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Pilane takes war to UDC

The Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) has given Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) President, Advocate Sidney Pilane up to Tuesday to have complied with party structures in about 46 constituencies.

The NEC struggled to address differences surrounding the party delegates as well as constituencies allocated to BMD in a closed session meeting on Thursday. Close sources pointed an accusing finger at Pilane, blaming him for lack of cooperation which they say compromises the party position in the next general elections. “Pilane went around registering people in about 46 constituencies but decided not to cross check with other party delegates in the same constituencies as per the requirement,” said an insider.

According to sources close to the developments, parties were expected to have 10 delegates from each constituency for the UDC congress, but those delegates were subject to confirmation with other contracting parties in each constituency. There were fears from UDC leadership that without cross-checking there was possibility that BMD could traffic people who are not under its membership.

In an intense meeting, Pilane reportedly stood resolute to his position and discarded propositions by Botswana National Front (BNF) and Botswana Congress Party (BCP) that pending matters would be resolved by the coalition congress billed for the 24th of February 2018.  
Pilane was of the view that the UDC is merely an electoral arrangement and its powers are only vested in the NEC, not the congress. He said the congress is for merely a consultative forum which does not have the powers to take decisions.

There was an opposing view from the BNF/BCP camp, who believe that congress has the ultimate power to endorse and review the constitution as well as taking a resolution on any matter that affects the coalition. Interestingly, Pilane is the chief architect of the UDC constitution, and has on several occasions made pronouncements to the effect that, unlike the old one, the coalition has been stripped off some powers, reducing the coalition to a mere electoral arrangement.

There are two key issues that BNF and BCP want discussed at the upcoming congress; among them review of constituencies allocated to BMD, as well as creating only one position of Vice President within the coalition. The BNF/BCP axis reportedly wanted to use their numerical strength at the UDC congress to achieve their objectives, and possibly push the beleaguered movement out of the coalition.   Pilane has publicly insisted that BMD will not give away any constituency to its contracting parties and will only consider exchange if anything.

“We own 14 constituencies within the UDC arrangement. Nobody, not the UDC nor anyone else, is going to tell us how to deal with our constituencies, and nobody is going to vet our candidates ka seo ga re ise re se bue ra se dumalana (because we have never deliberated and agreed on that matter),” Pilane wrote in a response to UDC President Duma Boko few weeks ago. This was after Boko told media that the troubled BMD could lose some of its constituencies if UDC perceives its candidates to be not strong enough.

 “The constituencies belong to the UDC and are allocated to the parties to manage and to choose the best candidates. Even after each party elects their preferred candidate, we will scrutinize the candidates and replace those we deem not fit enough by those we think can win it for us from any party under the UDC,” Boko said.

The splitting of BMD resulting in the formation of Alliance for Progressives (AP) has set in motion a debate in the UDC on whether the BMD still has enough strength to deliver the 14 constituencies it was allocated after losing a number leading members to the new party.
BMD lost six Members of Parliament to AP and currently has only two legislators in parliament.  This has led to other coalition partners believing that BMD lacks the necessary strength to deliver some of the constituencies on behalf of the UDC.

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Botswana’s Legislative Milestone: Championing Disability Rights

27th February 2024

In a significant stride towards inclusivity, Botswana’s National Assembly has ratified the groundbreaking Persons with Disability Act. This legislation is a cornerstone in protecting the rights and promoting the economic well-being of individuals with disabilities

At the heart of this act is the creation of two pivotal bodies: the National Disability Coordinating Office and the National Disability Council. These institutions are set to revolutionize the integration of disability affairs into the national fabric, as outlined by the Minister for State President, Kabo Morwaeng. Morwaeng highlighted the alignment of this act with the global Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), underlining Botswana’s commitment to international standards in disability rights.

During his address to Parliament, Morwaeng disclosed Botswana’s inaugural CRPD report submission to the UN, underscoring the nation’s dedication to global dialogue on disability rights. Furthermore, he unveiled plans for a comprehensive assessment to understand the socio-economic realities of disabled individuals and their families. This initiative, complemented by the strengthening of existing programs, aims to empower this community, ensuring their integration and prosperity in society

Morwaeng’s call to action was clear. He urged a collective shift in developmental agendas to accommodate and prioritize disability issues, advocating for an inclusive societal framework.

An ambitious budget of P35,631,600 has been allocated to bridge gaps in Disability Economic Empowerment, alongside critical studies and the establishment of the National Emergency Operations Centre. Concluding his presentation, Morwaeng appealed to fellow governmental departments to allocate funds diligently to fulfill CRPD and Persons with Disabilities obligations, marking a new chapter in Botswana’s legislative history towards inclusive development.

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Kabo Matlho’s Majestic Reentry Descends Upon a Solo Venture

27th February 2024

Kabo Matlho, a luminary whose fame once graced the grand finale of My Star, is poised to enchant the music realm once more with an upcoming solo venture—an RnB and Hip-Hop Extended Play (EP)—heralding his grand resurgence after a hiatus that spoke volumes.

During a telephonic confab with our editors, the virtuoso, navigating the world from the confines of his wheelchair, confided that while the exact launch date of the EP remains shrouded in mystery, he is fervently working towards a mid-2024 reveal. Matlho shared the trials of his odyssey, especially the cold shoulder he received from the industry ambushes, crediting the harsh exclusion to his physical predicament.

“The scene calls me once more, for the absence has been both a sabbatical and a shadow. The road for an artist, enveloped in the embrace of wheels, is strewn with fewer welcomes and scarce stages. Yet, herein I forge my return, with the precise hour of my EP’s birth still nestled in the coming chapters, assuredly within this year’s embrace,” Matlho unveiled with a determination that shone bright.

 

Probed on his choice for a solo EP, the melody weaver expressed a desire to not only rekindle his essence but to stand solitary under the spotlight, nurturing his brand to vigor before possibly blending it with the talents of others—once his career phoenix rises anew from its ashes.

Elaborating on his Extended Play, Matlho shared visions of its essence, where the soul of RnB intertwines with the spirited rhythm of Hip-Hop, crafting an audial tapestry that not only returns to his roots but also ventures into previously uncharted territories of his musical domain. With resilience, Matlho faces the crossroads of his artistry, embracing the whisperings of Hip-Hop that tease the boundaries of his comfort, embarking on this path with a heart both apprehensive and ablaze.

 

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BODANSA strikes gold with a handsome P45K windfall from Turnstar Holdings

27th February 2024

The Botswana DanceSport Association (BODANSA) has been graced with a financial boon of P45,000 courtesy of Turnstar Holdings. This generous endowment is earmarked for the illustrious Botswana International Dance Sport Grand Prix Championships, which are scheduled to animate Gaborone from Friday to Saturday.

At a media engagement held early today, BODANSA’s Marketing Maestro, Tiro Ntwayagae, shared that Turnstar Holdings Limited has bestowed a gift of P45,000 towards the grand spectacle.

“We are thrilled to announce that this backing will enable us to orchestrate a cultural soirée at the Game City Marque locale, a night brimming with cultural fervor set for March 1, 2024, from 6pm to the stroke of midnight.

This enchanting space will also serve as the battleground for the preliminaries of traditional dance ensembles—spanning the rhythmically rich Setapa to the euphoric beats of Sebirwa, the spirited Seperu, the heavenly Hosana, and more—in a competition folded into the Traditional Dance Groups Category. The ensemble that dances into the judges’ hearts will clinch a grand prize of P10,000,” elaborated Ntwayagae.

He further illuminated that the cultural eve would not only celebrate traditional melodies but also the fresh beats of contemporary dance variants including Hip Hop, Sbujwa, Amapiano, among others, in a dazzling display of modern dance mastery.

Moreover, these championships carry the prestigious recognition by the World DanceSport Federation as a qualifying round for the Breakdance category for the Paris 2024 Olympics. “This is a monumental opportunity for athletes to leap towards their Olympic dreams during one of the penultimate qualifiers,” underscored Ntwayagae.

Looking ahead to March 2, 2024, the festivities will propel into the University of Botswana Indoor Sports Arena for the championship’s climactic showdowns encompassing Breakdance, Latin, and Ballroom Dancing.

 

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