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Khama considers forming a political movement

Former President Lt Gen Ian Khama is ensnared in a dicey situation of whether to pursue a long hatched plan of forming a new political party or starts a fresh political movement that will endorse and support candidates he favours in various constituencies.

Khama for long time has not shied away from revealing plans of a new party. This follows the ongoing animosity between him and the sitting President Mokgweetsi Masisi. However, recommendations by the engaged South African consultancy firm has advised him not to form a party saying: ”Khama cannot lead a new party in case he is accused of plotting what one Minister, Unity Dow referred to as a Putin strategy to return to power.” The research findings further posited that with only six months to elections a new party will need to be organised and resourced to make impact in the elections.

In addition it said, it is unclear whether the new party will be part of coalition or go it alone. “For the party to be of significant force it will have to rely on BDP members sympathetic to Khama to make a bulk of its leadership and rank and file. The viability of a new party will have to be studied in more depth,” the report indicated.

Initially Khama wanted to form a party despite the advice, but fresh information depicts a man who is now willing to follow the experts’ suggestion of resigning from the BDP but not form a new party. This is per the report’s advice that Khama can still resign from BDP and support opposition candidates well-disposed to him without him seeking return to office in the case of a change of government. “The new government and Khama will be a subject of negotiations and agreements before any commitments can be made.”

This report says all these are based on affection many Batswana have on Khama. “Footage of his community upliftment visits to communities show a man magnetism and is still able to rouse the crowds. It is unlikely his predecessors could retain the appeal Khama still does.”
Informants from his camp this week told this publication that Khama together with the expelled BDP members including Prince Maele and Biggy Butale met with Pelonomi Moitoi last week on the matter of starting a new political movement. At the time of going to press the idea was known to the select few and yet to still be scrutinized before full implementation.

The idea of meeting with the expelled BDP members was to get their input on the matter and if at all it is viable. It is said Khama at the meeting apart from consoling the booted members also wanted to hear their deliberations on the project. “He was open he wanted to know what they think because he says either fate of a new party or anything lies on them as his duty will only be to facilitate what is already there and agreed. He will offer support to the candidates under his wing,” reveals a source.

It is added that: “The idea is not to form a new party because it will need more mobilisation and it will be exhausting considering that it is only few months before elections. So a movement endorsing preferred candidates around the country is the way to go this is as per the recommendation by the expert,” said a source close to the developments.

The movement if it sees the light of the day there is high possibility to be named a democratic movement which will be seeking to endorse candidates who “are hard-workers in their constituencies and promote democracy.” This however it is said will be aimed at already selected and more to come candidates that the former president wants to see in parliament post October general elections.

Within the BDP MPs it is said Khama has Maele, Butale, Moiseraele Goya, Philip Makgelemele, Tshekedi Khama and in absentia Samson Moyo Guma. This it is said does not end there as already there are legislators who their allegiance is unknown but are disgruntled by Masisi’s stewardship- a factor which the Khama faction believe it will heavily cripple the BDP plans to retain power, should those members jump the ship.

Should the movement or party plan succeed, political observers say for the first time the party is likely to lose some of the seats currently under their stable and fail to win those under opposition ticket. The thought of the movement according to informants is two-fold; firstly not to have a permanent structure as Khama could return to BDP and to form a coalition government with opposition after the elections. “If we kill the magic number of 29 then it means there won’t be an outright winner after the elections.

And from there it is possible to negotiate governance with whoever is there but of course not the BDP, not with Masisi as the  president, possibly we could gravitate towards the UDC or any opposition party that would have done well in the polls,” shared a highly placed informant.
Contrary to what is being said, Khama according to informants will not necessarily quit the BDP for life but could be just for period of time until a point when Masisi is no longer its leader. Sources say there is no how Khama could leave the party formed by his parents and concede defeat just like that.

The movement is expected to be made up of disgruntled BDP members and independent candidates. The former president has called on a meeting at Serowe show grounds today; there is high possibility that he will disclose the plan of a new party or political movement in his home village. Khama’s crusade of endorsing anti-BDP candidates in some constituencies is well on track with the latest victim being Sefhare-Ramokgonami MP Dorcas Makgato who saw Khama ‘endorsing’ his opposition rival Dr Kesitegile Gobotswang.

It is expected that more of the BDP candidates especially in the central region will fall by the wayside due to ‘Khama magic’. Central region is Khama’s territory as paramount chief of Bangwato and he commands a large following there, something that observers say could work against his own party.

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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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