that the transgender and gender non-conforming people in Botswana live a miserable life. The community experiences higher levels of discrimination, violence and ill health.
In this report, it has been indicated that this is because their gender identity, which does not conform to narrowly define societal norms, renders them more vulnerable. Gender identity is a social determinant of health, which means that it is a factor that influences people’s health via their social context, their communities and their experiences of social exclusion. The Ministry of Health and Wellness has recognized this, and transgender people are considered a vulnerable population under the Botswana Second National Strategic Framework for HIV and AIDS 2010-2017.
In a recent study that shed light on the lived experiences of transgender and gender non-conforming people in Botswana, transgender persons often experience discrimination because of their gender identity and expression. The study was conducted by the University of Cape Town, LEGABIBO, BONELA, as well as Rainbow Identity Association and approved by the Health Ministry as well as the University of Botswana.
Of the 77 transgender and gender non-conforming people who participated in the study, less than half were employed. Two thirds, which is approximately 67% said that they did not have sufficient funds to cover their everyday needs. Two in five had hidden health concerns from their healthcare provider because they were afraid to disclose their gender identity.
More than half said that because of their gender identity, they had been treated disrespectfully at a healthcare facility (55%), almost half (46%) said they had been insulted at a healthcare facility, and one quarter (25%) had been denied healthcare because of their gender identity.
At the same time, the ‘Are we doing right’ study suggests that transgender and non-conforming people might be at higher risks of experiencing violence and mental ill-health, compared to the general population. More than half had experienced verbal embarrassment because of their gender identity, 48% had experienced physical violence and more than one third (38%) had experienced sexual violence.
The study showed that mental health concerns were high among transgender and gender non-conforming people in Botswana. Half of the transgender and gender non-conforming study participants (53%) showed signs of depression. Between one in four and one in six showed signs of moderate or severe anxiety (22% among transgender women, 24% among transgender men and 17% among gender non-conforming people).
Further, the study revealed that many had attempted suicide: one in three transgender women (32%), more than one in three transgender men (35%) and three in five gender non-conforming people (61%).
International research, as well as research from Botswana, suggests that not being able to change one’s gender marker has a negative impact on access to healthcare and mental health and wellbeing. The study further showed that one in four transgender people in Botswana (25%) had been denied access to healthcare. This is, at least in part, linked to not being able to change one’s gender marker in the identity documents, and thus not having an identity document that matches one’s gender identity and gender expression.
In its Assessment of Legal and Regulatory Framework for HIV, AIDS and Tuberculosis, the Health Ministry noted that “transgender persons in Botswana are unable to access identity documents that reflect their gender identity, which is a barrier to health services, including in the context of HIV. In one documented case, a transwoman’s identity card did not reflect her gender identity- her identity card photo indicated she was ‘male’. When she presented her identity card at a health facility, a health worker called the police who took her into custody.”
The necessity of a correct national identity document goes beyond healthcare. The High Court of Botswana explains that “the national identity document plays a pivotal role in every Motswana’s daily life, as it links him or her with any service they require from various institutions. Most activities in the country require every Motswana to produce their identity document, for identification purposes of receiving services.”
According to the Legal Gender Recognition in Botswana report, this effectively means that transgender, whose gender identity and expression is likely to be different from the sex assigned to them at birth and from what is recorded on their identity document, cannot access services without risk of denial or discrimination, or accusations of fraud.
In this context, gays and lesbians advocacy group LEGABIBO has called on government through the Department of Civil and National Registration to urgently implement the High Court rulings on gender marker changes. As stated by the High Court in the ND vs Attorney General of Botswana judgement, identity cards (Omang) play an important role in the life of every Motswana. Refusal and or delay to issue a Motswana with an Omang is denying them to live a complete and full-filing life with dignity and violates their privacy and freedom of expression.
The judgement clarified that persons can change their gender marker as per the National Registrations Act, so changing the gender marker is legally possible. There is no need for a court order. It further said the person’s gender is self-identified, there is no need to consult medical doctors.
LEGABIBO also called on government to develop regulations that specify administrative procedure to change one’s gender marker, and observing self-determination process. Further, the group looks out for government to ensure members of the transgender community are engaged in the development of regulations.
“We call on this Department of Civil and National Registration to ensure that the gender marker change under the National Registration Act is aligned to the Births and Deaths Registry Act to avoid court order.
Meanwhile, a gay man in Lobatse, Moabi Mokenke was recently viciously killed after being sexually violated in the streets of Peleng, shockingly by his neighbourhood folks. The youthful lad, likely to be 29-years old, met his fate on his way home, from the wearisome Di a Bowa taverns situated in the much populated township of Peleng Central.
CEO of Khato Civils Mongezi Mnyani has come out of the silence and is going all way guns blazing against the company’s adversaries who he said are hell-bent on tarnishing his company’s image and “hard-earned good name”
Speaking to WeekendPost from South Africa, Mnyani said it is now time for him to speak out or act against his detractors. Khato Civils has done several projects across Africa. Khato Civils, a construction company and its affiliate engineering company, South Zambezi have executed a number of world class projects in South Africa, Malawi and now recently here in Botswana.
About ten (10) Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) parliamentary candidates who lost the 2019 general election and petitioned results this week met with UDC Vice President, Dumelang Saleshando to discuss the way forward concerning the quandary that is the legal fees put before them by Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) lawyers.
For a while now, UDC petitioners who are facing the wrath of quizzical sheriffs have demanded audience with UDC National Executive Committee (NEC) but in vain. However after the long wait for a tete-a-tete with the UDC, the petitioners met with Saleshando accompanied by other NEC members including Dr. Kesitegile Gobotswang, Reverend Mpho Dibeela and Dennis Alexander.