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52% say corrupt worsened in last 12 months

At least 52 percent of the population in Botswana is of the view that corruption in the country has increased alarmingly in the last 12 months although the country continues to be ranked among the least corrupt nations in Africa.

The latest research by Transparency International and Afrobarometer in 35 African countries shows that an estimated 52 percent of the people in Botswana are unhappy with the level of corruption in public institutions. However, in the same survey, Botswana was ranked as the third least corrupt country in Africa with the level of corruption at seven percent, which is an indication that the government was committed in its fight against corrupt actions.   

“52 per cent think corruption increased in the previous 12 months – seven percent of public service users paid a bribe in the previous 12 months – 42 percent think their government is doing a bad job of tackling corruption – 62 percent think that ordinary citizens can make a difference in the fight against corruption,” the report noted. But in the survey Botswana went on to fare-well in dealing with corruption at the national compared with other African countries surveyed whose economies are in turmoil due to high level corrupt acts.

“By comparison, in Botswana, only 1 per cent of citizens who came into contact with health centres or clinics paid a bribe, followed by Mauritius (two percent) and Eswatini (formerly Swaziland) (three percent),” the reports said. At least 62 percent of the respondents in Botswana said they were ready and willing to take action in fighting fraud and corruption despite fears of retaliation and inaction from those involved in graft.

“A majority of citizens in Lesotho, Mauritius, Cabo Verde, Botswana, Eswatini and Gambia think reporting corruption can lead to change (55 per cent or more). However, this falls to less than one-third in Liberia, Guinea, Nigeria, Togo, Gabon and Namibia, where people are far less confident that any action would be taken (less than 33 per cent),” the survey noted.

The reported added: “Reporting mechanisms can act as important deterrents for public officials who may otherwise decide to engage in corruption. However, if victims fear retaliation if they use such mechanisms or think they will be ineffective, the mechanisms will not be used.”
The survey also suggested that whistle-blower reporting channels in all countries had to be safe and secure, providing confidentiality and anonymity to reporters while the complaints must be properly investigated, with perpetrators held to account.

In overall, the poll showed that the majority of the citizens surveyed in the 35 African countries are of the view that corruption is getting worse and their government is doing a poor job of fighting it. The tenth edition of the barometer is the largest and most detailed survey of citizens’ views on bribery and other forms of corruption in Africa.  The report highlights how corruption disproportionately affects the poorest citizens, who have to pay bribes twice as much as the rich citizens to access essential public service such as health, education and public assistance.

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BODANSA strikes gold with a handsome P45K windfall from Turnstar Holdings

27th February 2024

The Botswana DanceSport Association (BODANSA) has been graced with a financial boon of P45,000 courtesy of Turnstar Holdings. This generous endowment is earmarked for the illustrious Botswana International Dance Sport Grand Prix Championships, which are scheduled to animate Gaborone from Friday to Saturday.

At a media engagement held early today, BODANSA’s Marketing Maestro, Tiro Ntwayagae, shared that Turnstar Holdings Limited has bestowed a gift of P45,000 towards the grand spectacle.

“We are thrilled to announce that this backing will enable us to orchestrate a cultural soirée at the Game City Marque locale, a night brimming with cultural fervor set for March 1, 2024, from 6pm to the stroke of midnight.

This enchanting space will also serve as the battleground for the preliminaries of traditional dance ensembles—spanning the rhythmically rich Setapa to the euphoric beats of Sebirwa, the spirited Seperu, the heavenly Hosana, and more—in a competition folded into the Traditional Dance Groups Category. The ensemble that dances into the judges’ hearts will clinch a grand prize of P10,000,” elaborated Ntwayagae.

He further illuminated that the cultural eve would not only celebrate traditional melodies but also the fresh beats of contemporary dance variants including Hip Hop, Sbujwa, Amapiano, among others, in a dazzling display of modern dance mastery.

Moreover, these championships carry the prestigious recognition by the World DanceSport Federation as a qualifying round for the Breakdance category for the Paris 2024 Olympics. “This is a monumental opportunity for athletes to leap towards their Olympic dreams during one of the penultimate qualifiers,” underscored Ntwayagae.

Looking ahead to March 2, 2024, the festivities will propel into the University of Botswana Indoor Sports Arena for the championship’s climactic showdowns encompassing Breakdance, Latin, and Ballroom Dancing.

 

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Government of Botswana yet to sign, ratify the UN-CRPD

26th February 2024

In Botswana, a beacon of democracy in Africa, the right to participate in the political discourse is a cornerstone of its societal structure. It’s an avenue through which citizens shape the rules and systems that govern their everyday lives. Despite this, recent studies indicate that Individuals with Disabilities (IWDs) are notably absent from political dialogues and face substantial hurdles in exercising their democratic freedoms.

Research within the nation has uncovered that IWDs encounter difficulties in engaging fully with the political process, with a pronounced gap in activities beyond mere voting. The call for environments that are both accessible and welcoming to IWDs is loud, with one participant, who has a physical disability, spotlighting the absence of ramps at voting venues and the dire need for enhanced support to facilitate equitable involvement in the electoral process.

The challenges highlighted by the study participants pinpoint the structural and social obstacles that deter IWDs from participating wholly in democracy. The inaccessibility of voting facilities and the lack of special accommodations for people with disabilities are critical barriers. Those with more significant or intellectual disabilities face even steeper challenges, often feeling marginalized and detached from political engagement.

To surmount these obstacles, there is an urgent appeal for Botswana to stride towards more inclusive and accessible political stages for IWDs. This necessitates a committed effort from both the government and relevant entities to enforce laws and policies that protect the rights of IWDs to partake in the political framework. Enhancing awareness and understanding of the political landscape among IWDs, alongside integrating inclusive practices within political entities and governmental bodies, is crucial.

By dismantling these barriers and nurturing an inclusive political environment, Botswana can live up to its democratic ideals, ensuring every citizen, regardless of ability, can have a substantive stake in the country’s political future.

 

 

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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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