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Molefhi has nothing to lose

In two weeks’ time Nonofo Molefhi will know his fate. He is wrestling against the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP)’s centre of power as races to replace Vice President, Mokgweetsi Masisi as chairman of the party. It is crystal clear that Masisi’s supporters are convinced that this battle is much bigger than the chairmanship, they say it is about the presidency of the party ahead of the 2019 general election.

President Lt Gen Ian Khama anointed Masisi as his Vice President after the past immediate general election, granted as it was, the BDP leader has also endorsed his deputy for the chairmanship of the party. The opinion of some in the BDP is that Masisi does not really need to be chairman of the party since he will soon be President of the party and country. But to some, Masisi wants to use the Tonota BDP congress to affirm his popularity and control of party structures ahead of a special congress that could be used to topple him from the presidency of the party.

Nothing personal on Masisi

The Selibe Phikwe East legislator who doubles as Minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology Nonofo Molefhi has in the past highlighted that he has nothing personal against Vice President Masisi whom he will challenge for the BDP chairmanship in July. The soft spoken MP told WeekendPost recently that his decision to contest against VP Masisi does not mean that he is being personal. “It’s nothing personal,” he maintained repeatedly. He indicated that their campaign message is crystal clear to the BDP activists as “we want to consolidate our organisational structure and diversify our resources as a party”.

The chairman aspirant asserted that the party constitution provides that any faithful party member interested in any position is at liberty to do so and it is the route he has taken thus far.  He said they are soliciting for a voice and a vote from all BDP members while emphasising that he is not secretively doing so because he is not committing any wrongdoing.

Why Molefhi is accused of presidential ambition  

Some party loyalists in Selibe Phikwe East are convinced that Molefhi will not contest as Member of Parliament in 2019. The Infrastructure Minister has already served two terms as a Selibe Phikwe East Member of Parliament. Although Selibe Phikwe East is not a safe seat for the ruling BDP, Molefhi has managed, on two occasions, to just scrape through. However those on the Masisi camp who are not privy to Molefhi’s camp are busy grooming a challenger for Molefhi in the party parliamentary primary elections.

Molefhi has volunteered to quit cabinet should he win the chairmanship of the party in July. His opponents in the party point to this declaration and evidence that the Infrastructure minister is plotting a much bigger war against Masisi. They speculate that he is preparing himself for a more demanding campaign of leading the BDP as president. According to those who are spearheading Vice President Masisi’s campaign, being a minister is the apex of the career of any BDP legislator hence it is puzzling that Molefhi intends to quit cabinet for a “mere ceremonial position of chairman of the party”.

Another argument being sponsored by the anti-Molefhi battalion is that he is risking all. “This can’t be a ‘for nothing’ campaign. He is a man on a mission, why would somebody run his potential relationship with an incoming president just to become chairman of the party,” says one of the pro-Masisi BDP members. They posit that Masisi as President next year April, he will be the most powerful member of the party because he will chair the meeting of the central committee and make certain executive decisions.

They are lost as to why Molefhi is “risking his political career just to be called party chairman.”  Molefhi’s detractors argue that the party secretary general position is even more powerful than that of chairman. Therefore their conclusion is that Molefhi wants to embarrass Masisi and make look not worthy of being President.

By not contesting the 2019 election, Masisi supporters believe that Molefhi has removed himself from the former who will have the prerogative to appoint Ministers starting next year April and after the 2019 general election, should the party win a majority. From this reasons Masisi’s supporters believe that Molefhi has nothing to lose because it appears he has made some serious political decisions.

Molefhi has however insisted overtime that the BDP constitution calls for a congress every two years and he has shown interest in serving the party. He has said the party holds a special congress every election year to choose a president and it is up to BDP members to choose to continue with a serving president or nominate a name, he says BDP processes shall be followed as has always been the case.

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25th September 2023

 The Gambling Authority continues to collaborate with international organisations and other jurisdictions to combat illegal gambling activities and share best practices for regulation of the industry.

Just recently (last week), the Gambling Authority Board Chairman, Mr. Marvin Thokodzani Torto, and Acting Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Mr. Emolemo Peter Kesitilwe visited the United Kingdom (UK), Birmingham-based Gambling Commission on a benchmarking exercise aimed at maximising benefits of gambling to the economy while minimising harm to individuals and society.

The Gambling Commission is an executive, non-departmental public body of the Government of the United Kingdom responsible for regulating gambling and supervising gaming law in Great Britain.

During the visit, the Gambling Commission shared with the Gambling Authority how they regulate the industry in Great Britain, how it’s changed over the years, and how their learnings can assist the Gambling Authority as they enter a new era of growth and expansion with the desire to implement industry best practice for their future work.

Furthermore, the two entities discussed various measures aimed at preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime, as well as ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way, and further protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling.

The meeting also provided a timely opportunity to catch up on preparations for the upcoming International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR) event being held in Gaborone, Botswana next month (October 16th – 19th, 2023).

“We’re looking forward to attending and meeting other gambling regulators from across the world to share best practice, discuss common challenges and tackle illegal gambling in ways that makes regulation work for all. Many thanks to Mr Marvin Thokodzani Torto (Chair) and Mr Peter Emolemo Kesitilwe (Acting CEO) for taking the time to visit us,” read a communique from Gambling Commission.



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Civil society reflect on Botswana’s progress in SDGs

25th September 2023

This week, the civil society assembled and reflected on the status of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The organizations, Botswana Council of Non-Governmental Organizations (BOCONGO), Global Call for Action Against Poverty as well as Success Capital congregated to recommend priorities for Botswana’s progress in Agenda 2030.

This year (2023) marks the mid-point, with only seven years left to accelerate climate action, eliminating poverty, hunger and ensure gender equality among thirteen other SDGs. The civil society says the global commitment has been integrated across national development plans and aligned to regional integration mechanisms and multilateral interventions.

“Botswana should not be an exception to ensuring the fulfilment of the SDGs: from ensuring capacity to collect data, to addressing governance shortcomings and service delivery. The People’s Assembly joins the rest of the world in galvanizing stakeholders towards ensuring no one is left behind.”

Civil society indicated that it ensured priority issues were raised at 2022’s Voluntary National Reviews that the government reported on; illuminating the gaps and aspirations for more meaningful engagement and inclusion.

“This year, challenges and shortcomings remain the same. Increasing concerns on gender-based violence, safety, media freedom, civil society resourcing, stigma, discrimination, non-communicable diseases and HIV/AIDS among other notable health challenges across the public health spectrum. We continue to raise concern across different platforms and mechanisms to ensure commitments are fulfilled and shortcomings addressed,” the civil society said.

The civil society called on Botswana to strengthen the baseline for measuring and collecting data on SDGs. “We also call on government to strengthen avenues for collaborative partnerships that leave no one behind. Representation in social participation mechanisms should reflect those most impacted. This should translate to expanding ‘who’ and ‘how’ communities and civil society are invited to decision making mechanisms.”

“Harnessing the demographic dividend of Botswana’s youth and diverse communities should be institutionalized and encouraged under the mindset change campaign. We implore for increased opportunities for dialogue and complimentary implementation in ensuring no one is left behind by engaging civil society meaningfully. This includes formal inclusion, representation and resourcing for civil society to participate in national, regional and global fora”

Furthermore, the civil society called on the private sector to engage them to advance the SDGs. “Multisectoral approaches can only strengthen development outcomes if hard-to-reach communities are included. We are on the ground as complimentary partners to the country’s development agenda.”

BOCONGO Executive Director, Maipelo Phale, said for SDGs to be accelerated, implemented and realized, all sectors of society should come up with robust partnership models to leverage the country’s development agenda.

“The People’s Assembly is a collective global form of solidarity and action reflecting how even with limited resources020, we can gather and unite for accelerating progress for the Decade of Action. Our members should continuously engage for our issues to be heard in spaces such as the United Nations General Assembly.”

Success Capital Founder, Dumiso Gatsha said Botswana is leading in reported rape incidents and inequality, stressing that this should not reflect in SDG progress and implementation.

“We should harness our leadership at the World Health Organization’s Executive Board, Southern African Development Committee (SADC) Secretariat and SADC Parliamentary Forum to improve Botswana civil society engagement. This can only be achieved through harnessing, strengthening and including grassroots civil society, communities and groups in Vision 2036 and Agenda 2063.”



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BPS, Mosala Funeral Parlour butt heads over SA national remains

19th September 2023

A squabble has broken out between Pule Mosala Funeral Parlour and the Botswana Police Service (BPS) over the remains of a South African national who has been in the Mosala mortuary for more than nineteen months. The deceased was one of 10 suspects who were controversially shot dead during a lengthy shootout with law enforcement authorities in Gaborone’s Phase 2 early last year.

The deceased individual’s family based in Soweto, has encountered difficulties in repatriating the body which has been in the care of Mosala Mortuary Services. Following the incident, it has emerged that all 10 bodies were transported to PFG mortuary in Lobatse for a brief period while the police attempted to locate their next of kin.  It is reported that the families of the deceased were eventually identified and informed to come and identify their loved ones, including other South African nationals who were part of the criminal group. These families also witnessed the autopsy procedures conducted at Princess Marina Hospital in Gaborone.

Except for the family from Soweto, nine of the bodies were claimed and taken by their separate relatives. The Soweto family claims they lack the resources to bring the body back to South Africa and has made it known that they are looking for money. To end the supposed verbal agreement over the body’s storage for repatriation, Mosala Funeral Service has filed a case against the police at the Lobatse High Court.

According to Keakantse Mmotlhana, the company’s Sales and Marketing Manager, 10 people who were killed in Phase 2 by gunfire were all temporarily transferred to one of PFG’s branches in Lobatse by the police while efforts were made to find their next of kin. She expressed outrage at the statement made by the Minister of Defense and Security, recently.

After Assistant Police Commissioner Dipheko Motube called her office to apologize for giving the Minister wrong information during a news conference, she confirmed that they had accepted the apologies. He made it clear that one of the victims was still at Pule Mortuary in Lobatse.

Bushie Mosala, the director and owner of Mosala Funeral Services, confirmed that the body of a South African national has been in his mortuary for the past nineteen months. He expressed his desire for the police to remove the corpse from the mortuary, characterising the situation as a “nightmare.” He has instructed his legal team to file a lawsuit against the police in the Lobatse High Court concerning the body.

Mosala urged the acting Police Commissioner to come forward and apologize to the nation for the situation, asserting that the public has the right to know the truth regarding the body of the South African national, w

C -002Bhich was preserved by the police as evidence.

The South African High Commission in Gaborone had not responded to queries from Weekend Post at the time going of going to press.

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