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Sunday, 03 December 2023

Masisi successors emerge


The race to succeed Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi has already begun. Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) activists based at Moshupa/Manyana constituency are on track to come into sight in a bid to succeed area MP, Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi.

The constituency is expected to go for a bye election next year subsequent to Masisi’s elevation to the highest office of the presidency, as prescribed by the system of automatic succession. Masisi will assume the presidency in seven months time on 1 April 2018. In the last elections Masisi representing BDP triumphed by a convincing 6831 lead against Ngaka Monageng of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) who got 3231 votes while Benny Stegling of Botswana Congress Party (BCP) got 2557.

Moshupa also has 8 wards which are all in the hands of the ruling BDP except one which was won through a by election by opposition Botswana Congress Party (BCP) being Moshupa West. Other wards include Lotlhakane West, Manyana/Mogonye, Moshupa East, Moshupa North, Moshupa South, Pitseng and Ralekgetho. With a few months before the BDP Chairman Masisi becomes president, already there are talks of possible candidates for Moshupa/Manyana to represent the party at the area and possibly succeed Masisi in the constituency.

BDP sources that spoke to WeekendPost hinted that a rising BDP luminary in the name of Karabo Gare who is little known in national politics although active in the area seems all set to contest for the vacancy. They point that all stakes are high for the Young Turk who it is said has worked tirelessly for the party in the area signalling his intentions to fill the shoes of the Vice President in future if it opens up.“As Masisi rises to the presidenc, chances are he will bring along him his trusted lieutenant, Karabo Gare to occupy his seat as a representative of our constituency,” a source in the area closer to the developments told this publication.

According to the source, it is clear Gare will contest the party primaries and sail through as he has enough support on the ground and closer to VP Masisi. Another source who spoke to WeekendPost hinted that Gare may triumph as he has done a lot for the constituency even under the leadership of Masisi. However, when contacted for a comment, Gare was cagey with confirming his intentions despite allegations in the area of his imminent contestation instead saying he will announce the news at the “right time”.

“I can confirm that should constituents find the need to send me to parliament to represent them at the bye election expected for next year, I can avail myself,” he told WeekendPost in an exclusive interview. He insisted that “I am more than ready; I am more than ready to take up the assignment.” Sensing that he may be misconstrued on the matter, he emphasised that he can only make the decision “when the VP steps out from the role of the Member of Parliament (MP).” Although he is seen as Masisi’s blue eyed boy, and seemed to be concealing some more information during the interview; Gare said his relationship with the VP is ordinary against what some constituents’ sentiments on the ground.

“I don’t think Masisi will have a preferred candidate, even I,” he explained. “Yes he is my elder, we have a good relationship with the VP but it is not exceptional or distinct from the others. He treats us fairly and takes us as equals. So I don’t think he can take sides with anyone. As I know him, he would want the constituents to take an informed decision for them as to whom they want as their next representative, he won’t disadvantage anyone in my judgement. In fact I believe he is more of a unifier,” Gare asserted.

After his praises on Masisi, Gare took a shot to the opposition saying although their presence is felt on the ground, but are not viable. “First of all generally I don’t think UDC structure is viable. Otherwise there would be no individual parties under UDC,” he pointed out. According to Gare, any government needs a stronger opposition to keep them accountable. “But I feel although we need a strong opposition, opposition UDC is united but again not united. We need a credible opposition at the moment. I don’t undermine them but again I don’t think their project is viable.”

He added that in politics you can only be confident but not complacent nonetheless. He further highlighted that “I believe we will retain Moshupa/Manyana constituency with the same margin as previously if not better. People on the ground inform me that we are still strong.” Previously, Gare worked at Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) as a Business Advisor. While at LEA, he assisted Moshupa constituents for free, while also taking people through entrepreneurship awareness workshops.

In football, he also played as role of Chairman for local team Kgabosetso which was subsequently elevated to First Division owing to his shrewd leadership. Prior, he also occupied the position of Accountant Officer at Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) and later serving at Botswana railways as Senior Accounts and Administration Officer before joining LEA.

The party is expected to invite candidates in whom other hopefuls will emerge, to lock horns for representing the party at primary elections upon an opening of the vacancy next year in line with the party constitution, tradition and procedure. BDP Branch Chairman in the constituency, Bushi Tshiping, told WeekendPost in a separate interview that upon Masisi’s succession to the presidency, “the party constitution and procedure will be followed accordingly” to fill the shoes of Masisi in the area.

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19 Bokamoso Private Hospital nurses graduate at Lenmed Nursing College

28th November 2023

The graduation of 19 nurses from Bokamoso Private Hospital at Lenmed Nursing College marks a significant milestone in their careers. These nurses have successfully completed various short learning programs, including Adult Intensive Care Unit, Emergency Nursing Care, Anaesthetic & Recovery Room Nursing, Anaesthetic Nursing, and Recovery Room Nursing. The ceremony, held in Gaborone, was a testament to their hard work and dedication.

Lenmed Nursing College, a renowned healthcare group with a presence in South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, and Ghana, has been instrumental in providing quality education and training to healthcare professionals. The Group Head of Operations, Jayesh Parshotam, emphasized the importance of upskilling nurses, who are at the forefront of healthcare systems. He also expressed his appreciation for the partnerships with Bokamoso Private Hospital, the Ministry of Health, and various health training institutes in Botswana.

Dr. Morrison Sinvula, a consultant from the Ministry of Health, commended Lenmed Health and Lenmed Nursing College for their commitment to the education and training of these exceptional nurses. He acknowledged their guidance, mentorship, and support in shaping the nurses’ careers and ensuring their success. Dr. Sinvula also reminded the graduates that education does not end here, as the field of healthcare is constantly evolving. He encouraged them to remain committed to lifelong learning and professional development, embracing new technologies and staying updated with the latest medical advancements.

Dr. Gontle Moleele, the Superintendent of Bokamoso Private Hospital, expressed her excitement and pride in the graduating class of 2023. She acknowledged the sacrifices made by these individuals, who have families and responsibilities, to ensure their graduation. Dr. Moleele also thanked Lenmed Nursing College for providing this opportunity to the hospital’s nurses, as it will contribute to the growth of the hospital.

The certificate recipients from Bokamoso Private Hospital were recognized for their outstanding achievements in their respective programs. Those who received the Cum Laude distinction in the Adult Intensive Care Unit program were Elton Keatlholwetse, Lebogang Kgokgonyane, Galaletsang Melamu, Pinkie Mokgosi, Ofentse Seboletswe, Gorata Basupi, Bareng Mosala, and Justice Senyarelo. In the Emergency Nursing Care program, Atlanang Moilwa, Bakwena Moilwa, Nathan Nhiwathiwa, Mogakolodi Lesarwe, Modisaotsile Thomas, and Lorato Matenje received the Cum Laude distinction. Kelebogile Dubula and Gaolatlhe Sentshwaraganye achieved Cum Laude in the Anaesthetic & Recovery Room Nursing program, while Keletso Basele excelled in the Anaesthetic Nursing program. Mompoloki Mokwaledi received recognition for completing the Recovery Room Nursing program.

In conclusion, the graduation of these 19 nurses from Bokamoso Private Hospital at Lenmed Nursing College is a testament to their dedication and commitment to their profession. They have successfully completed various short learning programs, equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their respective fields. The collaboration between Lenmed Nursing College, Bokamoso Private Hospital, and the Ministry of Health has played a crucial role in their success. As they embark on their careers, these nurses are encouraged to continue their professional development and embrace new advancements in healthcare.

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BNF secures 15 constituencies in UDC coalition, wants more

28th November 2023

The Botswana National Front (BNF) has recently announced that they have already secured 15 constituencies in the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) coalition, despite ongoing negotiations. This revelation comes as the BNF expresses its dissatisfaction with the current government and its leadership.

The UDC, which is comprised of the BNF, Botswana Peoples Party (BPP), Alliance for Progressives (AP), and Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF), is preparing for the upcoming General Elections. However, the negotiations to allocate constituencies among the involved parties are still underway. Despite this, the BNF Chairman, Patrick Molotsi, confidently stated that they have already acquired 15 constituencies and are expecting to add more to their tally.

Molotsi’s statement reflects the BNF’s long-standing presence in many constituencies across Botswana. With a strong foothold in these areas, it is only natural for the BNF to seek an increase in the number of constituencies they represent. This move not only strengthens their position within the UDC coalition but also demonstrates their commitment to serving the interests of the people.

In a press conference, BNF Secretary General, Ketlhafile Motshegwa, expressed his discontent with the current government leadership. He criticized the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) for what he perceives as a disregard for the well-being of the Batswana people. Motshegwa highlighted issues such as high unemployment rates and shortages of essential medicines as evidence of the government’s failure to address the needs of its citizens.

The BNF’s dissatisfaction with the current government is a reflection of the growing discontent among the population. The Batswana people are increasingly frustrated with the lack of progress and the failure to address pressing issues. The BNF’s assertion that the government is playing with the lives of its citizens resonates with many who feel neglected and unheard.

The BNF’s acquisition of 15 constituencies, even before the negotiations have concluded, is a testament to their popularity and support among the people. It is a clear indication that the Batswana people are ready for change and are looking to the BNF to provide the leadership they desire.

As the negotiations continue, it is crucial for all parties involved to prioritize the interests of the people. The allocation of constituencies should be done in a fair and transparent manner, ensuring that the voices of all citizens are represented. The BNF’s success in securing constituencies should serve as a reminder to the other parties of the need to listen to the concerns and aspirations of the people they aim to represent.

In conclusion, the BNF’s acquisition of 15 constituencies, despite ongoing negotiations, highlights their strong presence and support among the Batswana people. Their dissatisfaction with the current government leadership reflects the growing discontent in the country. As the UDC coalition prepares for the upcoming General Elections, it is crucial for all parties to prioritize the needs and aspirations of the people. The BNF’s success should serve as a reminder of the importance of listening to the voices of the citizens and working towards a better future for Botswana.








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Children’s summit to discuss funding of NGOS

21st November 2023

One of the key issues that will be discussed by the Childrens’ Summit, which will be hosted by Childline Botswana Trust on 28th – 30th November in Gaborone, will be the topical issue of financing and strengthening of civil society organizations.

A statement from Childline Botswana indicates that the summit will adopt a road map for resourcing the children’s agenda by funding organizations. It will also cover issues relating to child welfare and protection; aimed at mobilizing governments to further strengthen Child Helplines; as well as sharing of emerging technologies to enhance the protection of Children and promotion of their rights.

According to Gaone Chepete, Communications Officer at Childline Botswana, the overall objective of the summit is to provide a platform for dialogue and engagement towards promoting practices and policies that fulfil children’s rights and welfare.

“Child Helplines in the region meet on a bi-annual basis to reflect on the state of children; evaluate their contribution and share experiences and best practice in the provision of services for children,” said Chepete.

The financing of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) by the state or its functionaries has generated mixed reactions from within the civil society space, with many arguing that it threatened NGOs activism and operational independence.

In February 2019, University of Botswana academic Kenneth Dipholo released a paper titled “State philanthropy: The demise of charitable organizations in Botswana,” in which he faulted then President Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama for using charity for political convenience and annexing the operational space of NGOs.

“Civil society is the domain in which individuals can exercise their rights as citizens and set limits to the power of the state. The state should be developing capable voluntary organizations rather than emaciating or colonizing them by usurping their space,” argued Dipholo.

He further argued that direct involvement of the state or state president in charity breeds unhealthy competition between the state itself and other organizations involved in charity. Under these circumstances, he added, the state will use charity work to remain relevant to the ordinary people and enhance its visibility at the expense of NGOs.

“A consequence of this arrangement is that charitable organizations will become affiliates of the state. This stifles innovation in the sense that it narrows the ability of charitable organizations to think outside the box. It also promotes mono-culturalism, as the state could support only charitable organizations that abide by its wishes,” said Dipholo.

In conclusion, Dipholo urged the state to focus on supporting NGOs so that they operate in a system that combines philanthropic work and state welfare programs.

He added that state philanthropy threatens to relegate and render charitable organizations virtually irrelevant and redundant unless they re-engineer themselves.

Another University of Botswana (UB) academic, Professor Zibani Maundeni, opined that politics vitally shape civil society interaction; as seen in the interactions between the two, where there is mutual criticism in each other’s presence.

Over the years, NGOs have found themselves grappling with dwindling financial resources as donors ran out of money in the face of increased competition for financing. Many NGOs have also been faulted for poorly managing their finances because of limited strategic planning and financial management expertise. This drove NGOs to look to government for funding; which fundamentally altered the relationships between the two. The end result was a complete change in the operational culture of NGOs, which diminished their social impact and made them even more fragile. Increased government control through contract clauses also reduced NGOs activism and autonomy.

However, others believe that NGOs and government need each other, especially in the provision of essential services like child welfare and protection. Speaking at the Civil Society Child Rights Convention in 2020, Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Setlhabelo Modukanele said government considers NGOs as critical partners in development.

“We recognize the role that NGOs play a critical role in the country’s development agenda,” said Modukanele.

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