The Botswana Sectors of Educators Union (BOSETU) members have unanimously voted back Tobokani Rari as the Secretary General of the Union. Rari, who was unopposed of all the candidates said he does not take the decision not to challenge him lightly.
He said from a pool of 15 000 members, his colleagues decided to retain him, “this is a sign of trust and I will continue to work hard for BOSETU,” he said. “I would like to sincerely express my heart felt gratitude to all of you comrades for the trust and confidence that you have shown on me. This union has more than 15 000 members and all of them decided not to contest against me, not for the first time, the same thing happened in 2014, and 2008, when I contested for the position of NOS.
I do not at all misconstrue this as meaning that they are no capable comrades out there, in fact they are a lot of them. To me this shows outmost trust that is hard to express in words. Am indebted comrades, am humbled, I am down on my knees. Seriously comrades, I don’t not take this responsibility that you have bestowed on me with such trust for granted. I will not betray you comrades, I will not betray the multitudes of BOSETU members, I will not betray teachers, I will not betray workers, will sacrifice my all, I will put my life on the line to defend you the workers this country, am incorruptible, am not purchasable, I cannot be captured. Be rest assured.”
Rari will have a new president, Wiston Radikolo, who will be leading the union until 2020. Radikolo replaces the former President, Kwenasebele Modukanele after beating him with 194 votes against 78 votes. In his acceptance speech, Radikolo thanked the congress for entrusting him and the new Executive committee with the responsibility to lead the union. He said that as the new committee they will work closely together with all stakegilders to take the union forward. He also called on the congress to support the newly-elected committee, saying they can only take BOSETU forward with their help and guidance.
“The congress should ask headship to be accountable without fear or favour and make sure that everybody perform their significant role. BOSETU is a social enterprise where everybody has a role. We have diagnosed our union and realized that we have the potential to go forward,” he said
Innocent Mannathoko was also re- elected Vice Secretary General garnering 145 votes. He was followed by Kgaladua Mothusi with 90 votes and Modise Ompatile 36 votes. National treasurer position was won by Moagi Digwa with 162 votes against Wadipeba Ofanna with 109. National Organising Secretary position was won by Bopa Mmoloki with 121 votes. He stood against Kenosi Tony who got 21 votes, Tshosa Wabo with 22 and Tsiane Charles with 109 votes. Maitshoko Edwin was sanctioned as the new Publicity Secretary with 168 votes followed by Showa George with 76 and lastly Molatlhegi Mangole with 28 votes.
The position of Secretary for Tertiary was won by Benjamin Seema, while Secretary for Secondary sector position was won by Thomas Kanjuu with 121 votes. He battled against Mpho Maruping and Boikanyo Kenaleone. Secretary for Primary and Pre-primary position was won by Othusitse Dibotlhale who scooped 139 votes against Precious Mokobela’s 132. Secretary for Safety, Health and Environment was won by Monica Legwaila with 203 votes against Mpho Sejeso’s 69.
On the other hand, Ndiyapo Modimo scooped Secretary for Sports and Culture position with 171 votes against Rambe Celsius’ 75 and Bapaphi Tawana’s 25. Secretary for Gender position was won by Mabutho Masedi Chata with 104 votes against Kootshabe Godiraone’s 101, Malemane Refilwe’s 42 and Kgalaeng Mmoloki’s 24 votes. BOSETU celebrated its 30th anniversary in alliance with its triennial delegate congress from 25th to 27th August in Palapye at the Majestic Five Hotel under the theme: BOSETU-Championing Educators’ Rights In The Midst Of Collective Bargaining Challenges.
High Commissioner of the Federal Government of Nigeria to Botswana, His Excellency Umar Zainab Salisu, has challenged President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi to move swiftly and lobby Africa’s richest man, Nigerian Billionaire, Aliko Dangote to invest in Botswana.
Speaking during a meeting with President Masisi at Office of President on Thursday Zainab Salisu said Dangote has expressed massive interest in setting up billion dollar industries in Botswana. “We have a lot of investors who wish to come and invest in Botswana , when we look at Botswana we don’t see Botswana itself , but we are lured by its geographic location , being in the centre of Southern Africa presents a good opportunity for strategic penetration into other markets of the region,” said Salisu.
As murder cases and violent incidents involving couples and or lovers continue to be recorded daily, Specially Elected Member of Parliament, Dr Unity Dow has called for more funding of non-governmental organizations and accelerated action from government to come up with laws that could inhibit would-be perpetrators of crimes related to Gender Based Violence (GBV).
Just after Dr Dow had deposited her views on this subject with this reporter, a young man in Molepolole opened fire on a married woman he was having an affair with; and ended her life instantly. While it is this heinous cases that get projected to the public space, the former minister argues that the secrecy culture is keeping other real GBV cases under wraps in many spaces in the country.
The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation said there is GBV all the time in all kinds of places. “We have become accustomed to stories of rapes, marital rapes, defilement of children, beatings and psychological violence and even killings,” she said.
Gender-based violence is a phenomenon deeply rooted in gender inequality, Dow is worried that there is absolutely no social punishment for perpetrators; they will continue to have the same friends, jobs, wives, homes, as before. Yet another factor, she said, is that there is little or no “justice” for victims of GBV.
The renowned activist said justice for GBV victims is not just the jailing of the perpetrator. “Justice for victims means an agile, victim-friendly, accessible (time, money and procedures) and restorative justice system.”
Asked what could be leading to a spike in Gender Based Violence cases or incidents, she observed that there is no one factor to which this spike can be attributed. “The most obvious factor is stress as a result of economic distress and or poverty. Poverty makes one vulnerable and open to compromises that they would otherwise not make. For perpetrators with anger management issues, economic stress leads to lashing out to those closest to them. Another factor is the disintegration of families and family values,” she opined.
According to Dow, no government anywhere in the world is doing enough, period. “We know the places and spaces where women and girls are unsafe. We know the challenges they face in their attempts to exit those spaces and places.” The former Judge of the High Court said GBV undermines the health, dignity, security and autonomy of its victims, yet it remains shrouded in the culture of silence.
Asked what could be done to arrest GBV cases, Dow said it is critical to involve and fund civil society organizations. She observed that much of the progress done in the area of women’s human rights was during the time when Botswana had strong and funded civil society organizations.
“The funding dried up when Botswana was declared a middle-income country but unfortunately external funding was not replaced by local funding,” she acknowledged.
Further Dow said relevant government institutions must be funded and strengthened.
“Thirdly, create a society in which it is not okay to humiliate, rape, beat or kill women. You create this by responding to GBV the same way we have responded to livestock theft. We need to create agile mechanisms that hear cases quickly and allow for the removal of suspected perpetrators from their homes, work places, boards, committees, etc.”
The former Minister said the much anticipated Inter-Ministerial Task Force on Gender Based Violence will have its work cut out for it. According to Dow, GBV is not just a justice issue, it’s not just a gender issue, but rather an issue that cuts across health, education, labour, economic, housing and politics. “As long as any one believes it is someone else’s problem, we will all have the problem,” she said.
In her view, Dow said every work, educational and other place must have a GBV Policy and/or Code of Conduct. “It is important that we acknowledge that the majority of men are law-abiding. The problem is their silence, in the face of injustice,” she observed.
The State has chosen to ignore intents by kingpins in the P100 billion scandal to sue for a combined P85 million as tables turn against the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) in the matter.
Key players in the matter; the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) and Bank of Botswana (BoB) have eroded the prospects of success following the duo’s institutions’ appearance before parliamentary committees recently.