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Botswana is now a dictatorship – Khama

Permanent Secretary to the President, Carter Morupisi has instructed Goo-Moremi Kgosi Tshito Days to write a formal letter detailing what transpired in last weekend’s kgotla meeting in which area legislator, Prince Maele did not have kind words for those who are presumed to be betraying former President, Lt Gen Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama.

 Maele openly declared his loyalty to Khama, promising to stick to him until the last days, taking a jab at those who have deserted him. In a telephonic conversation on Tuesday last week, Morupisi instructed Kgosi Days to write a formal letter detailing the events that took place at the said Kgotla meeting particularly the remarks made by area Member of Parliament Maele.  Khama was in attendance at the meeting, where he donated blankets and offered his signature soup kitchen.

Maele who is the former Minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services was overlooked by President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s administration in April a few days after the latter ascended to the presidency. Ever since he stepped down, Khama and Masisi have been involved in a feud that did not only dent the image of the country but also sow divisions in the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) as party loyalists are torn between the two men.

In a video clip that went viral on social media shared by Former President’s Facebook page, Maele said he has worked with Khama for just three and a half years and has never enjoyed life nor appreciated being a human being like he did in those years. He asserted that in that period he was advised, guided and criticised where there was need and that to this day he still guides him.  He assured Khama that he and his constituents will always love and support him.

“I want to assure him [Khama] that I am one of the people who love him and I am not the only one. If people are harassing you, come to our constituency for refuge. We will protect you. I will even relinquish my Parliamentary seat if there is anything wrong with what I said,” he said. While contacted for comment Maele said he is well aware of the said assertions by Permanent Secretary to the President Carter Morupisi. Maele said people are reading too much between the lines and misquoting him.

“I still stand by my words, I talked about my Kgosikgolo and did not compare him with anyone. The problem is now people do assume things I did not speak,” he said. The former Minister said he learnt of Morupisi’s call from Kgosi Days on Tuesday following the meeting. While briefing Maele Kgosi Days has objected Morupisi’s directive of penning down a report of what happened that day, a judgement that was also shared by his six Dikgosana. Meanwhile Morupisi declined to comment on the matter despite having invited this publication to his office on Thursday late afternoon. He furiously chased this publication’s two reporters out of his office.

THIS IS AUTOCRACY – KHAMA

In an interview with this publication, Khama conceded that he is aware of what has transpired after his kgotla meeting in Goo-Moremi. The former president is clearly not impressed by what he called ‘autocracy’ because people are being denied their freedom of speech.  “The tenant and the fundamental basis of our democracy as Batswana stems from the kgotla system, where people speak their mind. Can you imagine if suddenly people are told whatever you said is going to be reported to Office of the President in a written report, not because you have committed a crime,” he said.

“That undermines our democracy; that means that we are becoming autocratic; that is what you see in dictatorships. Re tla nna batho jaanong ba ba tshabang go bua. People are afraid of being seen with someone; they are afraid of saying this…this is what you have in police states. We have never seen this in Botswana before. Nna I left this country, I believe, I would like to say so, with high democratic credentials.”

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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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