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BDP planned to eliminate Kamal in Lobatse

The recent discovery of some registration books in Woodhall ward in Lobatse reveals a clandestine plan that was hatched to grant party favourite, Dr Thapelo Matsheka an edge over Kamal Jacobs in last year’s parliamentary race.

Kamal Jacobs had appealed the elections outcome but was turned down by the appeals board committee, a move that saw him approach the courts citing irregularities in the manner in which the elections were conducted. Jacobs also challenged President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s legitimacy as party president. WeekendPost has seen the four registration books labelled Woodhall Ward with 200 registered names that were reportedly not put on the voters roll.

Sources close to the developments say a plan to remove all the incumbent councillors and area Member of Parliament Sadique Kebonang was long devised as a result of the fallout between Kebonang and branch chairman Jomo Dithebe and branch secretary Tebogo Sesinyi.
Both the branch chairman and his secretary were disappointed that Kebonang did not nominate them for specially elected councillors after 2014 general elections.

Investigations revealed that only the chairman and branch secretary general were at the helm of distributing registration books in all the 12 wards a move that allegedly ensured underground dealings that defied all democratic principles of free and fair registration.  It is alleged that the branch committee members objected to this illicit practice on numerous occasions but the answer has been that the party secretary general, Mpho Balopi had instructed them to do so.

 Some wards were reportedly denied books while others were given plenty at once. Proof has it that the completed books were initially not submitted to Tsholetsa House and the secretary general indicated that there were no registration funds accompanying them even though receipt records provided showed that there was payment. The first meeting with Political Education and Elections Committee (PEEC) representatives indicated that books were not arriving at Tsholetsa House even though the branch claimed that over 100 books were submitted.

According sources, the committee was kept in the dark despite their constant request to the branch secretary that they needed updates. The books started being submitted to Tsholetsa House reportedly after Matsheka started participating actively in the campaign. At this point, it is believed that the party leadership had made their mind and a deal had been struck. There were also reports of voter trafficking from Goodhope-Mabule constituency.

Months after the primary elections more registration books which were not submitted to Tsholetsa House are being discovered and the general suspicion is that more books will be uncovered. The duo of chair and secretary openly campaigned for Matsheka and told voters that he is the party choice chosen by elders and that everyone who does not support him action will be taken at a later stage. When contacted for comment, Balopi said the procedure to take registration books from Tsholetsa House to register and recruit members is the entirely the mandate of every member of the BDP.

He said however for issues of accountability, they have now allowed only party structures access to the books. Balopi said there is a very transparent process of issuing books and accountability on those who are entrusted with them. He said every book has a unique serial number thus they can easily establish which books are missing and from which structures. The BDP secretary general said at the moment only registration books from opposition held constituencies are back at Tsholetsa House.

He lamented that they instructed a cut off in those structures to avoid confusion. However Balopi would not rule out the possibility of some registration books be found at Woodhall ward in Lobatse saying at times this books get lost during the process.  He also confessed that at times those in possession of books will squander the registration and subscription monies and not return the books. He further said in those circumstances action will be taken against them because they have defrauded ordinary Batswana.

Lobatse branch chairman Jomo Dithebe could not be reached for comment as all his mobile phones were off the whole time. Jacobs who lost the Lobatse BDP primary elections to Dr Matsheka said he long warned that the BDP system is fraud because they choose to favour other candidates over others and such actions culminate in the standoff or fallout between democrats.  Jacobs who has been battling the matter at the courts of law said they have long appealed to the highest structures at Tsholetsa House but their plea was never considered.

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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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