UDC rubbishes new party suggestion
Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) officials mediating at the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) impasse have rubbished the talks alluding to a formation of a new party by Ndaba Gaolathe group.
A high level source who sits at the talks deliberating on the BMD mediation confirmed to Weekend Post that Ndaba group “did not mention or present the new party proposal at the meeting” but was only emphasizing on “the need to go for a re-run of the party congress” subsequent to the disputed one. “So as UDC we should not act on the basis of threats of forming a new party by some people entitled to their opinions – it could be just threats – and we can’t plan on the basis of speculation,” he insisted when queried on the new talked-about party said to be named Botswana Peoples Movement (BPM).
Speculation was rife this week that the party will be registered at the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) but the UDC dismissed the allegations. According to the immaculate source, the talks of the formation of party if they are anything to go by it would mean that the Ndaba group request for UDC mediation was not done in good faith from the beginning. The mother body has acceded to meet the besieged party two groups separately and so far has met with Ndaba’s and waiting to meet with the other one headed by Advocate Sidney Pilane on the 4th September 2017.
The new date set follows their request to postpone the planned meeting of the 24 August which failed as the leader Pilane was said to be outside the country. In light of the two warring factions who now could not see eye to eye particularly following the Bobonong disputed congress, the mother body has since written to both camps to mediate in which they welcomed the move. Just this week, Ndaba led group which were around 30 member delegation, met with the UDC top brass to deliberate on their submission in the impasse – which threatens the life of the new opposition entrant and by large and extension the new opposition coalition.
The coalition is to be tested in its debut in 2019 General Elections as one entity comprising the beleaguered BMD, Botswana Peoples Party (BPP), Botswana National Front (BNF) and Botswana Congress Party (BCP). According to the high level member of UDC sitting at the talks deliberating on the mediation, they see postponement of the meeting by Pilane faction as reasonable because the ring leader was outside the country on the said date allotted for the meeting.
“So we felt it was reasonable to postpone as we wanted all group members to be present when they undertake submissions at the mediation particularly the leaders. We don’t want to meet with a portion of the committee. We don’t want to have a deliberation and they go narrate somewhere else,” the leading partner in the talks told Weekend Post. The Pilane faction, he said sent a letter to the UDC top brass suggesting some options of dates to consider for meeting them when they will be present all of them to make submissions.
In return the UDC wrote back to them indicating that “we settle for the 4th September 2017,” the member pointed out who also said they felt that between now and the 4th is a reasonable time to accede to their request. The top politician said however by acceding to their request doesn’t demonstrate that they are biased in anyway. He justified by pointing out that: “you remember the same Pilane group requested for recusal of BNF Vice President Prince Dibeela but since they failed to provide valid reasons we also did not assent to their request.”
According to the UDC member, he also said they felt the suggestion by Ndaba group to have resolved the matter by August 31st was also not reasonable. He added that the BMD, to their admittance has been grappling with the standoff for more than two years now, and wondered how they are expected to resolve the issue instantly as if they are magicians. “Anyway we told them to exercise patience on the matter as we move swiftly to address the matter cautiously,” he said.
Information has also surfaced that Boko may have tried to intervene before the Bobonong congress but the legitimate party leader then may have felt that the situation is under control. It is said he was adamant and believed that the congress will resolve the matter. The UDC source said they want to reach a compromise where both sides may climb down from their earlier positions. Indications however suggest that both parties have reached an irreconcilable stage. They have proved that they no longer can work with each other as they don’t share common values and vision.
When speaking on behalf of the UDC, party official mouthpiece Moeti Mohwasa said they cannot speak to the media on the matter unless their communication has reached the intended recipients (Pilane faction). BMD is embroiled in bickering two factions both whom claim legitimacy to National Executive Committee (NEC) of the party. However Weekend Post has it on good authority that the letter confirming the 4th September for Pilane group meeting has reached the Pilane group and now they only await for the leader to return to the country.
The UDC spokesperson also dismissed reports of a new party looming while stressed that they “are still ceased with reconciling the two groups to find a common goals and we are focused on that.” The Botswana Movement for Democracy-BMD National Executive Committee led by President Ndaba Gaolathe appeared before the UDC NEC on the 22nd of August 2017. The objective of the meeting was to present oral and written submissions of our case in order to help the committee find a solution to the Bobonong BMD impasse.
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Local tennis team upbeat ahead of Billie Jean King cup
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.
Pep Stores donates sanitary towels to Popagano JSS
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
Botswana misses out critical PAP committee meeting
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.