Connect with us

UDC business to proceed without BMD

Opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) is in no hurry to resolve one of its affiliate parties, Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) impasse. It has this week emerged that following the meeting held at Francistown last weekend UDC could not come out clearly and pronounce a bold position on the matter.

Prior, the UDC headship was also accused of failing to arbitrate before the infamous controversial party congress that resulted in two gatherings regarded as congresses giving birth to two committees of the same party. Instead, they let the issue get out of control until only this week as both party committees, one controlled by Ndaba Gaolathe while the other by Sidney Pilane have been furnished with letters requesting for their authority to intercede in the deadlock. “Letters have been sent to both parties involved in the stand-off (Ndaba and Pilane committees) to request for authority to mediate in the matter,” a source who attended the key meeting at Francistown told WeekendPost.

It is still unclear why the mother body is seeking authority from the two groups to mediate in the matter. However what has been said and justified before is that the UDC constitution does not allow or state whether and how the party can mediate in the matters of its affiliate parties. This, they maintain is a way of UDC avoiding to be seen as poking its nose or “interfering” in the affairs of the member parties, which may set a bad precedence.

It is also understood that the UDC resolution from the weekend meeting is believed to have been enigmatic; the move which the UDC says was premeditated to keep their house tidy and in order. “Well there is nothing secret per se but we just wanted to make sure that we inform the concerned parties first before making our stand and progress subsequent to the meeting, public,” a key source who sits at the party meetings insisted. The source also pointed out that they will continue with UDC meetings without BMD which currently has to put its house in order. In fact, if push comes to shove, he said they are ready to continue and even contest the 2019 General Elections without the BMD, although it was cited as an extreme case scenario.

“If they can’t participate why should we be held hostage by their internal strife?” the source asked rhetorically. Meanwhile, when reached for comment on the matter, the UDC official spokesperson Moeti Mohwasa confirmed that indeed the party met in Francistown and resolved to send letters to the two BMD committees asking them for consent to mediate. “Yes they have been sent the letters this week and we are hoping they will respond before two weeks and then considering the feedback then the party will map a way forward on the issue,” he told this publication. Mohwasa said basically, the letters were saying that the UDC requests for a meeting with the two groups separately on the 22nd and 23rd of this month.

He emphasized that the way forward would be decided by what comes out of the meetings. On why the party is not resolving the matter speedily, he defended the UDC saying the issue is not as easy as people not involved think. “It’s not an easy matter. We take this issue seriously. We cannot impose our issues on them. In fact we want to build not destroy. So we will take time and see how we can resolve this amicably,” he said. According to the UDC mouthpiece, the Francistown meeting had the BMD matter as a priority and stand alone and that shows how they seriously took this matter.   

In other matters also emanating from the meeting in Francistown, the UDC also resolved to undertake the national launch of the new revamped UDC (inclusive of Botswana Congress Party (BCP)) later this year on the 25th November. The new UDC symbol which is of royal blue colour with four panels is also undergoing registering with Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) this week. The four panels symbolize the cooperation between the four contracting parties Botswana National Front (BNF), Botswana Peoples Party (BPP), BCP and BMD. The UDC will also be touring the country to campaign as soon as possible.

Continue Reading


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.

Continue Reading


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

Continue Reading


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.




Continue Reading