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Gov’t backs down on controversial health policy

The Government has withdrawn the Savingram on removal from medical cover for self-inflicted harm which it had directed to all District Health Management Teams (DHMT) to implement.


The Assistant Minister of Health and Wellness, Phillip Makgalemele told Selebi Phikwe DHMT staff on Tuesday that Government has withdrawn the savingram following concerns raised from various sectors of the society. The policy has since been suspended to allow Government to consult all stakeholders before the policy could be re-introduced. The policy in question sought to exclude medical cover to people who got injured at alcohol related activities including those associated with suicide and lung cancer which they referred to as self-inflicted injuries.

 “Because we value consultation, we have withdrawn the savingram to allow for consultations with all stakeholders,” he said. The Assistant Minister was addressing staff at the Selebi Phikwe DHMT as part of his familiarisation tour of his new ministry’s facilities. In the last Cabinet Reshuffle, Makgalemele was moved from the Ministry of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration as Assistant Minister to the Ministry of Health and Wellness in the same capacity.


At this meeting, Makgalelemele heard various challenges that the health facilities experience from different departments. The Head of the Selebi Phikwe DHMT, Dr. Joseph Shama revealed that Selebi Phikwe Government Hospital is overwhelmed with workload since the closure of BCL. He noted that the majority of patients suffer from Non-Communicable Diseases.     


Apart from workload due to an increase of patients the hospital receives, shortage of staff especially in speciality areas such as Physiotherapy also lead to the heavy workload. Other problems the DHMT experiences is shortage of accommodation, lack of uniform and Personal Protective Clothing (PPE) among other challenges.


The Assistant Minister encouraged the staff members to rise above their challenges and thrive to do the best notwithstanding available challenges. He shared with the staff members the Government’s Ten Point Agenda which was developed to improve service delivery within the public service.


The Ten Point Agenda complements the public service charter which sets out the basic principles of public service by which officers are guided for effect service delivery. Like the public charter principles, Makgalelemele encouraged the staff members to use the ten point agenda to guide them both in their relations with each other as colleagues and their dealings with the customers which they serve.


One of the ten points is “respect to all customers at all times” which he said must be the basis of all interaction with the patients which will lead to the officers “maintaining professionalism” when providing the healthcare service. He emphasised that when the ten points agenda is effectively implemented and all public servants strive to apply the principles, service delivery will be realised despite the challenges.


Makgalemele also explained that the ministry has realised that health service providers often make patients wait very long hours under the excuse that “the system is down.” He explained that a decision has been taken that in an event the Government Accounting and Business System (GABS) is not working, waiting period for the system to normalise must not exceed 30 minutes.  “When the 30 minutes waiting period elapses, service must continue to be given manually. Patients must not be left to wait longer than necessary just because the system is down,” he said.

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Why Katholo engaged private lawyers against State

16th May 2022
Katlholo

The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) Tymon Katholo has revealed why he took a decision to engage private lawyers against the State. The DCEC boss engaged Monthe and Marumo Attorneys in his application to interdict the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) from accessing files and dockets in the custody of the corruption busting agency.

In his affidavit, Katholo says that by virtue of my appointment as the Director General of the DCEC, he is obliged to defend the administration and operational activities of the DCEC. He added that, “I have however been advised about a provision in the State Proceedings Act which grants the authority of public institution to undertake legal proceedings to the Attorney General.” Katholo contends that the provision is not absolute and the High Court may in the exercise of its original jurisdiction permit such, like in this circumstance authorise such proceedings to be instituted by the DCEC or its Director General.

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Dada to break Kwelagobe’s BDP long standing record

16th May 2022
Dada

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) has gone through transformation over the years, with new faces coming and going, but some figures have become part and parcel of the furniture at Tsholetsa House. From founding in 1962, BDP has seen five leaders changing the baton during the party’s 60 years of existence. The party has successfully contested 12 general elections, albeit the outcome of the last polls were disputed in court.

While party splits were not synonymous with the BDP for the better part of its existence, the party suffered two splits in the last 12 years; the first in 2010 when a Barataphathi faction broke ranks to found the now defunct Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD). The Barataphathi faction was in the main protesting the ill-treatment of then recently elected party secretary general, Gomolemo Motswaledi, who had been suspended ostensibly for challenging the authority of then president, Ian Khama.

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The Gulaam Husain Abdoola – Dubai sting detailed

16th May 2022
Gulaam Husain Abdoola

Mr Abdoola has known Mr. Uzair Razi for many years from the time he was a young boy. Uzair’s father, Mr Razi Ahmed, was the head of BCCI Bank in Botswana and “a very good man,” his close associates say.

Uzair and his wife went to settle in Dubai, the latter’s birthplace. He stayed in touch and was working for a real estate company owned by Mr. Sameer Lakhani. “Our understanding is that Uzair approached Mr. Abdoola to utilize their services for any property-related interests in Dubai. He did some work for Mr.Abdoola and others in the Botswana business community,” narrates a friend of Mr Abdoola.

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