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BURS ‘political’ raids irk UDC, AP

Political leaders across the aisle have joined their hands against what has been labelled as unjust governance, blatant abuse of power and basic disregard of the basic tenets of fairness by state apparatus, especially Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) for ‘harassing’ Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) leader Duma Boko.  

This week reports emerged that BURS, accompanied by armed officers from another government department of the executive branch of government spent an extended period at Boko’s home. At the time of the raid, Boko was said to be in South Africa and the officers instead interrogated family members.

This has rubbed Alliance for Progressives (AP) leader Ndaba Gaolathe the wrong way. “This is a typical case of unjust governance, a blatant abuse of power and a disregard of the basic tenets of fairness. Injustice is injustice regardless of the name of the person to whom it is being administered. If Hon Boko has committed crimes or is being suspected of so doing, then the system should attend to him in accordance with due process,” Gaolathe said.

It is not the first time Boko is having scuffle with BURS. In April this year Taxman seized the two aircraft, an Agusta 119 and a Beech 190 Wednesday that belonged to Waleed Helicopter Services on suspicion that the pilots failed to comply with customs procedures. The UDC hired the chopper and the jet for use in preparation for 2019 general election campaign. Thereafter, Boko saw his top of the range Range Rover SUV impounded. By then Boko was being investigated for tax evasion by BURS officials.

What irks Ndaba the most is the fact that those personnel visited Boko’s family, to interrogate them about matters relating to a person whose absence they were aware of. “This should worry all fair minded citizens, we cannot afford a further entrenchment of injustice nor should we encourage the celebration of a creeping authoritarianism. I have said it before, that I live to fight injustice, and it does not matter the hour or the victim, I will always fight on the side of justice,” he said.

This according to Ndaba is the beginning of many atrocities opposition politicians and their families will endure especially during the election season. UDC has also registered their complaints through a press release. “We have noted with great concern the continued use of state apparatus by Masisi's Government in harassing and intimidating political opponents. Today, and throughout this week, Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) has been invading the home of Boko, harassing the family, enquiring about the movement of Mr Boko, the mode of transport he uses and which border used to travel to South Africa. All of this is a violation of the private rights of Mr. Boko,” a statement penned by UDC, Head of Communications Moeti Mohwasa read.

This, according to the statement, is a catastrophe for the democracy, particularly in an election year. These, the release say can be summarized as acts of cowardice, intolerance and an attempt to retain power by all means including undemocratic ones. “It is our plea that for the sake of progress of democracy, peace and harmony of this Country, there must be prevalence of free and fair Elections where the Opposition and its leaders are allowed to campaign freely without harassment and intimidation occasioned to them and their families”, Mohwasa wrote on the release.

The UDC has warned that state's democratic Institutions and Departments must not meddle in political campaigns as that will destroy their independence and integrity. “We advise President Masisi to tread carefully because the actions of his government have potential to trigger a civil strife, consequently destroying this country, and surely he will be liable for failing the test of statesmanship. We at UDC commit to a peaceful, prosperous Country where a person’s political and economic rights are guaranteed and respected.”

The release continued, “We are aware that the current regime wants to create chaos in the Country and thereafter impose a state of emergency which will among others, delay the process of Elections and thereby extending President Masisi's rule against the will of the people.”

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BDP decides Balopi’s fate

22nd November 2021
Balopi

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee (CC) meeting, chaired by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi late last month, resolved that the party’s next Secretary-General (SG) should be a full-time employee based at Tsholetsa House and not active in politics.

The resolution by the CC, which Masisi proposed, is viewed as a ploy to deflate the incumbent, Mpho Balopi’s political ambitions and send him into political obscurity. The two have not been on good terms since the 2019 elections, and the fallout has been widening despite attempts to reconcile them. In essence, the BDP says that Balopi, who is currently a Member of Parliament, Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development, and a businessman, is overwhelmed by the role.

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BDF-Namibians shootings autopsy report revealed

22nd November 2021
BDF

The Botswana Defence Force (BDF)-Namibians fatal shooting tragedy Inquest has revealed through autopsy report that the BDF carried over 800 bullets for the mission, 32 of which were discharged towards the targets, and 19 of which hit the targets.

This would mean that 13 bullets missed the targets-in what would be a 60 percent precision rate for the BDF operation target shooting. The Autopsy report shows that Martin Nchindo was shot with five (4) bullets, Ernst Nchindo five (5) bullets, Tommy Nchindo five (5) bullets and Sinvula Munyeme five (5) bullets. From the seven (7) BDF soldiers that left the BDF camp in two boats, four (4) fired the shots that killed the Namibians.

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Gov’t confused over Moitoi’s UN job application

22nd November 2021
VENSON MOITOI

The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s decision to apply for the positions of United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and their deputies (DSRSG), has left the government confused over whether to lend her support or not, WeekendPost has established.

Moitoi’s application follows the Secretary-General’s launch of the third edition of the Global Call for Heads and Deputy Heads of United Nations Field Missions, which aims to expand the pool of candidates for the positions of SRSG) and their deputies to advance gender parity and geographical diversity at the most senior leadership level in the field. These mission leadership positions are graded at the Under-Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary-General levels.

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