The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee is expected to visit the Lerala-Maunatlala constituency next week Monday to announce the name of Sethabelo Modukanele, a former civil servant, as the candidate for the constituency following the sacking of Prince Maele.
Modukanele is well known in the constituency and has unsuccessfully challenged Maele twice in the party primaries. In the recent primaries, the former director in the Ministry of Health lost will a margin of 180 people to Maele. He had attracted about 3330 votes compared to Maele’s 3500. The BDP central committee is convinced that Modukanele will defend the BDP constituency because of the good numbers he has been attracting everytime he competed.
In the 2014 elections Modukanele was an independent candidate in the general election and was voted by 4600 people. This is also part of the reason why the BDP central committee is convinced that he may just be the right candidate. “Because there were only two candidates in the primary elections, it makes sense that Modukanele is given the green light to represent the party in the coming general election,” said a BDP member in the constituency who preferred anonymity.
Modukanele has a Master’s Degree in Economics from the United Kingdom and has worked as Deputy Director at the Directorate of Public Servioce Management (DPSM). Despite his five months sojourn at the Botswana Movement for Democeracy (BMD) after the 2014 general election, Modukanele is said to be commanding respect among BDP members who did not support Maele.
Modukanele’s supporters point out that he had faced frustrations in the party which forced him to join the BMD then. They ascribe Modukanele’s frustrations to alleged mistreatment by Maele and the branch committee. Modukanele had appealed the outcome of the 2008 BDP primaries but was not given a hearing.
Modukanele’s supporters point out that Maele only joined the BDP in 2002 after being lobbied by the then branch chairman, Victor Malete. “There was a push to remove Thebe Mogami at the time who was seen as an A-team and people wanted a Morata Phathi to dislodge him and Maele was seen as a the right candidate.” Maele lost the 2003 primary elections but ultimately won the 2008 primary elections.
In 2013 he won the BDP primaries again against Modukanele, a development the losing camp alleged was riddled with anomalies. Now, after being booted from the party for undermining the party leadership, Maele will run as an independent candidate, taking the route experienced by Modukanele in 2014. On the other hand Modukanele look set to ride on the powerful BDP brand this time around, the two men have swapped positions and the voter will decide in October.
However Maele is pinning his hopes on his supporters and former President dr Ian Khama’s charm. The former President has since left the ruling party and vowed to fight to the bitter end to ensure that it loses elections this year. The latest developments clear the Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP)’s name from the political space as he remains on contract with Government until February next year.
Carter Morupisi has been constantly linked with the constituency in the past. This week he further distanced himself from politics insisting he is a civil servant. The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) look set to be represented by Kabo Ketshogile who seems to have weaved himself into the arms of the UDC leadership despite being BMD.
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.
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.
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.