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I am content now Molefhi on Masisi

Newly appointed Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration Nonofo Molefhi is content with his appointment as selected by newly inaugurated President, Mokgweetsi Masisi.

Masisi appointed Molefhi, together with his group that challenged him at the infamous do-or-die Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Tonota congress last year.  At the bloody congress, Molefhi strongly challenged Masisi for party chairmanship – a decision which was “not received well” by some in the party.

The group led by Molefhi nonetheless lost all positions to the Masisi camp and in particular Molefhi was beaten by 261 votes against Masisi’s whooping 769. As a result, following the congress, there was strong speculation that when Masisi ascends to the presidency through the contentious automatic succession, he may starve some of his Tonota challengers ministerial positions.

Meanwhile, Chairmanship in the BDP, which Masisi held from 2015 to 2018, has been mostly regarded as a pedestal to propel victors to the Vice Presidency or future presidency in line with the party custom and tradition. According to Molefhi there was nothing personal, just that the constitution allowed him to stand for the position and he exercised his right to do so.

The Selibe Phikwe East legislator’s lobby list against Masisi comprised of the then Minister of Health and Wellness Dorcas Makgato, and her Assistant Minister Phillip Makgalemele, former Assistant Minister of Basic Education Master Goya, ex Assistant Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Biggie Butale as well as the then Minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation Services Prince Maele.

In the said lobby list, Butale has been appointed Assistant Minister of Health and Wellness; Makgato is now Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs; and Makgalemele is Youth Empowerment Sport and Culture development Assistant Minister; while the Assistant Minister of Investment Trade and Industry has been allocated to Goya. Out of the lobby list, only the controversial Prince Maele has been axed.

The two camps have not been seeing eye-to-eye and their relationship is reported to have been deteriorated to unprecedented levels since the 2017 congress. However Masisi moved to appoint them even to key ministries. Profoundly, Masisi has appointed the Selibe Phikwe East legislator into the most powerful Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration hence paralyzing any prospects of factions taking shape.

Speaking to WeekendPost this week shortly after the endorsement of Vice President Slumber Tsogwane, outside parliament buildings, Molefhi said he is at ease with himself and Masisi and fully supports the new president. “I am content with Masisi. I am at ease because constitutionally Masisi is a president and is empowered to select his choice for Vice President which in turn parliament has endorsed as agreed at the party caucus. The BDP caucus unanimously agreed to endorse the President’s choice of VP. I am also satisfied with his choice without any reservation. I support both Masisi and Tsogwane in their respective new positions,” Molefhi highlighted to this publication.

Molefhi said has fully supported Masisi prior to and following the announcement of the new cabinet including his appointment. He also emphasized that there is no bad blood between him and the president and that he will continue to back him. By appointing his former challengers at Tonota, pundits observe that the groupings which were slowly taking shape into factions may be things of the past in the ruling BDP. They contend that Masisi may have nipped them in the bud through his recent cabinet appointments.

Meanwhile Molefhi conceded to WeekendPost that the closure of copper nickel mine, BCL leaving more than 4000 unemployed, has really dealt a major blow on his prospects of retaining the constituency. He said it will be a mountain to climb towards 2019.

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People with Disabilities Face Barriers to Political Participation in Botswana

23rd February 2024

Individuals challenged by disabilities encounter formidable obstacles when endeavoring to partake in political processes within the context of Botswana. Political involvement, a cornerstone of democratic governance, empowers citizens to shape the legislative landscape that impacts their daily existence. Despite Botswana’s reputation for upholding democratic ideals, recent insights unveil a troubling reality – those with disabilities find themselves marginalized in the realm of politics, contending with substantial barriers obstructing the exercise of their democratic liberties.

A recent inquiry in Botswana unveiled a panorama where individuals with disabilities confront hurdles in navigating the political arena, their involvement often restricted to the basic act of voting. Voices emerged from the study, underscoring the critical necessity of fostering environments that are accessible and welcoming, affording individuals with disabilities the active engagement they rightfully deserve in political processes. Noteworthy was the account of a participant grappling with physical impairments, shedding light on the glaring absence of ramps at polling stations and the urgent call for enhanced support mechanisms to ensure an equitable electoral participation.

The echoes reverberating from these narratives serve as poignant reminders of the entrenched obstacles impeding the full integration of individuals with disabilities into the democratic tapestry. The inaccessibility of polling stations and the glaring absence of provisions tailored to the needs of persons with disabilities loom large as formidable barricades to their political engagement. Particularly pronounced is the plight of those grappling with severe impairments and intellectual challenges, who face even steeper hurdles in seizing political participation opportunities, often grappling with feelings of isolation and exclusion from the political discourse.

Calls for decisive action cascade forth, urging the establishment of more inclusive and accessible political ecosystems that embrace individuals with disabilities in Botswana. Government bodies and concerned stakeholders are urged to prioritize the enactment of laws and policies designed to safeguard the political rights of individuals with disabilities. Furthermore, initiatives geared towards enhancing awareness and education on political processes and rights for this segment of society must be spearheaded, alongside the adoption of inclusive measures within political institutions and party structures.

By dismantling these barriers and nurturing a political landscape that is truly inclusive, Botswana can earnestly uphold its democratic ethos and afford every citizen, including those with disabilities, a substantive opportunity to partake in the political fabric of the nation.

 

 

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Neo Kirchway- Defying the odds

23rd February 2024

In the heartwarming tale of Neo Kirchway, a beacon of inspiration emerges, shining brightly amid life’s adversities.

Defying the constraints of destiny, Neo Kirchway, a resilient Motswana soul now thriving in the United States, stands tall despite the absence of her lower limbs. With unwavering determination, she tends to her cherished family – a loving husband and four children – engaging in the daily symphony of household tasks with remarkable grace.

Neo’s indomitable spirit traces back to the fateful year of 1994, a time when medical intervention called for the amputation of her curled legs. Embracing this pivotal juncture with unwavering courage and the blessing of her mother, she ventured forth into a world adorned with prosthetic legs, eager to script a tale of triumph.

Venturing beyond borders, Neo’s journey led her to the embrace of the United States, where serendipity intertwined her fate with that of her soulmate, Garrett Kirchway. Together, this harmonious duo navigates the ebbs and flows of life, their bond fortified by unwavering love and unyielding support.

In a bid to illuminate paths and embolden hearts, Neo leverages the digital realm, crafting a sanctuary of empowerment on her YouTube channel. Brimming with authenticity and raw emotion, her videos chronicle the tapestry of her daily life, serving as a testament to resilience and the unwavering human spirit.

Amidst the digital cosmos, Neo, affectionately known as “KirchBaby,” reigns supreme, a luminary in the hearts of 658,000 enraptured subscribers. Through her captivating content, she not only navigates the mundane tasks of cooking, cleaning, and childcare but also dances with celestial grace, a testament to her boundless spirit and unyielding zest for life.

In the cathedral of Neo Kirchway’s narrative, resilience reigns supreme, echoing a universal truth – that amidst life’s gales, the human spirit, when kindled by hope and fortitude, emerges as a beacon of light, illuminating even the darkest of paths.

 

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Inequalities Faced by Individuals with Disabilities

22nd February 2024

The government’s efforts to integrate individuals with disabilities in Botswana society are being hampered by budgetary constraints. Those with disabilities face inequalities in budgetary allocations in the health and education sectors. For instance, it is reported that the government allocates higher budgetary funds to the general health sector, while marginal allocations are proposed for the development and implementation of the National Primary Health Care guidelines and Standards for those with Disabilities. This shows that in terms of budgetary solutions, the government’s proposed initiatives in improving the health and well-being of those with disabilities remain futile as there is not enough money going towards disability-specific health programs. On the other hand, limited budgetary allocations to the Special Education Unit also are a primary contributor to the inequalities faced by children with disabilities. The government only provides for the employment of 15 teachers with qualifications in special education despite the large numbers of children with intellectual disabilities that are in need of special education throughout Botswana. Such disproportional allocation of resources inhibits the capacity to provide affordable and accessible assisted technology and residential support services for those with disabilities. Given the fact that a different amount of resources have been availed to the education and health sectors, the general understanding is that the government is not doing enough to ensure that adequate resources are distributed to disability-specific programs and facilities such as barrier-free environments, residential homes, and special education schools for children with disabilities.

 

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