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AP will not challenge UDC allies

The Alliance for Progressives (AP), President Ndaba Gaolathe has announced that the party will contest the 2019 general elections, but will not run in constituencies where like minded individuals in the coalition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) are contesting.

Gaolathe announced this week at the party’s 1st Annual Policy Statement held in Mogoditshane. “We are believers in unity of purpose. This is why in the run up to the 2019 elections, we do not even need to have embarked on anything official to know that there will be some constituencies at which we will not run, especially constituencies where those we consider as political family and at the same time share our values are already available to serve our nation,” he announced.

“We do not need anything official to know that there will be such constituencies.” Gaolathe said in 2012, most of those who are in AP leadership laboured diligently to assemble a political collective that included the Botswana National Front (BNF), Botswana People’s Party (BPP)  and the Botswana Movement for Democracy(BMD), and that if they did not believe in unity of  purpose they would not have been part of that collective.  

“Many of our activists sacrificed their jobs, businesses and their lives to build that collective, known as the UDC, the Umbrella for Democratic Change. It was painful yet beautiful.” He said, through the entire journey, they were able to build friendships with other opposition members to an extent that walls that existed among and between political formations came down.

“So much so we the Progressives believe we still are family with those we journeyed with at the Botswana National Front and the Botswana People’s Party even though they call themselves by a different name.” Gaolathe also extended the olive branch to Botswana Congress Party (BCP) which was not part of the UDC alliance in the build up to 2014 general elections as he stated that although they did not work with the BCP and other organizations then, they still believe they have friends in their midst too.

“Our working relations, and I take my specific example, with leaders such as Rre Molapisi of the BPP are impeccable. Rev Dibeela and Hon Kesupile of the BNF are two remarkable servants with whom I share the same values and with whom I occasionally pray,” he said.

“We cherish a reverence to our conveners of 2012 and to the network of elders at the BNF, BOFEPUSU, churches and other associations that counsel us. And when we at the Progressives talk about values, we talk about servants such as these.”
He said even though they will support UDC candidates whom they share values with, they we will run for elections as AP in many constituencies.

“We will do so because we feel the obligation to offer the people of Botswana representatives that are the best and brightest, representatives that share a value system of integrity, honesty, decency and the respect of the sanctity of the human life,” he stated. “We are offering this country the best chance of the type of Government that will deliver our vision, a Botswana which is a wholesomely fulfilling and flourishing family, an African paragon of nation-building. It is our honest offer to the people, and our naïve trust and hope is that the people of Botswana are a wise nation, they will make a choice.”

Gaolathe said party members should continue standing for what they believe is right. “Victory is not only electoral. Victory, true victory, is in standing up for our beliefs every day, and pursuing our vision. We have already brought so much hope to our people,” he said.

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Local tennis team upbeat ahead of Billie Jean King cup

29th May 2023

With almost two weeks until the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup, which will be staged in Kenya from June 12-17, 2023, the Botswana Tennis Association (BTA) ladies’ team coach, Ernest Seleke, is optimistic about reaching greater heights.

Billie Jean King Cup, or the BJK Cup, is a premier international team competition in women’s tennis, launched as the Federation Cup to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the International Tennis Federation (ITF). The BJK Cup is the world’s largest annual women’s international team sports competition in terms of the number of nations that compete.

The finals will feature 12 teams (Botswana, Burundi, Ghana, Kenya, Seychelles, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Tunisia, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, and the Democratic Republic of Congo) competing in the four round-robin groups of three. The four group winners will qualify for the semifinals, and the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup will be crowned after the completion of the knockout phase.

Closer to home, the BW Tennis team is comprised of Thato Madikwe, Leungo Monnayoo, Chelsea Chakanyuka, and Kelebogile Monnayoo. However, according to Seleke, they have not assembled the team yet as some of the players are still engaged.

“At the moment, we are depending on the players and their respective coaches in terms of training. However, I will meet up with Botswana-based players in the coming week, while the United States of America (USA) based player Madikwe will probably meet us in Kenya. Furthermore, Ekua Youri and Naledi Raguin, who are based in Spain and France respectively, will not be joining us as they will be writing their examinations,” said Seleke.

Seleke further highlighted the significance of this competition and how competitive it is. “It is a massive platform for our players to showcase their talent in tennis, and it is very competitive as countries target to get promoted to the world categories where they get to face big nations such as Spain, France, USA, and Italy. Though we are going to this tournament as underdogs because it is our second time participating, I’m confident that the girls will put in a good showing and emerge with results despite the odds,” highlighted Seleke.

Quizzed about their debut performance at the BJK Cup, he said, “I think our performance was fair considering the fact that we were newbies. We came third in our group after losing to North Macedonia and South Africa. We went on to beat Uganda, then Kenya in the playoffs. Unfortunately, we couldn’t play Burundi due to heavy rainfall and settled for the position 9/10,” he said.

For her part, team representative Leungo Monnayoo said they are working hard as they aim to do well at the tourney. “The preparations for the tourney have long begun because we practice each and every day. We want to do well, hence we need to be motivated. Furthermore, I believe in my team as we have set ourselves a big target of coming home with the trophy,” she said.

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Pep Stores donates sanitary towels to Popagano JSS

26th May 2023

The Guidance and Counseling unit at Popagano Junior Secondary School received a donation of 790 sanitary towels from Pep stores on Thursday.

When presenting the donation, Mareledi Thebeng, the Dinokaneng Area Manager, highlighted their belief in giving back to the community, as their existence depends on the communities they serve. Thebeng pointed out that research indicates one in four girls miss school every day due to the lack of basic necessities like sanitary towels. Therefore, as a company, they strive to assist in alleviating this situation. She expressed hope that this donation would help ensure uninterrupted learning for girls.

Upon receiving the donation on behalf of the students, Charity Sambire, the President of the Student Representative Council, expressed her gratitude. Sambire specifically thanked Pep Store for their generous gift, speaking on behalf of the students, especially the girl child.

She conveyed their sincere appreciation for Pep Store’s compassion and quoted the adage, “Blessed is the hand that gives.” Sambire expressed the students’ hope for Pep Stores’ prosperity, enabling them to continue supporting the students. As a gesture of gratitude, the students pledged to excel academically.

During her speech, Motlalepula Madome, the Senior Teacher in Guidance and Counseling, highlighted that many students at the school come from disadvantaged backgrounds where parents struggle to provide basic necessities. Consequently, some students miss school when they experience menstruation due to this lack.
Madome emphasized the significance of the donation in preventing the girl child from missing lessons and its potential to improve the school’s overall results. She expressed the school’s gratitude and expressed a desire for continued support from Pep Stores.

Popagano Junior Secondary School, situated in the Okavango District, holds the second position academically in the North West region. Despite its location, the school has been dedicated to achieving excellence since 2017

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Botswana misses out critical PAP committee meeting

23rd May 2023

The Pan African Parliament (PAP) committee on gender, family, youth and people with disability in its sitting considered, adopted and recommended to the plenary session the preliminary report on the framework for the model law on gender equality.

According to the last week’s media release from PAP which is sitting with its various committees until June 2nd,  the committee is following up the PAP initiative to draw up a model law on gender equality to enable national governments to harmonize, modernize and standardize their legislations to address local needs is set to be discussed in Plenary.

However, what is concerning is the fact that Botswana which is a member state missed the deliberations. Kgosi Mosadi Seboko who sat in the committee representing Botswana has since been ejected by parliament and this is a huge blow for a nation that is still battling equity and gender balance.

“Although PAP has no legislative powers it makes model laws for member states to adopt. PAP also develops protocols to be ratified by countries. The input of countries at Committee state is extremely critical. It now means the voice of Botswana is missing the discussions leading up to development of protocols or model laws,” said one of Botswana’s representative at PAP Dr. Kesitegile Gobotswang who is attending the current session.

While Botswana is missing, the committee meeting took place on the sidelines of the Sixth PAP second ordinary Session being held under the African Union Theme of the Year for 2023, “The Year of AfCFTA: Accelerating the Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area” in Midrand, South Africa and will run up to 2 June 2023. Chairperson of the Committee, Hon Mariam Dao-Gabala expressed satisfaction with preliminary processes undertaken so far towards the formulation of the Model Law,” a release from the PAP website reads.

“The law should be suitable to all countries whatever the predominant culture or religion is. The aim is to give an opportunity to women to participate in the economic, political and social development of the continent. Women are not well positioned and face a lot of obstacles. We are introducing the idea of equity in the Law because we cannot talk about equality without equity,” said Hon Mariam Dao-Gabala in the press statement.

The release has stated that among issues to be covered by the Model Law is the migratory movements of women. The Committee proffered that this has to be addressed at the continental level to ensure that migrant women enjoy all their rights and live with dignity in their destination country. The members of the Gender Committee undertook consultations to consolidate the contributions of the various stakeholders that will be the logical framework format for the Model Law.




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