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Ndelu Seretse rejects BPF proposal

Former cabinet minister, Ramadeluka Seretse has turned downed the opportunity to contest the coming general elections under the newly formed Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) because he could not agree terms with their demands.

Seretse had warmed-up to the idea of joining the BPF, but the clash emerged when the leadership of the BPF did not want him to bring along his council candidates as well. Seretse revealed his position during a rally in Motetshwane Ward in Serowe North constituency this week.
“I have gone a long way with my council candidates campaigning in my constituency, we have already branded ourselves and I cannot leave them alone and contest under BPF,” said Seretse.

“BPF Secretary General, Roseline Panzirah-Matshome told me that Serowe North Constituency is causing confusion. The party want only me to contest under BPF not my council candidates. It is not fair.” He said moving to BPF leaving council candidates will mean a loss to him in 2019 general elections as his electorates will lose trust on him and vote for another candidate.

The former Minister of Defence, Justice and Security claimed that when he visited Serule, Gojwane, Topisi, Paje Tshimoyapula while on campaign, the resident told him that since BPF  denied their residents to contest under the party they are not going to vote for the party, and urged him to remain independent.

Seretse indicated that during the feud between Lt Gen Ian Khama and his successor President Mokgwetsi Masisi, Khama told him that during 2019 general elections he is going to influence his followers to vote for UDC, but he advised him to form a new party. “I, Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, Foster Seretse, Prince Moitoi and Mojakgomo [Ronald] were the first people to help form the party and Dr Moitoi drafted the party constitution,’’ he said.

‘’I had an influential voice during Kanye to cancel elective congress. I was surprised when the party decided again to hold it in Palapye. Khama did the biggest mistake to let the party hold elective congress before general elections as I advised him.”
Seretse is of the view that the BPF leadership is causing confusion and that they do not respect electorates.

“They take decision without consulting them [members] as they have concluded to field Serowe North Parliamentary candidate, Baratiwa Mathoothe without consulting the constituents. This is going to give BDP a chance to win the constituency due to split of votes,” he said.
He expressed displeasure that BPF leadership is using Khama, saying they only make decisions without consultation on the basis that wherever BPF is contesting, it is going to win because of Khama.

According to Seretse, BPF decided to discuss other issues with other opposition parties at the exclusion independent candidates who are supporting Khama. He pointed out that Khama trust him very well, revealing that he is the one who recruited him to politics in 2003.
After winning general elections in 2004, former President Festus Mogae appointed him Minister of Lands and Housing. During Khama’s term he served as Minister of Defence, Justice and Security.

Even after losing 2014 general elections, Seretse said Khama wanted to appoint him Specially Elected MP but he declined. Seretse, who is cousin to Khama also stated that the latter offered him the leadership of a commission in Lesotho, but again he declined to take-up the post. Seretse, who was once considered heir to Khama’s presidency, said it will be not surprising for Khama to offer him support even if when he is not contesting under BPF because he has trust on him.

Information gathered suggest that Seretse became a target for opposing elective congress in Kanye. In response, his detractors in the BPF are contemplating fielding a candidate but the party will not do the same with Prince Maele, who is also contesting as an independent candidate. A highly placed source from BPF said BPF Deputy Treasurer Robert Maribe who is BPF council candidate in Motetshwane Ward in Serowe North has vowed to de-campaign Seretse for opposing elective congress in Kanye.

WeekendPost has been informed that Maribe is going around the ward telling electorates that they should not vote for council independent candidate, Mojakgomo and Seretse because they are still linked with BDP and are not members of BPF. According to informants, this has caused confusion as older people were of the understanding that they are voting for both independent candidates who supports Khama and who they are sure that they are going to join BPF after general elections.

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People with Disabilities Face Barriers to Political Participation in Botswana

23rd February 2024

Individuals challenged by disabilities encounter formidable obstacles when endeavoring to partake in political processes within the context of Botswana. Political involvement, a cornerstone of democratic governance, empowers citizens to shape the legislative landscape that impacts their daily existence. Despite Botswana’s reputation for upholding democratic ideals, recent insights unveil a troubling reality – those with disabilities find themselves marginalized in the realm of politics, contending with substantial barriers obstructing the exercise of their democratic liberties.

A recent inquiry in Botswana unveiled a panorama where individuals with disabilities confront hurdles in navigating the political arena, their involvement often restricted to the basic act of voting. Voices emerged from the study, underscoring the critical necessity of fostering environments that are accessible and welcoming, affording individuals with disabilities the active engagement they rightfully deserve in political processes. Noteworthy was the account of a participant grappling with physical impairments, shedding light on the glaring absence of ramps at polling stations and the urgent call for enhanced support mechanisms to ensure an equitable electoral participation.

The echoes reverberating from these narratives serve as poignant reminders of the entrenched obstacles impeding the full integration of individuals with disabilities into the democratic tapestry. The inaccessibility of polling stations and the glaring absence of provisions tailored to the needs of persons with disabilities loom large as formidable barricades to their political engagement. Particularly pronounced is the plight of those grappling with severe impairments and intellectual challenges, who face even steeper hurdles in seizing political participation opportunities, often grappling with feelings of isolation and exclusion from the political discourse.

Calls for decisive action cascade forth, urging the establishment of more inclusive and accessible political ecosystems that embrace individuals with disabilities in Botswana. Government bodies and concerned stakeholders are urged to prioritize the enactment of laws and policies designed to safeguard the political rights of individuals with disabilities. Furthermore, initiatives geared towards enhancing awareness and education on political processes and rights for this segment of society must be spearheaded, alongside the adoption of inclusive measures within political institutions and party structures.

By dismantling these barriers and nurturing a political landscape that is truly inclusive, Botswana can earnestly uphold its democratic ethos and afford every citizen, including those with disabilities, a substantive opportunity to partake in the political fabric of the nation.



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Neo Kirchway- Defying the odds

23rd February 2024

In the heartwarming tale of Neo Kirchway, a beacon of inspiration emerges, shining brightly amid life’s adversities.

Defying the constraints of destiny, Neo Kirchway, a resilient Motswana soul now thriving in the United States, stands tall despite the absence of her lower limbs. With unwavering determination, she tends to her cherished family – a loving husband and four children – engaging in the daily symphony of household tasks with remarkable grace.

Neo’s indomitable spirit traces back to the fateful year of 1994, a time when medical intervention called for the amputation of her curled legs. Embracing this pivotal juncture with unwavering courage and the blessing of her mother, she ventured forth into a world adorned with prosthetic legs, eager to script a tale of triumph.

Venturing beyond borders, Neo’s journey led her to the embrace of the United States, where serendipity intertwined her fate with that of her soulmate, Garrett Kirchway. Together, this harmonious duo navigates the ebbs and flows of life, their bond fortified by unwavering love and unyielding support.

In a bid to illuminate paths and embolden hearts, Neo leverages the digital realm, crafting a sanctuary of empowerment on her YouTube channel. Brimming with authenticity and raw emotion, her videos chronicle the tapestry of her daily life, serving as a testament to resilience and the unwavering human spirit.

Amidst the digital cosmos, Neo, affectionately known as “KirchBaby,” reigns supreme, a luminary in the hearts of 658,000 enraptured subscribers. Through her captivating content, she not only navigates the mundane tasks of cooking, cleaning, and childcare but also dances with celestial grace, a testament to her boundless spirit and unyielding zest for life.

In the cathedral of Neo Kirchway’s narrative, resilience reigns supreme, echoing a universal truth – that amidst life’s gales, the human spirit, when kindled by hope and fortitude, emerges as a beacon of light, illuminating even the darkest of paths.


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Inequalities Faced by Individuals with Disabilities

22nd February 2024

The government’s efforts to integrate individuals with disabilities in Botswana society are being hampered by budgetary constraints. Those with disabilities face inequalities in budgetary allocations in the health and education sectors. For instance, it is reported that the government allocates higher budgetary funds to the general health sector, while marginal allocations are proposed for the development and implementation of the National Primary Health Care guidelines and Standards for those with Disabilities. This shows that in terms of budgetary solutions, the government’s proposed initiatives in improving the health and well-being of those with disabilities remain futile as there is not enough money going towards disability-specific health programs. On the other hand, limited budgetary allocations to the Special Education Unit also are a primary contributor to the inequalities faced by children with disabilities. The government only provides for the employment of 15 teachers with qualifications in special education despite the large numbers of children with intellectual disabilities that are in need of special education throughout Botswana. Such disproportional allocation of resources inhibits the capacity to provide affordable and accessible assisted technology and residential support services for those with disabilities. Given the fact that a different amount of resources have been availed to the education and health sectors, the general understanding is that the government is not doing enough to ensure that adequate resources are distributed to disability-specific programs and facilities such as barrier-free environments, residential homes, and special education schools for children with disabilities.


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