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Kgafela tells SA to ignore confused Botswana Govt

Bakgatla Ba Kgafela (BBK) Paramount Chief, Kgafela Kgafela II has told South African authorities during the just ended Commission of Inquiry into Bakgatla dealings in Rustenburg that, in deciding his fate in their nation, they should not bother listening to what Botswana government says of him.

Botswana government does not have a stand, it is like a skipping rope, he says. Kgafela was making his final submissions before a panel of three commissioners being Chairperson, Advocate Sesi Baloyi; and members Professor Mhlomi Moleleki and Advocate Hosi Mahumani on Monday.

The North West Premier had restricted Kgafela to make his submissions based on a few terms of reference that he had put before him. The commission was established by former Premier, Supra Mahumapelo in 2016 to probe the succession dispute of Bakgatla Ba Kgafela in Moruleng and is now in the new hands of Tebogo Mokgoro.

During the proceedings, Baloyi asked Kgafela to shed light on the relevancy of the fact of his de- recognition as Kgosi in Botswana and the fact that he does not hold South African citizenship as far as the evidence before the commission is concerned: At least one party makes an issue about that in so far as it relates to your authority as Kgosi kgolo over Moruleng, noted Baloyi.

In his response, Kgafela who was content and composed in his answering throughout the proceedings, said, “It’s not a prerequisite for recognition by government for you to acquire and perform the duties of Kgosi kgolo. When a government supports a paramount chief under their frame work of corporate governance its profitable, but when the government rejects a paramount chief either because of politics…I will give you an example of Botswana right now, the previous government will say I do not recognise Kgafela and the next government say they recognise you, another one say this and that…like a skipping rope! It does not work that way. Customary law is constant like the sun,” submitted Kgafela.

“The status and performance of the role of a paramount chief are not dependent on recognition by government. I say to you that for the past 10 years I have been a paramount chief of BBK in Botswana and South Africa and I don’t have a certificate for 10 years from both countries. And I have not received a salary from both governments, but you cannot deny the fact that I perform my duties and I am still performing them. The evidence shows quite clearly that one does not need a certificate.”

He also submitted that despite what Botswana government says about his chieftainship, the facts were irrelevant, saying according to the terms of reference put before him by the premier, the premier does not want to know that. “It is not in the terms of reference, and this was issued in 2016, but the government of Botswana took the position of de- recognising me in 2011. All the government departments that I met in pursue of my role knew about it. Surely if this issue was relevant they would have put it here, same as my citizenship, whether I am a South African citizen or not is irrelevant to the terms of reference.”

Kgafela went on to tell the commission that even when his father, the late Paramount Chief Linchwe appointed the same Pilane who was now questioning his authority in 1994, he was not a citizen of South Africa.  His father was living in Botswana and coming to South Africa, he said. “But my case is even stronger, because I am a citizen. There is no evidence which says I am not a citizen. The legal document which evidence says one’s citizenship is a birth certificate. And I have the South African birth certificate,” he said, adding that according to the South African citizenship Act one becomes a citizen once they are in possession of a birth certificate.

He said he has been staying in South Africa for the past six years, and that if he was not a citizen, the government probably would have long kicked him out of the country. Kgafela II, who was installed as Bakgatla chief in 2008, left the country in 2012, following a series of battles with government over a number of issues. He had been de-recognised by then Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Lebonaamang Mokalake at the time of his departure to South Africa, renouncing the Botswana citizenship in the process, after acquiring South African citizenship.

In a letter written to then Minister of Defence, Justice and Security Ramadeluka Seretse, Kgafela II stated in the letter that; “ I am a King who rules over a tribe in two countries. That circumstance is not of our own doing but a product of colonialism. The fact of the matter is that I have settled in South Africa permanently as a South Africa citizen. What you do with my citizenship of Botswana is up to you, since you now own the country as a family.”

In his previous battles with government, Kgafela II had challenged the constitution of Botswana wanting it to be set aside as he contended that it was fraudulently adopted. In South Africa, Kgafela II, where he emerged victorious again, was fighting an even tougher battle where his legitimacy as a ruler of Bakgatla in Moruleng was being questioned by one Nyalala Pilane who had been a regent since 1996.

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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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