President Dr Mokgweetsi Eric Masisi has finally come clean on his ongoing tiff with former President Lt Gen Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama. The President last week shared with the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Members of Parliament that the reason behind his fallout with his predecessor lies on his choice of Vice President of the land.
President Masisi is now spilling it out for the public to consume and make own assessment and judgement. He expressed his disappointment at the BDP MPs caucus last week indicating that Khama had wanted him to appoint Tshekedi Khama, his brother as the Vice President of the country when he ascended to the Presidency in April this year.
However President Masisi has not taken the bate and became his own man, extending a hand to long serving Member of Parliament and a well-known disciplined BDP cadre, Slumber Tsogwane to become his right hand man. Tsogwane, a man who speaks only when he is asked to do so, was endorsed by 36 BDP Members of Parliament sealing President Masisi’s somewhat turbulent transition.
President Masisi has indicated that this is the source of his conflict with Khama because the rest of the other matters arising are prescribed in the law. Masisi has vowed to live by the rule book, which is the constitution. Some of the trajectories which were said to have incensed Khama include the removal of Colonel Isaac Seabelo Kgosi as Director General of the Directorate on Intelligence and Security (DIS).
Former President Khama had also complained about the ill-treatment he was getting from Permanent Secretary to the President, Carter Morupisi. At some stage Morupusi instructed Debswana not allow former President Khama to board their aircraft, Khama had to charter one at a cost of P50 000. Khama has also been blackout from Government media. But all these are just side issues, according to President Masisi’s statement to BDP MPs, the main query is Tshekedi Khama.
Masisi first made a public record of his differences with former President Khama in his State of the Nation Address on November 5th. Concluding his address on Monday, Masisi finally admitted to Khama animosity: “Batswana are all aware that the transition from the previous administration has not been as smooth as expected. … However, it ought to be noted, I have in my attempt to smoothen the process engaged senior citizens namely; His Excellency Dr. Festus Mogae, His Honour Dr. Ponatshego Kedikilwe, Honourable Ray Molomo, Honourable Patrick Balopi and Honourable David Magang to assist and lead in smoothening the transition. I regret to announce that their efforts have not borne fruit up to this point.”
In his response to President Masisi’s statement former president Khama said he was shocked. He expressed that what happened in the SONA was probably Masisi trying to reason why up to now there has not been any progress in the reconciliation. “Is there any sincerity, genuineness and commitment in reconciliation if this kind of actions are still perpetuated,” Khama asked rhetorically.
The former president said quite recently the Office of the President wrote an apology and reimbursed him his flight costs to Orapa and was very much impressed. “It is regrettable that the statement given on the occasion of the SONA about the situation concerning two parties (Khama/ Masisi) reflected only one side without consultation with the other in order to give the nation a balanced perspective of progress on reconciliation or the lack,” reads part of the statement released by office of the former president Tuesday afternoon.
The former president’s own version of events is that the transition went very smoothly as acknowledged both locally and internationally in that it was a transition from an incumbent leader to his successor. The transition according to Khama took place in the period leading up to the 1st April 2018 when Masisi became President and Khama a former President. That is when the transition ended. The period after the 1st April to date is post the transition as the leadership change had already taken place.
The standoff between President Masisi and former president Khama has polarized the nation and the impact of their cold war is hitting on the ruling party, with loyalists finding themselves having to defend either of the two leaders. Some observers further point to the possibility of the ruling BDP splitting for the second time in a space of six years.
Meanwhile almost all BDP MPs and ministers at the caucus advised President Masisi to meet with the former President so that they can iron out their differences. They expressed fear that the animosity between President Masisi and former President Khama could hurt the BDP at next year’s general elections which are mostly likely to be hotly contested. A resolute appearing President Masisi, according to some who spoke on condition of anonymity did not seem shaken because he did not respond back to the MPs request.
Khama has been accused of tried to pull a Vladimir Putin on Botswana – exiting the Presidency, appointing his own man and later returning to the same seat. On the other hand others have pointed accusing fingers at Khama for trying to establish a tribacracy ever since retiring from Presidency. Former President Khama has addressed a number of Kgotla meetings at which the purpose of those was put to question by some who feared he could be creating two centres of power.
Questions have been thrown to the table as to what hat Khama uses to convene the kgotla meetings – former head of state or kgosi. Some have also wondered what the role of Bangwato regent, Kgosi Kgamane could be at this stage and what form of handover was done to give some of the responsibilities back to Kgosi Seretse Khama Ian Khama.
In his response former President Khama has told this publication that he is Kgosikgolo and has every right to convene a kgotla meeting. He also pointed out that Kgotla meetings can be convened by a number of authorities including Village Development Committees, dikgosi, Councils, Members of Parliament, among others.
The feud between President Masisi and former President Khama is likely to last a bit longer and is now attracting analysis and prophesies that project untidy sceneries for Botswana in the not so distant future. The BDP finds itself having to confront realities it has never fathomed, fears are that for the first time in a long time a sitting BDP leader could be challenged. But some BDP diehards are still hopeful that the party culture where the President is never challenged on election year is preserved.
19 Bokamoso Private Hospital nurses graduate at Lenmed Nursing College
The graduation of 19 nurses from Bokamoso Private Hospital at Lenmed Nursing College marks a significant milestone in their careers. These nurses have successfully completed various short learning programs, including Adult Intensive Care Unit, Emergency Nursing Care, Anaesthetic & Recovery Room Nursing, Anaesthetic Nursing, and Recovery Room Nursing. The ceremony, held in Gaborone, was a testament to their hard work and dedication.
Lenmed Nursing College, a renowned healthcare group with a presence in South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, and Ghana, has been instrumental in providing quality education and training to healthcare professionals. The Group Head of Operations, Jayesh Parshotam, emphasized the importance of upskilling nurses, who are at the forefront of healthcare systems. He also expressed his appreciation for the partnerships with Bokamoso Private Hospital, the Ministry of Health, and various health training institutes in Botswana.
Dr. Morrison Sinvula, a consultant from the Ministry of Health, commended Lenmed Health and Lenmed Nursing College for their commitment to the education and training of these exceptional nurses. He acknowledged their guidance, mentorship, and support in shaping the nurses’ careers and ensuring their success. Dr. Sinvula also reminded the graduates that education does not end here, as the field of healthcare is constantly evolving. He encouraged them to remain committed to lifelong learning and professional development, embracing new technologies and staying updated with the latest medical advancements.
Dr. Gontle Moleele, the Superintendent of Bokamoso Private Hospital, expressed her excitement and pride in the graduating class of 2023. She acknowledged the sacrifices made by these individuals, who have families and responsibilities, to ensure their graduation. Dr. Moleele also thanked Lenmed Nursing College for providing this opportunity to the hospital’s nurses, as it will contribute to the growth of the hospital.
The certificate recipients from Bokamoso Private Hospital were recognized for their outstanding achievements in their respective programs. Those who received the Cum Laude distinction in the Adult Intensive Care Unit program were Elton Keatlholwetse, Lebogang Kgokgonyane, Galaletsang Melamu, Pinkie Mokgosi, Ofentse Seboletswe, Gorata Basupi, Bareng Mosala, and Justice Senyarelo. In the Emergency Nursing Care program, Atlanang Moilwa, Bakwena Moilwa, Nathan Nhiwathiwa, Mogakolodi Lesarwe, Modisaotsile Thomas, and Lorato Matenje received the Cum Laude distinction. Kelebogile Dubula and Gaolatlhe Sentshwaraganye achieved Cum Laude in the Anaesthetic & Recovery Room Nursing program, while Keletso Basele excelled in the Anaesthetic Nursing program. Mompoloki Mokwaledi received recognition for completing the Recovery Room Nursing program.
In conclusion, the graduation of these 19 nurses from Bokamoso Private Hospital at Lenmed Nursing College is a testament to their dedication and commitment to their profession. They have successfully completed various short learning programs, equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their respective fields. The collaboration between Lenmed Nursing College, Bokamoso Private Hospital, and the Ministry of Health has played a crucial role in their success. As they embark on their careers, these nurses are encouraged to continue their professional development and embrace new advancements in healthcare.
BNF secures 15 constituencies in UDC coalition, wants more
The Botswana National Front (BNF) has recently announced that they have already secured 15 constituencies in the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) coalition, despite ongoing negotiations. This revelation comes as the BNF expresses its dissatisfaction with the current government and its leadership.
The UDC, which is comprised of the BNF, Botswana Peoples Party (BPP), Alliance for Progressives (AP), and Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF), is preparing for the upcoming General Elections. However, the negotiations to allocate constituencies among the involved parties are still underway. Despite this, the BNF Chairman, Patrick Molotsi, confidently stated that they have already acquired 15 constituencies and are expecting to add more to their tally.
Molotsi’s statement reflects the BNF’s long-standing presence in many constituencies across Botswana. With a strong foothold in these areas, it is only natural for the BNF to seek an increase in the number of constituencies they represent. This move not only strengthens their position within the UDC coalition but also demonstrates their commitment to serving the interests of the people.
In a press conference, BNF Secretary General, Ketlhafile Motshegwa, expressed his discontent with the current government leadership. He criticized the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) for what he perceives as a disregard for the well-being of the Batswana people. Motshegwa highlighted issues such as high unemployment rates and shortages of essential medicines as evidence of the government’s failure to address the needs of its citizens.
The BNF’s dissatisfaction with the current government is a reflection of the growing discontent among the population. The Batswana people are increasingly frustrated with the lack of progress and the failure to address pressing issues. The BNF’s assertion that the government is playing with the lives of its citizens resonates with many who feel neglected and unheard.
The BNF’s acquisition of 15 constituencies, even before the negotiations have concluded, is a testament to their popularity and support among the people. It is a clear indication that the Batswana people are ready for change and are looking to the BNF to provide the leadership they desire.
As the negotiations continue, it is crucial for all parties involved to prioritize the interests of the people. The allocation of constituencies should be done in a fair and transparent manner, ensuring that the voices of all citizens are represented. The BNF’s success in securing constituencies should serve as a reminder to the other parties of the need to listen to the concerns and aspirations of the people they aim to represent.
In conclusion, the BNF’s acquisition of 15 constituencies, despite ongoing negotiations, highlights their strong presence and support among the Batswana people. Their dissatisfaction with the current government leadership reflects the growing discontent in the country. As the UDC coalition prepares for the upcoming General Elections, it is crucial for all parties to prioritize the needs and aspirations of the people. The BNF’s success should serve as a reminder of the importance of listening to the voices of the citizens and working towards a better future for Botswana.
Children’s summit to discuss funding of NGOS
One of the key issues that will be discussed by the Childrens’ Summit, which will be hosted by Childline Botswana Trust on 28th – 30th November in Gaborone, will be the topical issue of financing and strengthening of civil society organizations.
A statement from Childline Botswana indicates that the summit will adopt a road map for resourcing the children’s agenda by funding organizations. It will also cover issues relating to child welfare and protection; aimed at mobilizing governments to further strengthen Child Helplines; as well as sharing of emerging technologies to enhance the protection of Children and promotion of their rights.
According to Gaone Chepete, Communications Officer at Childline Botswana, the overall objective of the summit is to provide a platform for dialogue and engagement towards promoting practices and policies that fulfil children’s rights and welfare.
“Child Helplines in the region meet on a bi-annual basis to reflect on the state of children; evaluate their contribution and share experiences and best practice in the provision of services for children,” said Chepete.
The financing of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) by the state or its functionaries has generated mixed reactions from within the civil society space, with many arguing that it threatened NGOs activism and operational independence.
In February 2019, University of Botswana academic Kenneth Dipholo released a paper titled “State philanthropy: The demise of charitable organizations in Botswana,” in which he faulted then President Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama for using charity for political convenience and annexing the operational space of NGOs.
“Civil society is the domain in which individuals can exercise their rights as citizens and set limits to the power of the state. The state should be developing capable voluntary organizations rather than emaciating or colonizing them by usurping their space,” argued Dipholo.
He further argued that direct involvement of the state or state president in charity breeds unhealthy competition between the state itself and other organizations involved in charity. Under these circumstances, he added, the state will use charity work to remain relevant to the ordinary people and enhance its visibility at the expense of NGOs.
“A consequence of this arrangement is that charitable organizations will become affiliates of the state. This stifles innovation in the sense that it narrows the ability of charitable organizations to think outside the box. It also promotes mono-culturalism, as the state could support only charitable organizations that abide by its wishes,” said Dipholo.
In conclusion, Dipholo urged the state to focus on supporting NGOs so that they operate in a system that combines philanthropic work and state welfare programs.
He added that state philanthropy threatens to relegate and render charitable organizations virtually irrelevant and redundant unless they re-engineer themselves.
Another University of Botswana (UB) academic, Professor Zibani Maundeni, opined that politics vitally shape civil society interaction; as seen in the interactions between the two, where there is mutual criticism in each other’s presence.
Over the years, NGOs have found themselves grappling with dwindling financial resources as donors ran out of money in the face of increased competition for financing. Many NGOs have also been faulted for poorly managing their finances because of limited strategic planning and financial management expertise. This drove NGOs to look to government for funding; which fundamentally altered the relationships between the two. The end result was a complete change in the operational culture of NGOs, which diminished their social impact and made them even more fragile. Increased government control through contract clauses also reduced NGOs activism and autonomy.
However, others believe that NGOs and government need each other, especially in the provision of essential services like child welfare and protection. Speaking at the Civil Society Child Rights Convention in 2020, Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Setlhabelo Modukanele said government considers NGOs as critical partners in development.
“We recognize the role that NGOs play a critical role in the country’s development agenda,” said Modukanele.