Suspended former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful for Mogoditshane constituency, Tshepang Mabaila has this week in unexpected turn of events announced his withdrawal from the race as independent candidate and has since moved to close ranks with President Mokgweetsi Masisi.
Mabaila announced this week in press conference that in withdrawing from the race to pledge support for BDP candidate, Tumiso Rakgare, he has since written a letter to Masisi seeking to be accepted back into the ruling Botswana Democratic Party. Mabaila, who had won the party primaries for Mogoditshane constituency early last year, was last year July provisionally suspended after being accused of having participated in a motion of no confidence tabled in parliament against President Masisi.
On 5th October 2018, the BDP Central Committee slapped Mabaila with suspension for committing offences against the rules and regulations and General Code of Conduct of the party. In a move perceived as purging candidates supposedly linked with Khama by Masisi leadership, Mabaila found himself at the receiving end. Mabaila however stated this week that he still upholds that he did not do anything wrong prior his suspension.
In writing to Masisi requesting his suspension to be lifted, Mabaila said he has met all the requirements needed from a candidate and all that he was expected to do to gain the party’s trust. Mabaila pointed out that he has maintained a clean relationship status with the President and has never uttered or said anything that could jeopardize his suspension from being lifted. “I am committed and want to work for the BDP, we cannot dispute Masisi has done quite a number of good things since attaining his seat. I am willing to work closely with him to help the BDP win the general elections,” he said.
Despite awaiting response from the Masisi, Mabaila is convinced that his decision is in the interest of the party and it is not about serving his personal interests. “The decision I took was not for my interest but that of the party. I took this decision because I want BDP to win. We need to work hand in hand with the President,” he said.
Mabaila stated that he will support BDP in Mogoditshane and help the party reclaim the constituency. BDP lost the constituency in 2014 general elections to Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), currently it is under Alliance for Progressives (AP)’s Sedirwa Kgoroba.
Mabaila has however declared that he acknowledges there are problems within the party that needs immediate intervention.
DID MABAILA CLOSE RANKS WITH BDP TO AVOID INVESTIGATIONS?
In his response to investigations on him by the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) and Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS), Mabaila criticised allegations that he had acquired fake certificates, stressing that it is important for him to clear his name.
Mabaila has however contended that the certificates were not fake but the course he had studied was not accredited as per the law.
“There is a school called Balford University, I applied and got admitted. My certificates were couriered. This was just an issue of accreditation not fake certificate and there was nothing I could do about it. Batswana need to know, I did not fake certificates,” he explained. Mabaila has said he is not immune to investigations and that if he does not pay tax BURS will come after him. “This is a matter of national concern, if I do not pay tax BURS will come after me, this has nothing to do with me deciding to re-join the party. Tax evasion affects us all,” Mabaila explained.
Mabaila is allegedly facing multiple charges from money laundering to probe on his properties reportedly developed around Gaborone. In what is alleged a target to the former President’s inner circle, a very close ally to former President Dr Ian Khama, has now pulled out as an independent candidate, despite evident efforts by the former President in helping him campaign.
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.
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.
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.