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UDC meets in Francistown to discuss BMD future

Opposition party Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) is meeting this weekend in Francistown to discuss several contentious key issues of the party in preparation for 2019 General Elections.

The highly classified meeting will be attended by leaders of UDC party member Botswana National Front (BNF), Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and Botswana Peoples Party (BPP). This comes after the BPP failed to pitch up at the preceding Umbrella party meeting held at Tlokweng. The previous meeting was the first to be held subsequent to the individual member parties’ congresses and congresses conducted in July.  

At the Francistown meeting, Weekend Post can confirm that on top of the agenda is the deliberation on the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) impasse which has left the party in bitter parallel groups all claiming to be the NEC committee of the BMD.
The BMD came out of two bitter rival groups from what was supposed to be a one congress from Bobonong that ended up giving birth to two separate Committees with one led by Ndaba Gaolathe while the other Sidney Pilane.

According to a highly placed source who makes part of the top table at UDC, the Francistown meeting will, amongst issues on agenda, discuss the BMD hubbub. As such he also confirmed that the BMD was not even invited to the meeting. “Only BNF, BCP and BPP have been invited to this meeting. For obvious reasons, BMD was not invited as they have two different groups claiming separately that they make the legitimate BMD Committee,” said the political leader in the UDC who spoke to Weekend Post on Friday this week.

He however was quick to highlight that the public must note that the UDC is not going there to pronounce which committee they recognize between Ndaba led and Pilane’s. The immaculate source stressed: “the UDC philosophy is about uniting. We are not going to choose between the two but to reconcile them.  We believe the two should both continue working together under UDC.” Meanwhile when this publication reached the UDC official spokesperson Moeti Mohwasa for a comment, he also confirmed that such said meeting will take place.

“Yes I can confirm that UDC NEC will be having a meeting in Francistown this weekend. The meeting will be held by all our parties under UDC except BMD,” Mohwasa pointed out to this publication. Although he was cagey to discuss the details of the meetings and agenda he however, when pressed further, conceded that obviously the hot potato BMD issue will be discussed vigorously. He added that other matters will be purely house-keeping issues regarding the party but would not be drawn further into the nitty gritty’s of such. Weekend Post has also gathered that the UDC NEC will also discuss the party’s new program of action that will be a build up towards the imminent General Elections.

The action entails officially recognizing the BCP as a member of UDC and incorporating it as is the case with BNF, BMD and BPP. “Since January we have been talking about this, just talk. So that needs to be formally launched. We need to launch and re-vamp the UDC incorporating the BCP. And that means UDC would essentially include the BCP in the new UDC to be launched very soon.” The meeting at Francistown would also discuss new UDC’s unique colours (blue) and new voting symbol to be used in the coming elections. The UDC is also expected to touch on the issue of Primary elections by the opposition block as a whole.

In its recent conference, BCP resolved that they will start primary elections this year and therefore are expected to lure other members in the Umbrella to do likewise. This move is also intended to counter ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP)’s resolution to also hold primary elections in opposition held constituencies as early as October later this year.

In other issues, Saleshando who is the BCP president is said to be confirmed that he is contesting the next elections. BCP Central committee took the decision after discussing it for a while. The party is still weighing options only of where he can contest. There is strong talk by the party Central Committee of three areas encompassing several recognized constituencies where Saleshando would be placed. These include areas of Gaborone, Maun and Selibe Phikwe.

Weekend Post has established that there is still animosity between the UDC contracting partners’ members which is evidenced by BCP and BMD’s public out spats demonstrating that members may not want the other. Some BPP members as well are said to be unsettled by the coming in of BCP. It is still to be achieved whether the parties will appreciate each other and work in harmony towards the impending 2019 National Elections.

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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.

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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

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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.




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