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Dikgosi agree to split the Central District

In a twist of events, the Ntlo Ya Dikgosi has this week unanimously agreed to split the gigantic Central District Council in Gamma-Ngwato territory.

The house passed the motion which was brought by the controversial Tswapong region’s Kgosi Galeakanye Modise who out rightly called for the creation of a new District in the Central region thereby splitting the area. This comes after the Central District has become a hot potato political subject in which some supporting Botswana Democratic Party (BDP)’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi in the power struggle against ex-president Lt Gen Ian Khama has called for its split.

They observe that the split will neutralise the power in the party between the north and side divide of the country. Central District is the heartland of Bangwato who are led by Masisi’s rival and predecessor, Kgosi Ian Khama. The BDP has been seen as more powerful and strong in the Central District with more than 15 constituencies having been won uninterrupted by the BDP since first national elections in 1965.

Khama has solidified his presence in the territory and it appears to be seen how the BDP will fare in the area after Khama quit it and de-campaigned it in the area in support of newly formed Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF). The move has led to an interesting twists in the power struggle between the two strongmen as Dikgosi agreed to create the new District in the Central territory. They moved read “that this honourable house requests government to create a new District Council called Tswapong in order to provide good service delivery to many disadvantage people living in the area.”

When debating the motion the one-of-a-kind Specially Elected member of Ntlo Ya Dikgosi, Kgosi Thabo Maruje III of Masunga reminded government that if government doesn’t make such reforms (splitting Central District) there will be very serious consequences. “Ultimately every government doesn’t listen to her people, there will be chaos,” he stressed out on the Ntlo Ya Dikgosi debating floor while adding that “so, this motion, to split CDC, is coming at the right time and it will be a model for the rest of the country.”

Kgosi Maruje pointed out that he believes going into the 2019 general elections, such matters should be topical especially as Batswana are more informed now. “If government continues with the idea that somebody should be like this and that one should not be like that is a problem,” he said when debating the Central District motion. Let’s agree that we don’t want anybody stripped off what deserves to them, but again, we need to give others what it’s rightfully theirs and deserve it, he said.

He continued: I believe our government has always been the driver of this national polarisation and this tribalism because government has never detached itself from this at any point in time. After 50 years, Maruje said, if you look at all this polarisation and tribalisation, it is now the source of discontentment today and will divide the country. “For years, tribal issues has been politicised. We have politicised tribal matters without giving due regard of giving Dikgosi space and chance to sit down and ponder on issues affecting them and how they can be solved.”

My plea is that, Kgosi Maruje said, the government should not look at these things from a skewed perspective as Botswana is different now and that the country is going through the winds of change. He emphasised to the members of Ntlo Ya Dikgosi that there should be a model on how the country should resuscitate the people’s identity, to give them more power as is the cased with Central District motion.

“I believe therefore that district headquarters in all sub districts, not only in Central District as we also have the same issue in Good Hope, Tlokweng, Nata, Tswapong and others, so I think as the mover of the motion has stated this should be uphold. We can start with splitting Central District,” he said.

On his part, Kgosi Rapelang Khuwe of Tutume region also agreed with the motion citing thsat when the resources and budgets of the sub districts at Central District, are only done at Serowe and then sent to the sub districts, it puts the ordinary people on the disadvantage.
“Developments become slow, they reach the people very late owing to this long process. It means some Batswana become beggars to others who have more power on resources like it’s the case with CDC. This is notwithstanding that the constitution prescribe that we should be equal,” he pointed out.

Kgosi Khuwe said the government should review their current plan to create more sub districts but rather create a fully-fledged district in Tswapong away from the Central District. He added: “this will help the cry from disadvantaged Batswana from those areas. You should make Tswapong District rather than sub district and that maybe 2 or 3 fully fledged Districts in the CDC will help in service delivery.” According to Khuwe, when the government is bringing more sub districts in one districts as they adamantly intents to do in Central District, his assessment is that it’s even more expensive to tax payers as is currently now.

He explained that if one sub district is being created in Nata, one in Sebina, why so when there is still sub district of Tutume, why not turn the Tutume one into full District than spending the money recklessly with more sub districts. He added that the same goes to Tswapong, in that if the government wants to form a sub district there, they should just turn Palapye into a fully fledge District dividing it from the vast Central District. When responding to the motion, the Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Botlogile Tshireletso poured cold water on the motion saying it is not in government’s plans.

“At this time we don’t have plans to make Tswapong sub district a fully fledge district,” he stressed. But of course, she added that the mover of the motion has a point. However, Tshireletso said what government intends to do at this stage, is to create a sub districts at Sefhare and Lerala in the Central District. The sub district as you know is like a younger brother to the big district which is Central District here, she said. Kgosi Modise, subsequent to the Minister’s response, then took a swipe at the Assistant Minister and the government reminding them that all Batswana are and should be equal.

“God created us all equal and so we are all equal before the lord. But unfortunately, it appears like someone who is not thinking of doing something to someone, they feel that the person in question has therefore no right of pursuing such cause,” he lashed out. He observed that government should introspect and see if it is still relevant today to think that others may be inferior as opposed to others and that some people don’t deserve other facilities or services like others. “This will bring this country into chaos,” he said.

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South Korean Embassy aids students living with disabilities

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When talking at the handing over ceremony, Chull-Joo Park, said they agreed with BRCS to give out e-learning equipment to better the training skills of students living with disabilities.

“With the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment and job training skills, we will be able to help the students living with disabilities to do e-learning and to better their education and job training,” said Chull-Joo Park.

It was revealed that the South Korean Embassy approached BRCS with the intent to donate equipment and educational material that includes an embroidery machine, photo copier machine, tablets and interactive boards to be utilized by the trainees.

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Smart board gadgets will provide the students with an elevated learning process to be fostered by e-learning. The gadgets provide a more visual element to the learning process, which in turn improves learner mental retention.

Tlamelong Rehabilitation serves the marginalized and underserved less privileged persons living with disability in Botswana. The center offers boarding services, vocational training, social services, physiotherapy and rehabilitation services for young people living disabilities aged 18-35 from across the country over a period of two (2) years per cohort which has a maximum intake capacity of 35. BRCS through International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have managed to create great working synergy with the South Korean Embassy in Pretoria based in South Africa to support or augment the National Society’s Rehabilitation Centre’s learning challenges.

For his part, BRSC Secretary General Kutlwano Mokokomani said they are delighted to convey their gratitude as BRSC to the South Korean Embassy for donation and they look forward to an enduring partnership for such worthy causes.

“South Korean Embassy’s great gesture will enable trainees to thrive, to fulfil their dreams to become a reality as this equipments will go a long way in creating great impact in the lives of trainees and their families. We wish to convey our sincere gratitude to the South Korean Embassy for their noble gesture of donating the E-learning equipments.”

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