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Venson-Moitoi takes BDP to court

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Presidential candidate, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi, is preparing to drag the ruling party to court after failing to secure endorsement from Central Region, her supposed stronghold, over what she perceives as bizarre procedures.   

Venson-Moitoi confirmed to this publication that she is seeking legal redress against the BDP on the basis that the regional committee as per the constitution did not conduct the meeting alone, but rather there was interference from the party’s Central committee (CC). “This is not normal, I am not happy and I am taking legal action. The regional committee meeting did not conduct the meeting alone but shared the role with Central committee,’’ Venson- Moitoi contended.

According to one of the chief organisers of tomorrow’s meeting, Councillor Kadimo Oremeng of Thabala/Mogorosi Ward is Serowe South, have indeed called a meeting at the insistence of the BDP elders in the region in order to get clarification on what transpired at the regional congress. Councillor Oremeng complained and spewed his displeasure, stating that the Regional Congress results, which saw incumbent, Mokgweetsi Masisi getting endorsement ahead of Venson-Moitoi, were not conducted properly.

Masisi got 86 votes compared to Venson-Moitoi’s 49 votes at the Central Regional Congress. The Central Region is made up of; Serowe North, Serowe South, Serowe West as well as the two Boteti constituencies; Boteti West and Boteti East. “The BDP central results were not conducted properly. We did not know we were going to vote, where did the Central Committee obtain the mandate to ambush us, we were not the qualified candidates, and we were just handpicked to contest,” said councillor Oremeng.

The Mogorosi-Thabala BDP councillor is worried that the Serowe-South results were diluted; suspecting foul play and therefore they stand against these results. The delegates are said to have been handpicked without consulting the wards and other relevant party structures, ultimately seeing the votes going to Masisi. “We are not afraid of any suspension; in fact there won’t be any need for suspension. We are following the constitutional law to the latter. This is what Masisi has always encouraged,” he added.

Oremeng has defended the decision to organise a meeting, to be held at Lady Khama Centre in Serowe. Oremeng argued that they were not doing anything wrong, the sentiments which were also shared by Venson-Moitoi. The veteran party MP, who is the joint longest serving legislator, alongside Vice President Slumber Tsogwane, said she does not expect reprimand from the party leadership for participating in tomorrow’s meeting.

Central Region which is Venson-Moitoi and former President Ian Khama’s stronghold as it includes the three constituencies from Serowe, was expected to endorse Venson-Moitoi.  However, it turned out contrary in a meeting attended by among others Vice President Tsogwane.
When addressing the media this week, party secretary general, Mpho Balopi affirmed that regions are expected and obliged to vote at the Special Congress according to resolutions taken by their respective regions.

He said regions delegates will vote as a block , and that delegates, are not allowed to vote in a manner that is contrary to what their regions decided because those resolutions by the regions are “binding’’. The party Central Committee has decided on the date of Special Congress where party president will be elected. The party faithful will descend to Kang, on the 5th of April 2019 with only one item on the congress agenda, “to elect party president.”

The congress will be followed by the annual National Council. The party is yet to decide on the Venue for party ordinary congress to be held in July. The July congress will be hosted by the South East region, with a number of contestants expected to participate in the highly anticipated congress.

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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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