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Saleshando courts Boko to cajole AP into UDC fold

Opposition stalwart and Botswana Congress Party (BCP) Dumelang Saleshando has beseeched on the Umbrella for Democratic Party (UDC) President Duma Boko to reflect on courting Alliance for Progressives (AP) back into the UDC.

The one-year purple party, led by Ndaba Gaolathe left the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) following irreparable indifferences with the other group under the contentious Sidney Pilane who now remains as its leader.  Speaking to Weekend Post this week Saleshando insisted that UDC needs the AP and that they should do the needful to twist their (AP) arm as time for 2019 General Elections is fast gaining pace.

According to Saleshando, the UDC President Boko always says his mission is to unite all the opposition parties in Botswana and therefore coaxing AP provides him with the opportunity to reclaim his glory. “So hopefully he (Boko) will also take the necessary steps to cajole AP into the UDC fold in the shortest span of time. Already time is running out,” the BCP leader maintained to this publication.  He also said that: “the UDC leadership all know that we need AP more than they need us so it is not for me as Saleshando to say it. The UDC leadership is equally aware to this fact.”

The UDC Vice President also stated that unfortunately the UDC leadership structure haven’t met for sometime so it has not yet discussed the “danger” of AP being left alone to contest next elections separately from other opposition parties. “I believe we will be stronger with the AP. If left alone the party will split votes and maybe eat on the UDC vote as most opposition voters are likely to vote another opposition. Therefore, Boko and the UDC time is running out for the umbrella party to strike this crucial deal,” the ex two times Gaborone Central legislator said.  

Saleshando is also cautious that it won’t be smooth sailing in the Umbrella as is the nature of coalitions everywhere. “Coalitions by nature have positives and negatives. We can’t take positives only without the negatives. But one hopes negatives don’t outweigh positives,” he said. He gave a testimony that already he was confronted by some potential voters owing to BMD’s bloody fight involving fiery dogs that led to the party splitting.

“I was confronted in one of my campaigns negatively gore a ga se lona ba dintswa and you can’t say nnyaa ga se rona as we are in the same boat.” The UDC VP is aware that whatever conducts coming from other parties will affect the other as blood from the BMD has already spilled to them as evidenced by his testimony.

Why BCP won’t leave the UDC

In light of the development which might tarnish the stable BCP and the entire UDC project, Saleshando however told this publication that there is still no decision to think that the BCP is leaving UDC neither is there a call to consider the position. “I don’t think opting out of the umbrella would assist anything; the challenges that exist would be resolved. In the interest of our democracy, BCP should not leave and therefore 2019 should be about changing government. Our democracy needs to witness the transition from the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) to a new era.”

As you know, Saleshando said, UDC can’t win elections without BCP even though the last polls the green party garnered 20% of the popular vote so this essentially means that there cannot be any meaningful change without the BCP.  And for the BCP going alone, it will require more time to double the popular vote in 2019 and “we are alive to this following 2014 General Elections where we contested alone.”

Saleshando still hopeful UDC will win in 2019

Against all odds, the Maun West UDC candidate in the next elections still believes that his party will win the government. “I think we can win in 2019 as we are boosted by the past by elections which have proven that we are stronger and even made breakthrough in some BDP strongholds,” he emphasized. Meanwhile when reached for comment UDC spokesperson Moeti Mohwasa said the UDC’s position is that all opposition parties in Botswana should contest as one entity towards 2019 as “we are much stronger together.”

UDC retreat failed

Meanwhile the UDC retreat that was expected to take place between 1st June and 3rd June 2018 could not materialize owing to President Duma Boko’s engagement with Parliamentary business. This means that there is no movement on the issue of the UDC constitution, which is of grave concern to the BCP. Saleshando and his party wants the UDC to adopt the new constitution which recognizes the BCP formally. No new date has been set for the retreat.

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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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