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Kgathi takes aim at illicit drugs dealers

The Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Shaw Kgathi has tabled before the current on-going winter session parliament seating, the Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substance Bill No.20 of 2018, an act which seeks to domesticate the 1988 signed United Nations Convention against Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances which Botswana is party to. Kgathi also said that the bill intends to deal with drug related crimes in alignment with article no 3 of the Convention.

Kgathi pointed out that of recent, illicit drug lords or dealers have been peddling drugs in Botswana establishing a market for drugs such as marijuana and other harmful narcotics, therefore there is a need to crack the whip on such drug syndicates. He added “The disruptive pattern of using drugs in this country is becoming more problematic and there is a need for all the stakeholders, should it be church, parents and NGOs to work together with the government to control the situation which results in significant social problems.”

He said the bill also proposes that a Narcotic Drug Unit be established to assist in investigations pertaining to drug selling, adding that a rehabilitation centre will be set up to offer psychological treatment for those affected by drug addiction. Members of Parliament observed that drugs find their way in Botswana from neighbouring countries through illegal means at leaky Botswana border posts.

MP for Takatokwane, Ngaka Ngaka, when responding to the bill said drugs; especially dagga is smuggled into Botswana through border posts and urged on the minister to introduce some scanners in the most crucial border points which can be able to detect the drugs. He also said there is a need to establish rehabilitation centres as per the minister proposes and pleaded that highly trained psychologists should be used as opposed to just social workers who normally lack experience as compared to the psychologists.

Dr Tlamelo Mmatli, Molepolole-South lawmaker said that some barbershops, tuck shops and alcohol selling homesteads are the major sources of drug peddling which targets the youth including school going boys and girls. “We also need to keep an eye on some street selling businesses such as tuck shops because they also sell drugs on behalf of this drug lords in order to earn a certain commission,” he underscored.


Gaborone central legislator, Dr Phenyo Butale applauded the move further cautioning that prominent drug lords should also be targeted as much as small time dealers are. MPs also underscored that trend in drug dealing shows dagga as the drug of choice because it is cheap and easily accessible unlike other expensive and hard to afford narcotics such as cocaine.


According to Kgathi, the charge for illicit drug possession or use attracts a penalty such as a fine that does not exceed P 500, 000 or prison sentence not exceeding 20 years. The Illicit Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances act will review and add dimension to the long-time similar related act being The Drugs and related Substances Act of 1992.

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Khan: Boko, Masisi are fake politicians

18th January 2021
Masisi & Boko

While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.

Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.

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Ookeditse rejects lobby for BPF top post

18th January 2021
LAWRENCE-OOKEDITSE

Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.

Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.

Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”

“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.

He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.

He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.

According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.

There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.

Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.

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BDP cancels MPs retreat

18th January 2021
President Masisi

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.

“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication.
The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.

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