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Gov’t wants EVM in 2024 elections

Botswana Congress Party (BCP) is accused of dragging its feet in the case in which they are challenging the legality of using the Electronic Voting Machines (EVMs) in Botswana elections.

The case is set for trial on November 15 and 16 next week before Francistown Judge Lot Moroka. President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi has recently reversed a decision to use EVM during the 2019 General elections as it was intended before. Former President Lt Gen Dr Ian Khama had last year signed into law the Electoral Bill which seeks to introduce electronic voting through EVMs. BCP then took the matter before the court. They filed an application which granted them permission to bring an expert who can prove that EVMs are gadgets that can be easily tampered with.

BCP has last week Friday filed a notice of motion that it seeks to amend its declaration of September 2017. Government is however against the application by BCP and sees it as a way of buying time as they seem to be still struggling to get the assistance of an expert in the field. Government is also working on an application to dismiss the application by BCP and proceed with trial as scheduled. 

BCP wants an expert to prove that, ‘EVM are programmable devices which can be programmed with malicious coded viruses such as trogon horses and time bombs, and susceptible to hacking, and therefore would violate the voters and our constitutional rights to efficient, proper, free and fair elections which is a coronary to the fundamental rights and freedoms of the individual right guaranteed by Section 12, 13 and 67 of the Constitution.’

The background of the case is that last year December, former Minister of Presidential Affairs, Government and Public Administration Eric Molale, and Information Technology Consult and a software Developer for Immortal Solutions, Anjali Sharma filed an affidavit asserting that the machine is authentic. BCP then wrote to government demanding better statements and further particulars of the manufacturers of the machine in India. The government refused, whereupon BCP filed an application for the court to compel government to furnish them with the said particulars.

BCP later withdrew their application and endured the costs. Former BCP Secretary General, Kentse Rammidi who has since joined the ruling party had last year wrote a declaration to the effect that the matter was of a technical nature as it involves the subject of EVMs which is based on computer technology. He said they therefore endeavored to call in an expert in the field. The cost of all the 2000 machines that are expected to be used nationwide is P100 million.

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Gov’t shy to shame failing ministers

22nd February 2021
Morwaeng

Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng together with Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Elias Magosi, this week refused to name and shame the worst performing Ministries and to disclose the best performing Ministries since beginning of 12th parliament including the main reasons for underperformance.

Of late there have been a litany of complaints from both ends of the aisle with cabinet members accused of providing parliament with unsatisfactory responses to the questions posed. In fact for some Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) backbenchers a meeting with the ministers and party leadership is overdue to address their complaints. Jwaneng-Mabutsane MP, Mephato Reatile is also not happy with ministers’ performance.

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Bokamoso, Gov’t in P10M womb removal suit

22nd February 2021
Bokamoso

Bokamoso Private Hospital is battling a P10 million legal suit for a botched fibroids operation which resulted in a woman losing an entire womb and her prospects of bearing children left at zero.

The same suit has also befallen the Attorney General of Botswana who is representing the Ministry of Health and Wellness for their contributory negligence of having the unlawful removal of a patient, Goitsemang Magetse’s womb.

According to the court papers, Magetse says that sometimes in November 2019, she was diagnosed with fibroids at Marina Hospital where upon she was referred to Bokamoso Private Hospital to schedule an appointment for an operation to remove the fibroids, which she did.

Magetse continues that at the instance of one Dr Li Wang, the surgeon who performed the operation, and unknown to her, an operation to remove her whole womb was conducted instead.
According to Magetse, it was only through a Marina Hospital regular check-up that she got to learn that her whole womb has been removed.

“At the while she was under the belief that only her fibroids have been removed. By doing so, the hospital has subjected itself to some serious delictual liability in that it performed a serious and life changing operation on patient who was under the belief that she was doing a completely different operation altogether. It thus came as a shock when our client learnt that her womb had been removed, without her consent,” said Magetse’s legal representatives, Kanjabanga and Associates in their summons.

The letter further says, “this is an infringement of our client‘s rights and this infringement has dire consequences on her to the extent that she can never bear children again”. ‘It is our instruction therefore, to claim as we hereby do, damages in the sum of BWP 10,000,000 (ten million Pula) for unlawful removal of client’s womb,” reads Kanjabanga Attorneys’ papers. The defendants are yet to respond to the plaintiff’s papers.

What are fibroids?

Fibroids are tumors made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. They develop in the uterus. It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of women will develop fibroids in their lifetime — however, not everyone will develop symptoms or require treatment.

The most important characteristic of fibroids is that they’re almost always benign, or noncancerous. That said, some fibroids begin as cancer — but benign fibroids can’t become cancer. Cancerous fibroids are very rare. Because of this fact, it’s reasonable for women without symptoms to opt for observation rather than treatment.

Studies show that fibroids grow at different rates, even when a woman has more than one. They can range from the size of a pea to (occasionally) the size of a watermelon. Even if fibroids grow that large, we offer timely and effective treatment to provide relief.

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Masisi warned against a sinking Botswana

22nd February 2021
Ndaba GAolatlhe

The Alliance for Progressives (AP) President Ndaba Gaolathe has said that despite major accolades that Botswana continues to receive internationally with regard to the state of economy, the prospects for the future are imperilled.

Delivering his party Annual Policy Statement on Thursday, Gaolathe indicated that Botswana is in a state of do or die, and that the country’s economy is on a sick bed. With a major concern for poverty, Gaolathe pointed out that almost half of Botswana’s people are ravaged by or are about to sink into poverty.  “Our young people have lost the fire to dream about what they could become,” he said.

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