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Khama’s ex BDF escort redeployed to ground forces

The 15 members of the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) who formed President Lt Gen Ian Khama’s escort were recalled from their different units at Sir Seretse Khama Barracks (SSKB) to join the Ground Forces Command (GFC).

As the law dictates, the former President is not entitled to members of the military when he leaves office but they do beef up his security which comprises of members of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) and Botswana Police Services. When he left office the said noncommissioned officers with ranks ranging from Lance Corporal to Major all reported to their units back at SSKB. Some of them were part of the ceremonial guard unit within the BDF while others such as Captain Kabelo Samuel was seconded at the military headquarters under the Human Resources Department at SSKB.

Some of them were from the brigade military unit. A brigade is a major tactical military formation that is typically composed of three to six battalions plus supporting elements. The development has however left some believing that it is an effort to further humiliate and embarrass all Khama’s associates by the current administration. A source close to the developments told WeekendPost that the former presidential guard unit is not wanted near the current head of state.

It is not yet clear whether the decision to transfer them is in accordance with BDF act or the reasons are solely personal. Also included on the transfer list is former President Khama’s Aide-De-Camp (ADC) Maj Gabosekwe. Since he left office on 1st April 2018, the relationship between Khama and his successor Masisi has been an adversarial.  The two men who enjoyed cordial working relations when the later was still in power got involved in a feud that that saw them exchanging words in both local and international media and public gatherings.

Their fallout also led to all the people who are believed to be associated with the former president being frustrated or removed from positions of power. Such example include former DIS chief, Col Isaac Kgosi who was fired a few weeks after Masisi ascended to the presidency. Khama’s young brother Tshekedi Khama also suffered the same fate when he was removed from the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, where it is believed that the Khama family had vested interest in the sector.

Tshekedi has since been transferred to Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development. The recent victim is Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) Director General Bruno Paledi who was appointed by Khama prior to his retirement.
 Paledi was transferred with immediate effect to the Ministry of Defence Justice and Security as the secretary of Defence. When responding to a questionnaire from WeekendPost Director, Protocol and Public Affairs BDF Headquarters Colonel Tebo Dikole said matters relating to BDF’s transfers are purely internal and administrative, and as such cannot be discussed with any third party, including the media.

“Albeit, it is worth noting that the Commander is endowed with the powers to Command the Defence Force and may take administrative and operational decisions, including deployment of members in the exercise of such powers, as may be necessary for the proper functioning of the Defence Force as provided for under section 9 and 29 (b) of the BDF Act”, Dikole responded. Dikole said transfers occur in any establishment to include the BDF and can never be deemed as demotion. “It is also worth noting that BDF transfers do not hinge on nay external occurrences as you allege to be the case”.

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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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