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Khamas P10 million grand farewell

The much awaited President Lieutenant Gen Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama’s farewell party has been discussed more than once behind closed doors at his Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) meetings and already dates have been confirmed while spanners are at work to finalize other logistics. About P10 million has been projected as budget for the grand farewell.

Sources who spoke to this publication revealed that the bash will be held next year on the weekend of the 16th and 17th of March. The strategic decision was taken for the party to bid farewell to one of their ‘greatest leaders’ at a party event- 54th national council in Gaborone.

“That’s where the party [BDP] will bid him goodbye at the event and a lot of activities are lined up though I cannot confirm for now as they are yet to be finalised,” said a source. The outgoing President who has announced that he will lead the party’s 2019 general election campaign will evaluate the incoming President Mokgweetsi Masisi at the ceremony. The latter has been assigned to poach new members especially from the opposition ranks.

“His membership drive will be paraded at the event as one of Khama’s presents. Moreover it will give him chance to see how the ground looks like in terms of new members as he is expected to be the poster boy for the party going to the next pools,” said the party insider.
 


On numerous occasions, sources say, Masisi has pleaded with fellow democrats to mobilise support and recruit new members. He has been tasked with a robust recruitment drive ever since 2015 which included winning the youth who records have shown them to be mostly aligned to the opposition parties. Up to date the numbers of the recruits is yet to be public but it will be revealed at Khama’s farewell celebrations with some members paraded for his satisfaction.

Since August 2015, Khama has embarked on a mission to restore the party’s attractiveness before end of his term next year. Khama is worried that his once indomitable party could possibly lose office come 2019. The poor performance in the 2014 general elections and the subsequent by-elections losses have given Khama more reasons to worry about the party.

Since August 2015, the president has been engaged in a series of mobilisation activities across the country. The activities include meetings with the Central Committee, regional tours, branch visits and other team building functions. For the first time in history, BDP has had two consecutive Special Congresses where the party converged to discuss issues regarding the party’s future, between 2015 Mmadinare Congress and 2017 Tonota Congress.

Part of some resolutions adopted by the party during Khama’s leadership were the revision of primary elections' system with particular intention to fortify membership data and improve the management thereof; and the president's one-on-one home visits in the villages for purposes of interaction with fellow citizens should continue. These were the tactics Masisi’s recruitment was expected to profit from.

Already the government has released a saving gram to all relevant stakeholders notifying them of Khama’s farewell meetings. It has attached dates of the meetings with the first stop being Masisi’s Moshupa-Manyana constituency on the 14th of next month.
Khama’s meetings with the public will culminate in Serowe on the 23rd of March next year.  

While spanners are at work with progress on track, some members of the ruling South Africa’s African National Congress (ANC) will be present at the ceremony. “It will depend on who ascends to lead the party next month as we expect the party chairman, but not only ANC other parties across southern Africa like ZANU-PF, the Patriotic Front and SWAPO. Maybe one or two presidents but we will be more concerned with inviting parties,” said a source.

As it stands it is not yet clear as to what the state will do for Khama for his farewell party. However the same benefits that his predecessors enjoyed will also be passed to the fourth president of Botswana. The government spokesperson Jeff Ramsay was out of the country at a time of going to print.

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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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