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Modukanele to represent BDP in Lerala-Maunatlala

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.

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Fighting vulture poisoning in KAZA region.

3rd February 2023
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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Giant in the making: Everton Mlalazi

3rd February 2023

The music industry is at a point where artists are jostling for space because there are so many aspirants trying to get their big break, thus creating stiff competition.

In the music business it’s about talent and positioning. You need to be at the right place at the right time with the right people around you to propel you forward.
Against all odds, Everton Mlalazi has managed to takeover the gospel scene effortlessly.
To him, it’s more than just a breakthrough to stardom, but a passion as well as mission directly appointed by the Lord.

Within a short space of 2 years after having decided to persue a solo career, Mlalazi has already made it into international music scene, with his music receiving considerable play on several gospel television and radio stations in Botswana including other regional stations like Trace Africa, One Gospel, Metro FM in South Africa, Hope FM in Kenya and literally all broadcast stations in Zimbabwe.

It doesn’t only stop there, as the musician has already been nominated 2 times and 2 awards which are Bulawayo Arts Awards (BAA) best Male artists 2022, StarFM listerners Choice Award, Best Newcomer 2021 and ZIMA Best Contemporary Gospel 2022, MLA awards Best Male artist & Best Gospel Artist 2022.

Everton’s inspiration stems from his ultimate passion and desire to lead people into Godly ways and it seems it’s only getting started.
The man is a gospel artist to put on your radar.

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African countries call on WHO to increase funding

2nd February 2023

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.”

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