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Morwaeng hopes for lady luck in BDP primaries

Former Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) National Organising Secretary, Kabo Morwaeng has confirmed that he will be trying his luck again the upcoming Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) primary elections. 

The former Barataphathi stalwart will battle it out with another perennial loser Shima Monageng for Molepolole South, currently under Dr Tlamelo Mmatli of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC). The constituency was previously held by Daniel Kwelagobe until his loss to Dr Mmatli in 2014 general elections. Morwaeng, somewhat a gifted politician, has had a political career dominated by controversies which borders on bad luck. He was among the first young generation of cosmopolitan professionals that joined the BDP in the early 1990s when the party was only known to be a party of rural folks.  

“He was blue eyed boy, the rising star under tutelage of DK [Daniel Kwelagobe] and GUS [Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri]. He was all set to win Mogoditshane which previously was BDP stronghold,” said his close ally. Ahead of the 1994 general elections, Morwaeng was destined for stardom in future cabinet of President Sir Ketumile Masire. During that era, it is reported that Kwelagobe’s influence was so huge that he literally decided who makes it to the cabinet. With Morwaeng being DK’s blue eyed boy, his feat was sealed.

However, the factional battles within the party were at their gravest. In the wake of Kgabo Commission scandal, which pitted Kwelagobe/Mmusi faction against The Big Five comprising; Mompati Merafhe, David Magang, Roy Blackbeared, Chapson Butale and Bahiti Temane — saw the party at war with itself. In the preceding year, The Big Five have lost big time against Kwelagobe/Mmusi faction in Central Committee elections, which made the former to seek revenge. Although The Big Five did not have control of the party, they held key ministerial positions to frustrate their opponents. Morwaeng became the victim of such undoing.

“A yellow monster was sent a few weeks before the general elections and everything else changed; voters rebelled,” said the source. “He was one of the causalities of 1994. Had he won at 29 he would have became the youngest MP; gone into cabinet and today we could be talking President Morwaeng. But such is politics and life.” Morwaeng lost the constituency to Mokgweetsi Kgosipula of Botswana National Front (BNF). In that election year BNF moved from three seats to a historic 13 seats in parliament.

After the ignominy of losing Mogoditshane to BNF, another opportunity came in Kweneng South. The constituency was left vacant by the death of former Vice President, Peter Mmusi, who died few weeks ahead of general elections. Morwaeng won the subsequent primary elections. However, as bad luck would have it, the central committee overturned the decision and instead put Gladys Kokorwe as the BDP candidate.

 Morwaeng then grew delusional; dumped the party and headed to opposition politics — joining the burgeoning BNF. It was anticipated that following the 1994 electoral success, BNF was in a pole position to win power in the 199 general elections. It needed only eight more seats to send BDP to the cleaners. Just on the eve of general elections lighting hit home; BNF started tearing itself apart. Morwaeng found himself entangled in the factional wars which eventually gave birth to Botswana Congress Party (BCP). He was among those who founded the BCP.  

In 2002, Morwaeng made up his mind to return home. The opposition poltics were not delivering the goods as he had expected. His return to BDP however was not a happy home coming. His arrival saw the party being divided over his decision to participate in the 2003 primaries. Two years had not elapsed as a BDP member to qualify him to contest, but central committee gave him a good ahead. However he lost the subsequent elections to party stalwart Matlhabaphiri in a bid for newly created Molepolole North constituency.

Few years down the line, Morwaeng as among a group of Barataphathi stalwarts who went on to form Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) in the wake of another bout of factional wars. He was elected as member of BDP Central Commitee in 2009 Kanye Congress, but later the suspension of the late Gomolemo Motswaledi and subsequent court battle triggered the resignations en mass from the party. After two years at the party Morwaeng returned to BDP again. He however did not participate in the 2013 party primaries.

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Fighting vulture poisoning in KAZA region.

3rd February 2023
As a response to avert vulture poisoning currently going on in Botswana and KAZA region, Birdlife Botswana has collaborated with three other partners (BirdWatch Zambia, BirdLife International & Birdlife Zimbabwe) to tackle wildlife poisoning which by extension negatively affect vulture populations.

The Director of Birdlife Botswana, Motshereganyi Virat Kootshositse has revealed in an interview that the project which is funded by European Union’s main goal is to reduce poisoning related vultures’ death and consequently other wildlife species death within the KAZA region.

He highlighted that Chobe district in Botswana has been selected as a pilot site as it has experienced rampant incidents of vulture poisoning for the past few months. In August this year at least 50 endangered white backed vultures were reported dead at Chobe National Park, Botswana after feeding on a buffalo carcass laced with poison.  In November this year again 43 white backed vultures were found dead and two alive after feeding on a zebra suspected to have poisoned.  Other selected pilots’ sites are Kafue in Zambia and Hwange in Zimbabwe.

Kootshositse further explained they have established a national and regional Wildlife Poisoning Committee. He added that as for the national committee they have engaged various departments such as Crop Productions, Agro Chemicals, Department of Veterinary Services, Department of Wildlife and National Parks and other NGOs such as Raptors Botswana to come together and find a long-lasting solution to address wildlife poisoning in Botswana. ‘Let’s have a strategy or a plan together to tackle wildlife poisoning,’ he stated

He also decried that there is gap in the availability of data about vulture poisoning or wildlife in general. ‘If we have a central point for data, it will help in terms of reporting and advocacy’, he stated

He added that the regional committee comprises of law enforcement officers such as BDF and Botswana police, village leadership such as Village Development Committee and Kgosi. ‘We need to join hand together and protect the wildlife we have as this will increase our profile for conservation and this alone enhances our visitation and boost our local economy,’ he noted

Kootshositse noted that Birdlife together with DWNP also addressed series of meeting in some villages in the Chobe region recently. The purpose of kgotla meetings was to raise awareness on the conservation and protection of vultures in Chobe West communities.

‘After realizing that vulture poisoning in the Chobe areas become frequent, we realise that we need to do something about it.  ‘We did a public awareness by addressing several kgotla meetings in some villages in the Chobe west,’ he stated

He noted that next year they are going to have another round of consultations around the Chobe areas and the approach is to engage the community into planning process. ‘Residents should be part of the plan of actions and we are working with farmers committee in the areas to address vulture poisoning in the area, ‘he added

He added that they have found out that some common reasons for poisoning wildlife are farmers targeting predators such as lions in retaliation to killing of their livestock. Another common incident cross border poaching in the Chobe area as poachers will kills an elephant and poison its carcass targeting vultures because of their aerial circling alerting authorities about poaching activities.

Kootshositse noted that in the last cases it was disheartening the incidents occurred three months apart. He added that for the first time they found that some of the body parts of some vultures were missing. He added harvesting of body parts of vultures is not a common practice in Botswana, although it is used in some parts of Africa. ‘We suspect that someone took advantage of the availability of carcasses and started harvesting their body parts,’

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Giant in the making: Everton Mlalazi

3rd February 2023

The music industry is at a point where artists are jostling for space because there are so many aspirants trying to get their big break, thus creating stiff competition.

In the music business it’s about talent and positioning. You need to be at the right place at the right time with the right people around you to propel you forward.
Against all odds, Everton Mlalazi has managed to takeover the gospel scene effortlessly.
To him, it’s more than just a breakthrough to stardom, but a passion as well as mission directly appointed by the Lord.

Within a short space of 2 years after having decided to persue a solo career, Mlalazi has already made it into international music scene, with his music receiving considerable play on several gospel television and radio stations in Botswana including other regional stations like Trace Africa, One Gospel, Metro FM in South Africa, Hope FM in Kenya and literally all broadcast stations in Zimbabwe.

It doesn’t only stop there, as the musician has already been nominated 2 times and 2 awards which are Bulawayo Arts Awards (BAA) best Male artists 2022, StarFM listerners Choice Award, Best Newcomer 2021 and ZIMA Best Contemporary Gospel 2022, MLA awards Best Male artist & Best Gospel Artist 2022.

Everton’s inspiration stems from his ultimate passion and desire to lead people into Godly ways and it seems it’s only getting started.
The man is a gospel artist to put on your radar.

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African countries call on WHO to increase funding

2nd February 2023

Minister of Health Dr Edwin Dikoloti says Africa member states call on World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure equitable resource allocation for 2024-2025. Dr Dikoloti was speaking this week at the WHO Executive Board Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

He said countries agreed that there is need to address the budget and funding imbalances by increasing the programme budget share of countries and regions to 75% for the next year.

“The proposed budget for 2024-2025 marks an important milestone as it is the first in Programme Budget in which country offices will be allocated more than half of the total budget for the biennium. We highly welcome this approach which will enable the organization to deliver on its mandate while fulfilling the expectations for transparency, efficiency and accountability.”

The Botswana Health Minister commended member states on the extension of the General Programme of Work (GPD 13) and the Secretariat work to monitor the progress towards the triple billion targets, and the health-related SDGs.

“We welcome the Director’s general proposed five priorities which have crystalized into the “five Ps” that are aligned with the GPW 13 extension. Impact can only be achieved through close coordination with, and support to national health authorities. As such, the strengthening of country offices is instrumental, with particular focus on strengthening national health systems and on promoting more equitable access to health services.”

According to Dr Dikoloti, the majority of countries with UHC index that is below the global median are in the WHO Africa region. “For that, we call on the WHO to enhance capacity at the regional and national levels in order to accelerate progress. Currently, the regional office needs both technical and financial support in order to effectively address and support country needs.”

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