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Fired Ralotsia, Boko agree on Industrial Hemp

Minister of Agricultural Development, and Food Security and Kanye North law maker Patrick Pule Ralotsia was this week dropped from cabinet under mysterious circumstances.

While it is still unclear why Ralotsi was ejected from cabinet, an impeccable source told Weekend Post this week that the Minister is a big proponent of legalisation of marijuana and Industrial Hemp and has made it known. “He is a proponent of Industrial Hemp. He loves it and uses its products,” the source said while adding that the law is silent on the Industrial Hemp: “it is not illegal, the law is just silent.” In its application, hemp and marijuana serve completely different purposes.

Marijuana, as it is widely known, is used for medicinal or recreational purposes. Hemp is used in variety of other applications that marijuana couldn’t possibly be used in. These include healthy dietary supplements, skin products, clothing, and accessories. Overall, hemp is known to have over 25,000 possible applications. Information reaching Weekend Post suggests that Ralotsia want marijuana and the Hemp legalised and he has tabled his proposal to both cabinet level as well as to the president, Mokgweetsi Masisi.  

“He even consulted the police and the relevant Ministry. At some stage they were working on drafting the law but the ministry dragged its feet,” the immaculate source told this publication. At some point, the source reminisced how the Ministry of Agriculture gave him a permit to import Hemp seeds but it was cancelled off at the behest of the then Assistant minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Biggie Butale.


“They wanted me to bring the permit back to the office.  Maybe it’s because I have publicly talked about it and therefore it wouldn’t look right to them,” he said adding that he exchanged notes with Ralotsi and they share similar sentiments on the industrial hemp. He maintained that: “I think I jumped the gun by making the permit public, I don’t think they would have cancelled it. I wanted the industrial hemp plant, as a pilot project, as it can do 500 products.”

It is understood that the problem with Ralotsia came when it was found that the Leader of Opposition in parliament Duma Gideon Boko presented a similar proposal calling for the legalisation of Industrial Hemp when responding to the Budget Speech earlier this year in parliament. In his statement in parliament, Boko has cited that the legalisation of Marijuana for industrialisation purposes could improve the economy.

He said “let me focus on just hemp and demonstrate the massive job creation opportunities it offers. It is a source of food for both humans and pets. It is used to produce body oils and lotions as well as many other oil based products. It is used in the manufacture of clothing such as jeans and sports clothing. Plastic products made from hemp are generally biodegradable. Hemp is an agricultural crop that thrives in many environments.”

According to the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) leader, hemp offers a yield of about P13.37 per plant and up to 12 500 000 plants per 5000 acres, that gives P 167 125 000 per 5000 acres. “Hemp growers employ about 10 000 people to maintain a 10 000 hectare farm. The result is the creation of a minimum of 12 000 jobs just from this scale of hemp farming. Thus when we advocate for innovation, inventiveness and imagination, this is exactly what we are talking about. We ascend to higher levels of thinking and planning known as disruptive thinking and disruptive technologies,” he said.

Now, the immaculate source maintained that “they think it wouldn’t look right if the plan goes ahead especially after the opposition leader Boko spoke at length about legalising the Industrial Hemp,” he stated. Just this week, Permanent Secretary to the President and Secretary to cabinet, Carter Morupisi, on behalf of President Masisi announced the cabinet reshuffle that both Ralotsi has been released of his ministerial positions with immediate effect.

When reached for a comment, Ralotsia told this publication that he was in government offices at the time and was not able to respond adding that he be called after an hour after which he did not answer the phone. After firing Ralotsia, Masisi appointed Fidelis Mmilili Molao as a full Minister of Agricultural Development, and Food Security.

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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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Neo Kirchway- Defying the odds

23rd February 2024

In the heartwarming tale of Neo Kirchway, a beacon of inspiration emerges, shining brightly amid life’s adversities.

Defying the constraints of destiny, Neo Kirchway, a resilient Motswana soul now thriving in the United States, stands tall despite the absence of her lower limbs. With unwavering determination, she tends to her cherished family – a loving husband and four children – engaging in the daily symphony of household tasks with remarkable grace.

Neo’s indomitable spirit traces back to the fateful year of 1994, a time when medical intervention called for the amputation of her curled legs. Embracing this pivotal juncture with unwavering courage and the blessing of her mother, she ventured forth into a world adorned with prosthetic legs, eager to script a tale of triumph.

Venturing beyond borders, Neo’s journey led her to the embrace of the United States, where serendipity intertwined her fate with that of her soulmate, Garrett Kirchway. Together, this harmonious duo navigates the ebbs and flows of life, their bond fortified by unwavering love and unyielding support.

In a bid to illuminate paths and embolden hearts, Neo leverages the digital realm, crafting a sanctuary of empowerment on her YouTube channel. Brimming with authenticity and raw emotion, her videos chronicle the tapestry of her daily life, serving as a testament to resilience and the unwavering human spirit.

Amidst the digital cosmos, Neo, affectionately known as “KirchBaby,” reigns supreme, a luminary in the hearts of 658,000 enraptured subscribers. Through her captivating content, she not only navigates the mundane tasks of cooking, cleaning, and childcare but also dances with celestial grace, a testament to her boundless spirit and unyielding zest for life.

In the cathedral of Neo Kirchway’s narrative, resilience reigns supreme, echoing a universal truth – that amidst life’s gales, the human spirit, when kindled by hope and fortitude, emerges as a beacon of light, illuminating even the darkest of paths.

 

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Inequalities Faced by Individuals with Disabilities

22nd February 2024

The government’s efforts to integrate individuals with disabilities in Botswana society are being hampered by budgetary constraints. Those with disabilities face inequalities in budgetary allocations in the health and education sectors. For instance, it is reported that the government allocates higher budgetary funds to the general health sector, while marginal allocations are proposed for the development and implementation of the National Primary Health Care guidelines and Standards for those with Disabilities. This shows that in terms of budgetary solutions, the government’s proposed initiatives in improving the health and well-being of those with disabilities remain futile as there is not enough money going towards disability-specific health programs. On the other hand, limited budgetary allocations to the Special Education Unit also are a primary contributor to the inequalities faced by children with disabilities. The government only provides for the employment of 15 teachers with qualifications in special education despite the large numbers of children with intellectual disabilities that are in need of special education throughout Botswana. Such disproportional allocation of resources inhibits the capacity to provide affordable and accessible assisted technology and residential support services for those with disabilities. Given the fact that a different amount of resources have been availed to the education and health sectors, the general understanding is that the government is not doing enough to ensure that adequate resources are distributed to disability-specific programs and facilities such as barrier-free environments, residential homes, and special education schools for children with disabilities.

 

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