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Magosi brothers mediate Khama, Masisi

Former President Lt Gen Seretse Khama Ian Khama has acknowleged the role of DIS Director General Peter Magosi and Deputy Permanent Secretary to the President, Elias Magosi is trying to smoothen his relationship with President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi. 

However he continues to ascribe the ongoing rift with his successor to the Permanent Secretary to the President, Carter Morupisi. The former President has said he recently met Elias MAgosi and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Presidential Affairs to iron out a few issues. He was hopeful that he would meet Masisi in due course but the tone of the President’s paragraph 270 in his state of the nation address surprised him. Khama rubbished Masisi’s take on their feud and called it regrettable. 

The ongoing disagreement between the two leaders which has been topical since Masisi took over as president on the 1st of April 2018, has lately caught the eye of international media. 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,” said Masisi. 

“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 Masisi’s utterances former president Khama said he was shocked by the statement. He expressed shock 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”, asked Khama. The former president said quite recently they wrote an apology and reimbursed 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 reference to the elders intervention not bearing fruit is partly true only because the current administration has constantly been engaged in actions against the former President which continued even after the elders were initially brought in, casting doubt on the administration’s sincerity, genuineness and commitment to reach reconciliation. These actions, wrongfully in nature, were proven as such by 5the recent private and public apology given by the administration for one such wrongful action and the reimbursement on its part for another. 

Khama continues to say however it is the opinion of the former president that these and other very recent positive developments led by Patrick Balopi representing the elders and other senior government officials has started to bring about a turning point for the better in the situation. Unfortunately the misleading statement in the SONA does not reflect this latest situation. Khama said he welcomes the role the elders have played thus far and wishes to thank them for their time spent and their effort in this regard and encourages them to remain engaged.

The former president further applauded the efforts of others attempting to resolve this undesirable situation and remains confident and committed to a resolution that will be arrived at hopefully sooner rather than later. The former BDP leader said if this is to be achieved both sides should refrain from actions that may be detrimental to achieving a positive outcome. 

Khama also took time to express gratitude to Director General of the Directorate of Intelligence Services Peter Magosi as well as Deputy Permanent Secretary to the President Elias Magosi for their efforts in trying to facilitate reconciliation. Khama’s countrywide Kgotla meetings has raised eyebrows and are alleged to insinuate political motives. However Khama has said as a Motswana he is free to hold Kgotla meetings because he is a Chief just like politicians, government officials and landboards.   

MASISI REMARKS DIVIDE THE BDP

Several ruling party legislators hayve broken ranks with Masisi over his remarks regarding the stand-off involving his and his predecessor. Many are of the view that it was unnecessary and that it may give the nation a sense of danger and political instability. Former BDP party and Tati East lawmaker, Samson Guma has told WeekendPost Monday after SONA that the statement was not necessary. Guma later reiterated his stance on a local radio this week that Masisi and his predecessor Ian Khama have channels in which they could talk. Guma said there can never be a vacuum in leadership and both men know better.

 “It is premature for us to say there is leadership crisis. There is a leadership matter which requires both of them to rise up and lead. The other one is a president and other a paramount chief, “he said. However Guma said Masisi should act within the confinement of the law and Khama should know that the law is there to guide them. 

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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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