Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Culture Development Tshekedi Khama has reported fellow cabinet member, Dorcas Makgato to the party’s Central Committee over the latter’s latest controversial remarks, but he was overruled by President Mokgweetsi Masisi, who said it was not a Central Committee issue.
It is understood that Tshekedi reported the matter to President Masisi during the Central Committee meeting last week in which the trio sits. Makgato is Women’s Wing Chairperson while Tshekedi is an Additional Member in the party’s highest decision making committee. “TK went to the Central Committee and tried to make this matter a Central Committee issue but the president said it is not. Go and talk to her to ask her and that you don’t need to attack her. Were you referring to my dad? No. Full stop,” Makgato told Weekend Post in an interview this week.
To me, Makgato explained that there is no clarity, as it is a non-issue because Tshekedi had wanted to ask her if she was referring to his father at the political rally in Chadibe. At the provocative rally Makgato had stated that someone brought strict alcohol policies and imposed solely because his died due alcohol related complications. She did not however reveal the name at the rally, but it is understood that she was referring to Tshekedi’s father, Sir Seretse Khama, who is the founding father of BDP.
“Masisi said he should ask me and if we experience a problem, we should go back to him,” Makgato charged further highlighting that “but I told him that no, I was not referring to your father.” She justified that because the Khamas have a propaganda agenda against her, they have decided to put the words she didn’t utter into her mouth.
“I don’t like speculating about people and whether TK is doing all this as an excuse to leave BDP for BPF, but am suspicious why they put words on me to tarnish my image. You cannot go to my constituency and talk about developments or my manners as you lose the game. So the only strategy remaining is propaganda campaign,” she pointed out to this publication.
Makgato continued: “I am even also aware that they donated some ipads to some constituents; others given P60 each; they have been sent to de-campaign me. My time will come to speak out. Even the other who face an issue of raping a minor which is kept a secret will be exposed. The other one stole petrol. I know these things. Bring the commission of inquiry that is where I will speak.”
The non-conformist Minister asserted that she had sit down, and thought through what she is doing and prayed about it. “I have decided to do this because when history judges me, when our grandchild ask us what did you do when our democracy was under attack I must give proper answers and be able to stand up and show that what I did and said was to try and restore our democracy before it gets out of hand as it seems destined to,” she said.
“I want to be counted as some of those who stood up. The consequences of which I am so ready for. Even if it means the constituency going against me and doesn’t vote for me at the next polls; that’s okay with Dorcas. Even if it’s a case of standing with me, and showing me love and support, which is what I expect, for being able to stand for the truth I will be happy with that. So I am ready for anything,”
My story has been very consistent, she said highlighting that, let me tell you the un-consistency of the story of the founder and patron of BPF: he said Robert Mugabe, president of Zimbabwe do not want to vacate office, and wrote an open letter, who now wants to come back to rule or trying to influence the presidency? The founder and patron of BPF.
She continued to ask: who went to my constituents to say am intelligent, hard worker and great performer, backed up by my performance in every Ministry, and in the Private sector because I have excelled. “Now he says am dishonest, that’s inconsistency.” According to Makgato, you cannot go around and tell people to go with you as you change like weather depending on what suits you at a particular time.
“It’s called taking people for granted. So you decide what happens in Botswana, alone? We are not subjects. And there is no way in my life I can allow that. If it means this is what I have to die for I am so ready for that I will die in peace.” “People told me that there was a meeting discussing me; they said there will be a smear campaign against me; that people will be told that I am a drunkard; am a thief and am a witch. And if you clearly believe I sell the ARV’s show me the evidence. I don’t. I only sell tomatoes and green peppers.”
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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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.”