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Masisi brokers peace in Majaga, Ookeditse feud

Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi has intervened in a political feud involving Nata/Gweta legislator Polson Majaga and Policy Specialist at Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development (MYESCD), Lawrence Ookeditse, and in the process called on Minister Thapelo Olopeng to reprimand his employee.

The Vice President is reportedly worried that the political battle between the two, which has dragged on for some time now will tarnish the party’s image. Majaga has raised the issue in parliament before, asking principals at the Ministry of Youth to step in but his plea at the time fell on deaf ears.  However, Assistant Minister Kefentse Mzwinila denied that Ookeditse was in any way involved in politics, highlighting that the policy specialist was hired on contract basis.

The Public Service Act of 2008 prohibits public servants from being active in politics. By being active in any manner in politics, Ookeditse may be seen to be canvassing support for the primary elections. It appears Majaga was hell-bent on airing his displeasure and getting his side of the story heard as he reportedly raised the issue at the BDP caucus on Tuesday this week. Majaga is said to have indirectly asked Olopeng to “engage his employee” to desist from engaging in political activities.

Olopeng is said not to have taken the comments in jest as he believed Majaga was passing a remark and pleaded with Masisi to intervene on the matter as he was unaware of the matter. However, Masisi, it is said, was concerned that the said employee was being given special treatment, and instead asked Olopeng to reprimand him (Ookeditse) as it can tarnish the party image. Masisi is said to have also remarked that Ookeditse was drawing unnecessary attention to the party as he was trampling on the Public Service Act.

“We read, we hear, and we see what is happening and we can tell what will happen or what is happening, so you need to talk about it because it will not serve as any-good,” Masisi reportedly said in a three man meeting. WeekendPost sought to establish if Olopeng had responded to the call for him to engage Ookeditse or how he had responded, at the time of going to print.

Although Majaga was pleased with the response he is said to have been equally surprised by Masisi’s words as Ookeditse is allegedly among the Young Turks the Vice President has been grooming to be his cabinet’s fast wheels. “Masisi is a leader and he has to be as neutral as ever, so that statement could mean nothing. We know that he wants Ookeditse in his cabinet post 2019 so Majaga should seriously work his constituency and not be blind-fooled by that remark,” a source from the meeting said.

Majaga is said to have told the party meeting this week that the party should allow all public servants wishing to contest to do so or block them altogether to avoid favouritism. The incumbent MP believes that Ookeditse could be using his position at the ministry of youth to campaign in his constituency which is poverty stricken and has high illiteracy levels. Since last year Ookeditse has been traversing the breath of the constituency, specifically visiting youth owned businesses. This according to Majaga was not genuine but rather a cosmetics approach to appeal to the constituents. 

The constituency so far has seven candidates vying for the MP seat at next year’s primary elections. The alleged aspirants include former (2014) Botswana Congress Party (BCP) parliamentary candidate, Ditiro Majadibodu; former MP Oliphant Mfa; Nata East councillor Mbanga Mbanga; and regional education director, Mabonga Gadibolae. The outspoken Majaga won the constituency in 2014 after garnering 3,424 votes.

Majaga has been one of the few bold-hearted BDP MP’s at parliament coming up with motions including one for provision of free sanitary pads for students and direct election of the president among others. Most of his motions will be debated in the next session.

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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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