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Masisi boots out late ministers

President Mokgweetsi Masisi this week kicked out two of his ministers from a cabinet meeting for coming late. Just last month, the president vowed to take stern action against members of his cabinet who were not meeting his standards.

The duo of Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology Ngaka Ngaka and Local Government and Rural Development Dorcas Makgato became victim to the president’s vow of laying the rules for disrespecting time. This publication is told that the two as it has been the norm with party and cabinet meetings came later than the set time only to be sent back.

While they tried to enter at various times, the pair had to go back and carry on with other official duties after the president reportedly told them “to go back and will come on time in the next meeting”. This is seen as an effort by the President to instill his philosophy to the newly assembled cabinet and in process laying down his modus operandi as his 18 months tenure to prove his worth to the nation gets under way.

This week’s meeting was aimed at assessing last week’s three day cabinet retreat in which a lot of decisions including the reinstatement of overtime allowance were taken. Still at the retreat, informants say, Masisi just like he did at a party caucus some weeks back, insisted in professionalism. According to sources, the president was irked by this fact― that a few days after having drilled his cabinet about professionalism, the duo came late to a meeting.

The president has further warned those who cannot pay the price of loyalty that they will be kicked out of their ministerial positions as they will be failing the president’s plan to uplift the lives of the citizens. “He was so serious and we were so concerned about his ‘attitude’ because it appears like he has captured us (ministers) with these posts but we are not because we were voted by the people, a ministerial position is something else rather it would hamper our chances to see our electorates,” one minister who condemned Masisi’s action said.

Ministers, who are disillusioned by the President’s stance after the Tuesday events, argue that the president should take it easy as he has been so hardline since his inaugural cabinet meeting. “We understand he could be instilling his game-plan but it was not necessary, what have we done for him to doubt us, we are new in these roles and we won’t disappoint but already he is kind of panicking. As Ministers we have other events to officiate at and when you juggle so many balls and even compromising them to attend the cabinet gathering then you are chased out it’s something else,” said the informant.

Meanwhile, when contacted for comment regarding the said meeting, Makgato said: “I will never discuss anything regarding cabinet meetings with you. Whoever told you the story should go and finish with them, I’m not going to entertain that, real or un-real. I will not allow myself to be used as a pawn, it is your story and whoever told you, now you want to include me. If you want details of the cabinet meetings you can talk to the PSP (Carter Morupisi).”

Efforts to solicit comment from Ngaka were unsuccessful as his mobile number not going through for the better part of Thursday, until press time. For his part Morupisi said. “Ordinarily I don’t discuss cabinet meetings with the public or the media. They are very confidential and I will not say anything because whatever is discussed is very confidential.”

While the party agrees with the president setting demands for his subordinates, what it is opposed is the manner and the tone he is using. “For him to be the president we should win constituencies and he should talk to us in a proper way. He was just being arrogant for nothing and remember there are heavyweights outside there who can mobilize regions to recall him. We just need eight out of 14,” highlighted a source.

Makgato and Masisi have had fallout during the era of President Ian Khama after the former sponsored a motion of no confidence to oust Masisi as the Vice President. Makgato who is also a leader of the BDP’s women wing is still regarded as one of the influential figures in the party who can mobilize the membership to turn tables for anyone in the party including the President.

On the other hand Ngaka who is the MP for Letlhakeng/Takatokwane is seen as an innocent figure who cannot harm Masisi in anyway more so he was given the ministerial position after lobbying for the portfolio as one of the senior members in the BDP. He first came to parliament in 2013 following the death of Maxwell Motowane.

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Botswana approves extradition of British fugitive

20th March 2023

Raiz Ahmed Tayub, a British fugitive sought by Interpol for his involvement in human trafficking and slave trade crimes, was captured by the Botswana Police Service (BPS) earlier this year.

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BOCRA detects new cyber attacks targeted at Botswana

20th March 2023

Government owned communications regulator, Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) recently detected several cyber-attacks targeted at national information and communications infrastructure, companies and home routers in this country.

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Malawi appeals for help over Cyclone Freddy at PAP

17th March 2023

As of yesterday evening, the death toll from the Cyclone in Malawi had risen from the initially reported 190 to 225 in a short period of time, over 20 000 people have been displaced, and the worst of fears are yet to come as the fatalities continue to mount. This was reported by a Malawi Member of Parliament attending the Pan African Parliament session in Midrand, South Africa, Hon Steven Mikiya.

Mikiya was giving a statement on behalf of Malawi as the ongoing Pan African Parliament in South Africa.

Mikiya said the Cyclone has wreaked the most havoc in our country’s Southern Region. “The Southern Region, has been hardest hit with widespread heavy rains and strong winds. This caused a rapid rise in water levels and subsequent flooding. Meanwhile, power supply has been disrupted, roads blocked off and rendered impassable and mudslides have also been widely reported,” he said.

He made a special appeal to the PAP:  “Where I come from, there is a parable which I would like to share with you which says, “mzako weniweni umamudziwa panthawi ya mavuto.” Simply put, a friend in need is a friend indeed or put loosely, a person who helps at a difficult time is a friend you can rely on.”

Mikiya continued: “Yes! Misfortune has knocked on our door and left in its wake a trail of death and destruction that may take years to fully recover from. However, amidst these difficulties, I have every reason to believe that sometimes when you are in a dark place and think you have been buried, you have actually been planted. My belief, Mr. President, arises out of my faith in this gathering and out of the conviction that it is not coincidental that Cyclone Freddy hit Malawi and Mozambique while the delegations of both countries are here.”

According to Mikiya, the level of destruction, the loss of life, property and the decimation of the entire fabric of established communities has been unprecedented. He noted that all this, is coming at a time when Malawi was starting to show signs of recovery from the deadly COVID-19 pandemic that also came hard on the heels of Cyclone Ana and Cyclone Gombe that left a similar trail of devastation and destruction in Malawi and neighbouring countries.

As of Sunday, this week, from the 12th of March, Malawi and Mozambique have been facing the devastating effects of Cyclone Freddy that made a landfall over Mozambique on Saturday the 11th and reached Malawi by Sunday the 12th of March.

The Malawi legislator said he has absolute faith in the Pan African Parliament, which he described as “a league of nations brought together by a shared ancestry, history, identity as well as our beloved continent which we inhabit”.

Meanwhile, Malawi President, Lazarus Chakwera, has declared a State of Disaster in the affected areas effectively appealing for local and international support for the affected families.

Mikiya appealed to the Pan African Parliament drawing “positive” inspiration from Europe which rallied around Turkey after the destructive earthquakes to bring the much-needed relief and humanitarian aid to the people of Turkey.

He said Africa should demonstrate to the world that the African Union and its Organs are not mere talk shows, but effective institutions which stand up when it matters most.

“Alone, it may take us a lifetime to fully recover, but together, in the Pan-Africanist spirit of Ubuntu, our lives and livelihoods will return to a semblance of normality in record time. This is the time to live by our operative mantra, “One Africa, One Voice.” Mikiya concluded.

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