Shots fired between Balopi and Panzirah-Matshome
The secretary general of Botswana Democratic Party (BDP), Mpho Balopi is having a run in with the party’s secretary for Communications, Roseline Panzirah-Matshome who is accusing him of blocking her trip to China following an invitation from the Embassy.
The two former friends are currently having a frosty relationship. The genesis of their fallout is linked to the blocked China trip and the impending campaign for the position of secretary general of the BDP. At the last congress, Panzirah-Matshome campaigned for Balopi but she has since withdrawn her support for Balopi and is linked to Samson Guma Moyo campaign. In addition Panzirah-Matshome is said to be lobbying to also become the deputy secretary general of the BDP.
Panzirah-Matshome has through Dingake Law Partners challenged the alleged instruction from Balopi which called off her trip to China. “Roseline advices us that she had been invited, through the Chinese Embassy, to attend All China Woman’s Federation function for the period 10th September 2018 to 22nd September 2018. The said invitation came through to Roseline on or about the 29th August 2018 and immediately thereafter sought to obtain VISA for purpose of her travel. We understand the VISA was duly issued to her enabling her to undertake the said trip. Our instructions from Roseline are that you then facilitated to cancel or caused to facilitate the All China Woman’s Federation to cancel and or exclude Roseline from attending the said function.”
It is understood that Roseline’s invitation aforesaid was personal and therefore not linked to any organisation, least not any party. “Roseline has been informed by her contacts in China and from All China’s Women Federation that you have singularly caused the cancellation of her trip and without the party’s knowledge, notwithstanding you were specifically told the invitation was to her in her personal capacity and that if the party wished to nominate any other person, it could do so without affecting Roseline’s status.”
It is understood on behalf of the BDP, Balopi took advantage of the invitation and sent Goitse Phori, a central committee additional member on the China trip. Balopi has since responded to Panzirah-Matshome’s missive by simply denying the accusation through his lawyers, Bogopa, Manewe and Attorneys. Weekend Post has learnt that Panzirah-Matshome has since informed the leadership for the BDP about her frosty relationship with Balopi and the report is on Vice President Slumber Tsogwane’s desk.
Panzirah-Matshome is said to have been a victim of accusations aimed at tarnishing her relationship with the leadership if the party, especially President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi. She has been accused of leaking party information and not supporting the President or linked to the “fictitious Jerusalem faction”. Asked for comment, Panzirah-Matshome confirmed that there is disharmony between herself and the secretary general. She further confirmed that the Vice President is handling their issues and was confident they will be addressed amicably.
Asked to comment on the legal letters exchange Balopi said: “I have never received any letter from her through the lawyers. Maybe you can ask the secretariat at our offices. There is a process as to how we do things ever since we assumed power years ago. The letter will be directed to the party not Balopi.”
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Local tennis team upbeat ahead of Billie Jean King cup
With almost two weeks until the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup, which will be staged in Kenya from June 12-17, 2023, the Botswana Tennis Association (BTA) ladies’ team coach, Ernest Seleke, is optimistic about reaching greater heights.
Billie Jean King Cup, or the BJK Cup, is a premier international team competition in women’s tennis, launched as the Federation Cup to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the International Tennis Federation (ITF). The BJK Cup is the world’s largest annual women’s international team sports competition in terms of the number of nations that compete.
The finals will feature 12 teams (Botswana, Burundi, Ghana, Kenya, Seychelles, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Tunisia, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, and the Democratic Republic of Congo) competing in the four round-robin groups of three. The four group winners will qualify for the semifinals, and the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup will be crowned after the completion of the knockout phase.
Closer to home, the BW Tennis team is comprised of Thato Madikwe, Leungo Monnayoo, Chelsea Chakanyuka, and Kelebogile Monnayoo. However, according to Seleke, they have not assembled the team yet as some of the players are still engaged.
“At the moment, we are depending on the players and their respective coaches in terms of training. However, I will meet up with Botswana-based players in the coming week, while the United States of America (USA) based player Madikwe will probably meet us in Kenya. Furthermore, Ekua Youri and Naledi Raguin, who are based in Spain and France respectively, will not be joining us as they will be writing their examinations,” said Seleke.
Seleke further highlighted the significance of this competition and how competitive it is. “It is a massive platform for our players to showcase their talent in tennis, and it is very competitive as countries target to get promoted to the world categories where they get to face big nations such as Spain, France, USA, and Italy. Though we are going to this tournament as underdogs because it is our second time participating, I’m confident that the girls will put in a good showing and emerge with results despite the odds,” highlighted Seleke.
Quizzed about their debut performance at the BJK Cup, he said, “I think our performance was fair considering the fact that we were newbies. We came third in our group after losing to North Macedonia and South Africa. We went on to beat Uganda, then Kenya in the playoffs. Unfortunately, we couldn’t play Burundi due to heavy rainfall and settled for the position 9/10,” he said.
For her part, team representative Leungo Monnayoo said they are working hard as they aim to do well at the tourney. “The preparations for the tourney have long begun because we practice each and every day. We want to do well, hence we need to be motivated. Furthermore, I believe in my team as we have set ourselves a big target of coming home with the trophy,” she said.
Pep Stores donates sanitary towels to Popagano JSS
The Guidance and Counseling unit at Popagano Junior Secondary School received a donation of 790 sanitary towels from Pep stores on Thursday.
When presenting the donation, Mareledi Thebeng, the Dinokaneng Area Manager, highlighted their belief in giving back to the community, as their existence depends on the communities they serve. Thebeng pointed out that research indicates one in four girls miss school every day due to the lack of basic necessities like sanitary towels. Therefore, as a company, they strive to assist in alleviating this situation. She expressed hope that this donation would help ensure uninterrupted learning for girls.
Upon receiving the donation on behalf of the students, Charity Sambire, the President of the Student Representative Council, expressed her gratitude. Sambire specifically thanked Pep Store for their generous gift, speaking on behalf of the students, especially the girl child.
She conveyed their sincere appreciation for Pep Store’s compassion and quoted the adage, “Blessed is the hand that gives.” Sambire expressed the students’ hope for Pep Stores’ prosperity, enabling them to continue supporting the students. As a gesture of gratitude, the students pledged to excel academically.
During her speech, Motlalepula Madome, the Senior Teacher in Guidance and Counseling, highlighted that many students at the school come from disadvantaged backgrounds where parents struggle to provide basic necessities. Consequently, some students miss school when they experience menstruation due to this lack.
Madome emphasized the significance of the donation in preventing the girl child from missing lessons and its potential to improve the school’s overall results. She expressed the school’s gratitude and expressed a desire for continued support from Pep Stores.
Popagano Junior Secondary School, situated in the Okavango District, holds the second position academically in the North West region. Despite its location, the school has been dedicated to achieving excellence since 2017
Botswana misses out critical PAP committee meeting
The Pan African Parliament (PAP) committee on gender, family, youth and people with disability in its sitting considered, adopted and recommended to the plenary session the preliminary report on the framework for the model law on gender equality.
According to the last week’s media release from PAP which is sitting with its various committees until June 2nd, the committee is following up the PAP initiative to draw up a model law on gender equality to enable national governments to harmonize, modernize and standardize their legislations to address local needs is set to be discussed in Plenary.
However, what is concerning is the fact that Botswana which is a member state missed the deliberations. Kgosi Mosadi Seboko who sat in the committee representing Botswana has since been ejected by parliament and this is a huge blow for a nation that is still battling equity and gender balance.
“Although PAP has no legislative powers it makes model laws for member states to adopt. PAP also develops protocols to be ratified by countries. The input of countries at Committee state is extremely critical. It now means the voice of Botswana is missing the discussions leading up to development of protocols or model laws,” said one of Botswana’s representative at PAP Dr. Kesitegile Gobotswang who is attending the current session.
While Botswana is missing, the committee meeting took place on the sidelines of the Sixth PAP second ordinary Session being held under the African Union Theme of the Year for 2023, “The Year of AfCFTA: Accelerating the Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area” in Midrand, South Africa and will run up to 2 June 2023. Chairperson of the Committee, Hon Mariam Dao-Gabala expressed satisfaction with preliminary processes undertaken so far towards the formulation of the Model Law,” a release from the PAP website reads.
“The law should be suitable to all countries whatever the predominant culture or religion is. The aim is to give an opportunity to women to participate in the economic, political and social development of the continent. Women are not well positioned and face a lot of obstacles. We are introducing the idea of equity in the Law because we cannot talk about equality without equity,” said Hon Mariam Dao-Gabala in the press statement.
The release has stated that among issues to be covered by the Model Law is the migratory movements of women. The Committee proffered that this has to be addressed at the continental level to ensure that migrant women enjoy all their rights and live with dignity in their destination country. The members of the Gender Committee undertook consultations to consolidate the contributions of the various stakeholders that will be the logical framework format for the Model Law.