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Wednesday, 28 February 2024

Kekgonegile slams Masisi’s over FMD combating measures

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Botswana Congress Party (BCP) Maun East parliamentary hopeful, Goretetse Kekgonegile has blasted President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s promise in the 2018 State of the Nation Address (SONA) that government is committed to the implementation of the Commodity Based Trade (CBT) in the Foot and Mouth affected areas.

CBT refers to new meat-processing value chain-based approaches including cattle quarantining which can ensure FMD derived beef is exportable to markets. Botswana and other SADC countries have adopted CBT largely seen as one of the solutions to the wildlife- cattle sector conflicts.

Masisi explained in the 2018 SONA that government in partnership with international technical partners has undertaken numerous workshops to capacitate both farmers and extension staff on the concept of CBT which provides avenue for the exportation of meat from FMD endemic areas such as Ngamiland. Masisi said CBT as adopted by Organization for Animal Health (OIE) and recognized by the World Trade Organization provides a new opportunity for the safe trade in beef and beef products for Ngamiland farmers and other FMD afflicted parts.

However, Kekgonegile stated that it is high time government walks the talk saying despite Masisi’s promise the situation on the ground is to the contrary. He said for example, DVS is lacking the budget and resources to maintain all the quarantines in Ngamiland saying if government was serious it would have made a plan and organized resources required for CBT smooth implementation.

 He said: “for CBT to work quarantines are needed but DVS has no funds to maintain them.  We cannot be talking CBT when we do not have a strategy how CBT will be implemented. Even the important stakeholders such as Botswana Meat Commission are clueless on what is their roles and expectations on CBT implementation. It’s just confusion all over the place.” Taking his argument further, Kekgonegile said BMC currently is forced to source cattle from Boteti and Bobirwa for slaughter at Maun abattoir as cattle sales in Ngamiland has come to a standstill due to CBT requirements.

“It is required that all the cattle slaughtered at Maun abattoir must be quarantined but quarantines are not yet working. This has led to a situation where cattle industry has come to a “forced stop forcing the BMC to look elsewhere. Yet government is saying the Maun abattoir will not be privatized for strategic reasons due to the Ngamiland situation but the abattoir is now useless to us.”

Kekgonegile further said: “Ngamiland is in a state of emergency as we speak. Farmers cannot sell their cattle to Maun abattoir due to the quarantines requirement. But the same government that is supposed to be fixing all the quarantines is not doing anything to organize money for the works. Only Makalamabedi quarantine has been partly maintained. Now the same government has given its company, BMC a permit to source cattle outside Ngamiland abandoning Ngamiland farmers.”  

Kekgonegile also called for the scrapping off of the provision of Diseases of Animals Act Cap 37, 01 of 1977 that gives Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) powers to destroy cattle that stray in to the buffalo fence. This position comes after DVS recently shot dead 11 cattle that had strayed in to the Makalamabedi quarantine. Farmers are up in arms against the cattle killings, describing it as criminal act by government officials.  

DVS, citing diseases act, is also accused of regular destruction of the farmers cattle that cross the buffalo fence separating communal grazing areas and Moremi Game Reserve. Responding to the recent killing of 11 cattle, Kekgonegile explained that a situation where farmers’ cattle are killed when they cross in to the buffalo fence should not be condoned as it impoverishes cattle farmers in Ngamiland.  Kekgonegile said government must appreciate that there is an ongoing land stress and other environmental problems in Ngamiland that perpetuate land conflicts.

 Kekgonegile stated that the emerging land realities in Ngamiland such as shrinking communal lands as a result of the commonage privatization has drastically shrunk land available for tribal grazing and exacerbated land use conflicts. He posits that however, instead of taking a holistic approach to this emerging tragedy of the commons, government continues to impose acts that favor the interests of wildlife over those of cattle. Kekgonegile explained that government must stop killing farmers cattle in the name of the animals act and come to a holistic solution.

“When buffaloes come in to the grazing areas they are driven back and not destroyed but the same is not accorded to cattle as they are killed when they enter the buffalo fence.” He says what make the situation worse is that the buffalo fence has been destroyed by elephants and cattle freely cross in to the other side.

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Dr. Judey Pretorius shines light on the path to True Skincare at the Renewal Aesthetics Convention

28th February 2024

At the heart of the recent Renewal Aesthetics Beauty and Wellness Convention, a gathering renowned for its cutting-edge insights into health and beauty, stood Dr. Judey Pretorius, a luminary in the realm of biomedical science and skincare innovation. The award-winning founder of Biomedical Emporium captivated attendees with her profound understanding of skin health, bridging the gap between regenerative medicine and everyday skincare practices.

Dr. Pretorius, celebrated for her contributions to the field, delved into the uniqueness of individual skin types, drawing an intriguing parallel with a biblical quote, “I knew you before I created you.” This analogy underscored her message that just as no two fingerprints are alike, the same holds true for our skin. It was a compelling call to action against the one-size-fits-all approach to skincare, urging attendees to embrace their uniqueness and cautioning against the imitation of others’ skincare routines.

Highlighting the importance of personalized skincare, Dr. Pretorius emphasized the need for professional guidance when addressing skin concerns. “Seeking help from professionals trained in skin treatment and management is crucial,” she advised, pointing out that what works for one individual may not necessarily be effective for another due to the distinct nature of each person’s skin.

Beyond the surface, Dr. Pretorius expanded the conversation to include the intrinsic link between nutrition and skin health. She posited that a healthy gut is a precursor to radiant skin, suggesting that “sometimes, the skin acts as a window to what’s happening inside the body.” This perspective not only highlights the external indicators of internal well-being but also serves as a reminder of the holistic approach required for genuine skincare.

In her discussion, Dr. Pretorius also touched upon essential products that should find a place in everyone’s skincare arsenal, though she remained adamant that professional consultation is key to effectively addressing and potentially reversing certain skin conditions and damage.

The Renewal Aesthetics Beauty and Wellness Convention, renowned for bringing together thought leaders and innovators in the beauty and wellness industries, provided the perfect platform for Dr. Pretorius to share her insights. Her session was not just an educational journey into the science of skincare but also a reminder of the deeply personal journey to understanding and caring for one’s skin. Attendees left equipped with the knowledge that true beauty and skin health begin with recognizing and respecting the uniqueness of their skin, advocating for a tailored approach to skincare that mirrors the individuality of each person.

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Botswana’s Legislative Milestone: Championing Disability Rights

27th February 2024

In a significant stride towards inclusivity, Botswana’s National Assembly has ratified the groundbreaking Persons with Disability Act. This legislation is a cornerstone in protecting the rights and promoting the economic well-being of individuals with disabilities

At the heart of this act is the creation of two pivotal bodies: the National Disability Coordinating Office and the National Disability Council. These institutions are set to revolutionize the integration of disability affairs into the national fabric, as outlined by the Minister for State President, Kabo Morwaeng. Morwaeng highlighted the alignment of this act with the global Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), underlining Botswana’s commitment to international standards in disability rights.

During his address to Parliament, Morwaeng disclosed Botswana’s inaugural CRPD report submission to the UN, underscoring the nation’s dedication to global dialogue on disability rights. Furthermore, he unveiled plans for a comprehensive assessment to understand the socio-economic realities of disabled individuals and their families. This initiative, complemented by the strengthening of existing programs, aims to empower this community, ensuring their integration and prosperity in society

Morwaeng’s call to action was clear. He urged a collective shift in developmental agendas to accommodate and prioritize disability issues, advocating for an inclusive societal framework.

An ambitious budget of P35,631,600 has been allocated to bridge gaps in Disability Economic Empowerment, alongside critical studies and the establishment of the National Emergency Operations Centre. Concluding his presentation, Morwaeng appealed to fellow governmental departments to allocate funds diligently to fulfill CRPD and Persons with Disabilities obligations, marking a new chapter in Botswana’s legislative history towards inclusive development.

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Kabo Matlho’s Majestic Reentry Descends Upon a Solo Venture

27th February 2024

Kabo Matlho, a luminary whose fame once graced the grand finale of My Star, is poised to enchant the music realm once more with an upcoming solo venture—an RnB and Hip-Hop Extended Play (EP)—heralding his grand resurgence after a hiatus that spoke volumes.

During a telephonic confab with our editors, the virtuoso, navigating the world from the confines of his wheelchair, confided that while the exact launch date of the EP remains shrouded in mystery, he is fervently working towards a mid-2024 reveal. Matlho shared the trials of his odyssey, especially the cold shoulder he received from the industry ambushes, crediting the harsh exclusion to his physical predicament.

“The scene calls me once more, for the absence has been both a sabbatical and a shadow. The road for an artist, enveloped in the embrace of wheels, is strewn with fewer welcomes and scarce stages. Yet, herein I forge my return, with the precise hour of my EP’s birth still nestled in the coming chapters, assuredly within this year’s embrace,” Matlho unveiled with a determination that shone bright.

 

Probed on his choice for a solo EP, the melody weaver expressed a desire to not only rekindle his essence but to stand solitary under the spotlight, nurturing his brand to vigor before possibly blending it with the talents of others—once his career phoenix rises anew from its ashes.

Elaborating on his Extended Play, Matlho shared visions of its essence, where the soul of RnB intertwines with the spirited rhythm of Hip-Hop, crafting an audial tapestry that not only returns to his roots but also ventures into previously uncharted territories of his musical domain. With resilience, Matlho faces the crossroads of his artistry, embracing the whisperings of Hip-Hop that tease the boundaries of his comfort, embarking on this path with a heart both apprehensive and ablaze.

 

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