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Wednesday, 28 February 2024

Masisi, Khama feud reaches Parliament

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The ongoing stand-off between President Mokgweetsi Masisi and his predecessor Lt Gen Dr Ian Khama reached the Parliamentary Accounts Committee (PAC) this week. The Permanent Secretary from Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Thuso Ramodimoosi was having a difficult time trying to defend the actions of his superiors.

Ramodimoosi who indicated that he is new at the Office of the President, had to be rescued by his support team on several occasions in answering piercing questions from a seven member panel. PAC is a parliamentary committee that studies public audits, invites ministry officials for questioning, and issues a report of their findings subsequent to a government budget audit. 

The committee, currently chaired by Abraham Kesupile wanted to find out the reasons why the Office of the President issued a directive on government media blackout against former President Lt Gen Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama. “There is nothing that says we should not cover former president, however, there have been concerns regarding the statement he made especially in Bobonong, and we were told to use our editorial discretion when covering him,” said deputy permanent secretary for broadcasting and information services, Bonnie Matshaba.

It has however emerged from the PAC sitting that President Masisi never issued the directive but rather it was his permanent secretary, Carter Morupisi who did.  “It was not a directive from the President, the PSP raised the concerns,” added Matshaba. “There has never been a blackout as you put it, resources permitting we will cover him. We will use our editorial judgement and of course blackout is still an option,” a seemingly nervous Matshaba highlighted.

The message to cut-off Khama in the government owned mediums was delivered to Mass Media top echelons last month. The directive which came from the Permanent Secretary to the President asked the gate keepers to throw away any material from independent content providers that has the former president. It was argued that Khama will gain ‘political and undeserved mileage’ through production houses which normally cover his ‘charitable’ initiatives.

“We are focused on delivering government material to Batswana. We give priority to those who push government initiatives like President, his vice, and ministers. We are not going to give him (Khama) airtime because both BTV and Radio Botswana are pushing government initiatives, and what is he pushing?” Morupisi said in an interview with this publication. In response Khama has turned to private media which he hated with a passion during his reign. Most of his activities are covered by independent media houses with the entire government mediums including print shunning him.

THE AIRCRAFT DEBATE

The accounting officer, Ramodimoosi could not clearly respond to another directive that blocked Khama from getting air transport.  “I am not aware of any directive, but I have heard about that,” he said before adding, “I don’t know if he can ask for a lift from other organisations if he needs air transport,” he responded to a PAC member, Dithapelo Keorapetse’s question before the committee ordered him to go and inform himself before re-appearing.

The Office of the President (OP) has rejected Khama’s request to use a chopper two times before ordering Debswana, BDF and other organizations not to lend Khama any or give him a lift. The Former President’s Pensions and Retirement Benefits Act which was amended prior to the stepping down of  Khama from the presidency, gives provision for either boat or air transport by state as and when need arises.

It has been explained that for any mode of transport to be extended to former presidents other than road transport (the three vehicles) as per the amended Act, a formal request must be made but the release of such transport is dependent on the approval of the sitting president and only the president can authorize such a request. There are reports that spanners are at work to procure a helicopter for Khama.

KHAMA YET TO SUE MASISI

The accounting officer, Ramodimoosi has told PAC that Office of the President is yet to receive statutory notice from Khama. “As far as I know, we have not received anything about that. But I have heard about it,” he said. Khama has last month declared that he will sue the state for refusal to appoint his ally and close friend, the former Director General of the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) Isaac Kgosi as his private secretary (PS).

Khama’s argument emanated from the fact that Kgosi is free, and he is not working for government.  “Presidents, Vice Presidents, Ministers, all choose their Private Secretaries because they are people you have to be able to work closely with. Even a member of parliament, his constituency administrator is chosen by the MP that is the practice, so I too have the same right,” Khama was quoted saying.

Khama on the matter is expected to be represented by once bitter rival advocate Duma Boko who is also the President of the main opposition party Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC). Kgosi, who is the founding Director General of the DIS was fired by Masisi at the beginning of May earlier this year. Kgosi was replaced by Khama’s nemesis,   Brigadier Peter Magosi, a decision that has infuriated the former president.

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Dr. Judey Pretorius shines light on the path to True Skincare at the Renewal Aesthetics Convention

28th February 2024

At the heart of the recent Renewal Aesthetics Beauty and Wellness Convention, a gathering renowned for its cutting-edge insights into health and beauty, stood Dr. Judey Pretorius, a luminary in the realm of biomedical science and skincare innovation. The award-winning founder of Biomedical Emporium captivated attendees with her profound understanding of skin health, bridging the gap between regenerative medicine and everyday skincare practices.

Dr. Pretorius, celebrated for her contributions to the field, delved into the uniqueness of individual skin types, drawing an intriguing parallel with a biblical quote, “I knew you before I created you.” This analogy underscored her message that just as no two fingerprints are alike, the same holds true for our skin. It was a compelling call to action against the one-size-fits-all approach to skincare, urging attendees to embrace their uniqueness and cautioning against the imitation of others’ skincare routines.

Highlighting the importance of personalized skincare, Dr. Pretorius emphasized the need for professional guidance when addressing skin concerns. “Seeking help from professionals trained in skin treatment and management is crucial,” she advised, pointing out that what works for one individual may not necessarily be effective for another due to the distinct nature of each person’s skin.

Beyond the surface, Dr. Pretorius expanded the conversation to include the intrinsic link between nutrition and skin health. She posited that a healthy gut is a precursor to radiant skin, suggesting that “sometimes, the skin acts as a window to what’s happening inside the body.” This perspective not only highlights the external indicators of internal well-being but also serves as a reminder of the holistic approach required for genuine skincare.

In her discussion, Dr. Pretorius also touched upon essential products that should find a place in everyone’s skincare arsenal, though she remained adamant that professional consultation is key to effectively addressing and potentially reversing certain skin conditions and damage.

The Renewal Aesthetics Beauty and Wellness Convention, renowned for bringing together thought leaders and innovators in the beauty and wellness industries, provided the perfect platform for Dr. Pretorius to share her insights. Her session was not just an educational journey into the science of skincare but also a reminder of the deeply personal journey to understanding and caring for one’s skin. Attendees left equipped with the knowledge that true beauty and skin health begin with recognizing and respecting the uniqueness of their skin, advocating for a tailored approach to skincare that mirrors the individuality of each person.

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Botswana’s Legislative Milestone: Championing Disability Rights

27th February 2024

In a significant stride towards inclusivity, Botswana’s National Assembly has ratified the groundbreaking Persons with Disability Act. This legislation is a cornerstone in protecting the rights and promoting the economic well-being of individuals with disabilities

At the heart of this act is the creation of two pivotal bodies: the National Disability Coordinating Office and the National Disability Council. These institutions are set to revolutionize the integration of disability affairs into the national fabric, as outlined by the Minister for State President, Kabo Morwaeng. Morwaeng highlighted the alignment of this act with the global Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), underlining Botswana’s commitment to international standards in disability rights.

During his address to Parliament, Morwaeng disclosed Botswana’s inaugural CRPD report submission to the UN, underscoring the nation’s dedication to global dialogue on disability rights. Furthermore, he unveiled plans for a comprehensive assessment to understand the socio-economic realities of disabled individuals and their families. This initiative, complemented by the strengthening of existing programs, aims to empower this community, ensuring their integration and prosperity in society

Morwaeng’s call to action was clear. He urged a collective shift in developmental agendas to accommodate and prioritize disability issues, advocating for an inclusive societal framework.

An ambitious budget of P35,631,600 has been allocated to bridge gaps in Disability Economic Empowerment, alongside critical studies and the establishment of the National Emergency Operations Centre. Concluding his presentation, Morwaeng appealed to fellow governmental departments to allocate funds diligently to fulfill CRPD and Persons with Disabilities obligations, marking a new chapter in Botswana’s legislative history towards inclusive development.

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Kabo Matlho’s Majestic Reentry Descends Upon a Solo Venture

27th February 2024

Kabo Matlho, a luminary whose fame once graced the grand finale of My Star, is poised to enchant the music realm once more with an upcoming solo venture—an RnB and Hip-Hop Extended Play (EP)—heralding his grand resurgence after a hiatus that spoke volumes.

During a telephonic confab with our editors, the virtuoso, navigating the world from the confines of his wheelchair, confided that while the exact launch date of the EP remains shrouded in mystery, he is fervently working towards a mid-2024 reveal. Matlho shared the trials of his odyssey, especially the cold shoulder he received from the industry ambushes, crediting the harsh exclusion to his physical predicament.

“The scene calls me once more, for the absence has been both a sabbatical and a shadow. The road for an artist, enveloped in the embrace of wheels, is strewn with fewer welcomes and scarce stages. Yet, herein I forge my return, with the precise hour of my EP’s birth still nestled in the coming chapters, assuredly within this year’s embrace,” Matlho unveiled with a determination that shone bright.

 

Probed on his choice for a solo EP, the melody weaver expressed a desire to not only rekindle his essence but to stand solitary under the spotlight, nurturing his brand to vigor before possibly blending it with the talents of others—once his career phoenix rises anew from its ashes.

Elaborating on his Extended Play, Matlho shared visions of its essence, where the soul of RnB intertwines with the spirited rhythm of Hip-Hop, crafting an audial tapestry that not only returns to his roots but also ventures into previously uncharted territories of his musical domain. With resilience, Matlho faces the crossroads of his artistry, embracing the whisperings of Hip-Hop that tease the boundaries of his comfort, embarking on this path with a heart both apprehensive and ablaze.

 

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