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Pilane guards BMDs 14 constituencies

Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) President Sidney Pilane will not entertain the idea of ceding some of his party’s constituencies to its partners following the split of the party in the wake of the Alliance for Progressives’ (AP) formation.

The political events of last week saw the formation of AP, led by former BMD president Ndaba Gaolathe. The new party is said to have dealt a heavy blow to BMD strength therefore raising questions on whether BMD could deliver the 14 constituencies it was initially given. “We will not be ceding any constituencies; there is no reason to do so. The BMD is not a carcass to be scavenged,” said Pilane. Pilane believes that the formation of AP is a blessing in disguise for the BMD.  

“A stable BMD is actually stronger than a one beset with disagreements. That is why the BMD is stronger now than it was when it went to Bobonong; we are consolidating it, watch us,” Pilane told WeekendPost. During the 2014 general elections, BMD proved to be an integral member of the UDC alliance, winning nine of the 17 seats won by the coalition. BNF won the other 8 constituencies. Of the historic 17 seats, four had never been won by opposition; these are; Maun West (Tawana Moremi II, Goodhope-Mabule (Jams Mathokgwane), Ghanzi North (Noah Salakae) as well as Francistown South (Wynter Mmolotsi).

BMD is expected to only remain with two Members of Parliament; Gilbert Mangole (Mochudi West) and Dr Tlamelo Mmatli (Molepolole South) in the wake of AP formation. The BMD is also reportedly going to lose 30 councillors to the new party in the anticipated mass movement. Talks of other coalition partners developing interest in the BMD constituencies are rife, with Botswana Congress Party (BCP) reportedly interested in Gaborone Central and Mogoditshane constituencies. Gaborone Central had been under BCP since 2004 until 2014 when BCP leader Dumelang Saleshando lost the constituency to BMD’s Dr Phenyo Butale who was contesting under the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) ticket.

There are beliefs that with the departure of Butale to the new party, Saleshando is a better candidate to win the constituency for the UDC in 2019. Meanwhile in Mogoditshane, BCP lost the constituency with a small margin to UDC. The constituency was won by Sedirwa Kgoroba with 4180 votes while Tumiso Rakgare of BCP garnered 3846 votes and Patrick Masimolole of ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) came third with 3787 votes. Pilane is however not ready to re-negotiate or cede any constituency to other UDC partners because he believes the matter is a close case.

“We are going to work all these constituencies and win them. We are not giving up any of them. There is no reason to do so,” he said. “The BMD is a sleeping giant. It will awaken, and all those who underestimate it because we do not make noise will see. As I said, watch us, re bereka re didimetse.” Pilane said BMD should not be underestimated and warned those who want to kick them out that they will regret it. “Le seka la re tlhaetsa matlho. Anyone who does so does so at his peril. It is not by accident that we get what we want. We do because we work for it. Some think we are down and take licence to kick us. They will regret it,” he warned.

“They can only strengthen our resolve and determination to come out on top; and we will come out on top. Watch us.” The formation of AP has also brought to an end disputes over legitimacy of the BMD leadership. The BMD has since written to the UDC requesting that its leadership be included in the NEC. Since the Bobonong Congress, BMD has not been part of the UDC NEC, following the leadership dispute that arose from the two parallel congresses held in Bobonong. Pilane will also be propelled to the Vice Presidency of the UDC should he get the recognition he has requested.

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6th February 2023

After falling to close the gap on Arsenal by losing to a record breaking goal by Kane at the Tottenham stadium.Manchester City now find themselves being charged by the Premier League with more than 100 breaches of its financial rules following a four-year investigation.

According to BBC , it has referred the club to an independent commission over alleged rule breaches between 2009 and 2018 , and also that Man-city has not been co-operating since the investigation which started in 2018 .

BBC further states that The commission can impose punishment including a fine , points deduction and expelling the club from the Premier league.

The alleged breaches include ,  breaching rules for requiring full details of manager remuneration,from 2009-2010, to 2012-2013 seasons when Roberto Mancini was in charge . Also player remuneration between 2010-2011 and 2015-2016.

The Premier league stated that City breached rules related to UEFA regulations , including Financial Fair Play , from 2013-2014 to 2017-2018 ,as well as Premier League rules on profitability and sustainability from 2014-2016 to 2017-2018

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South Korean Embassy aids students living with disabilities

6th February 2023

South Korean Ambassador in South Africa has donated e-learning equipment through Botswana Red Cross Society (BRCS) to Tlamelong Rehabilitation Centre in Tlokweng recently, in a bid to fine tune the student’s textile skills.  

When talking at the handing over ceremony, Chull-Joo Park, said they agreed with BRCS to give out e-learning equipment to better the training skills of students living with disabilities.

“With the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment and job training skills, we will be able to help the students living with disabilities to do e-learning and to better their education and job training,” said Chull-Joo Park.

It was revealed that the South Korean Embassy approached BRCS with the intent to donate equipment and educational material that includes an embroidery machine, photo copier machine, tablets and interactive boards to be utilized by the trainees.

The industrial printer is a machine that works with embroidery machine to print designs for clothing and it will enable the learners to have more material available to them to facilitate learning.

Through this embroidery machine, students will be exposed to better technologies which ultimately improve the quality of materials they produce. It will also allow students to learn business skills and run profitable ventures.

Smart board gadgets will provide the students with an elevated learning process to be fostered by e-learning. The gadgets provide a more visual element to the learning process, which in turn improves learner mental retention.

Tlamelong Rehabilitation serves the marginalized and underserved less privileged persons living with disability in Botswana. The center offers boarding services, vocational training, social services, physiotherapy and rehabilitation services for young people living disabilities aged 18-35 from across the country over a period of two (2) years per cohort which has a maximum intake capacity of 35. BRCS through International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have managed to create great working synergy with the South Korean Embassy in Pretoria based in South Africa to support or augment the National Society’s Rehabilitation Centre’s learning challenges.

For his part, BRSC Secretary General Kutlwano Mokokomani said they are delighted to convey their gratitude as BRSC to the South Korean Embassy for donation and they look forward to an enduring partnership for such worthy causes.

“South Korean Embassy’s great gesture will enable trainees to thrive, to fulfil their dreams to become a reality as this equipments will go a long way in creating great impact in the lives of trainees and their families. We wish to convey our sincere gratitude to the South Korean Embassy for their noble gesture of donating the E-learning equipments.”

BRCS offers rehabilitation services spread across three (3) areas in Botswana being Sefhare Stimulation center in Sefhare, Tshimologo stimulation center in Francistown and Tlamelong rehabilitation center in Tlokweng.

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DIS alleges plot to kill Masisi hatched in South Africa

6th February 2023

A dispute is brewing between Botswana and South Africa intelligence agencies over alleged mercenary training camps discovered in South Africa by the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS). 

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