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Masisi taints BNF at BDP/ANC luncheon

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Chairman, Mokgweetsi Masisi seized the moment at his party’s luncheon with an African National Congress (ANC) delegation and badmouthed the Botswana National Front; with whom the ANC has close relations, saying that BNF is no longer what it used to be.

According to Masisi, the current BNF does not stand for what it used to before because its participation in the Umbrella for Democratic Change coalition diluted its program. The visiting ANC delegation was led by Secretary General Gwede Mantashe. In an unending battle between BDP and BNF for association with ANC, Masisi said BDP has a long history with the ANC which deserves to be given recognition. “I am not jealous of your relation [with BNF] but this is not the BNF that you know. It being part of coalition of many opposition parties pollutes its program. It no longer stands for what used to stand for,” he said.

“With BDP you know what you are working with because we have been consistent with our program.”The Vice President further told the delegation that one thing that is often overlooked is that BDP is a liberation movement and has played a significant role in ending apartheid rule in South Africa.“We are a liberation movement that did not bear arms. The first conference of the ANC was held in Botswana at Lobatse,” he said. Masisi said the BDP government should protect these historical ties with ANC so that they are preserved for the future.

In his brief speech earlier, Secretary General of the ANC, Mantashe had insisted that the South African ruling party will continue having bilateral relation with both BDP and BNF. “The historical relations of ANC with BDP and BNF are different. ANC is not in a polygamous marriage with BDP and BNF. We do not sleep in the same bed,” he said. “I do not want BNF comrades calling me every time I am here enquiring about my visit to BDP. I also do not expect BDP to do the same when we are visiting the BNF.”  

Mantashe who also revealed that he will step down as ANC Secretary General in December denied that ANC have ditched BNF in favour of BDP. “We are in constant communication with BNF and we always send a delegation to their events,” he said. “Unless they want the secretary general in his capacity to come but ANC always sends representatives.”  Matantshe revealed that it is important for Botswana to not only be an example of a good government but to also influence the world.  

He attributed Minister of Foreign Affairs Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s failed bid to lack of unity among the SADC bloc and its failure to be an influential block. He also remarked that the relationship between Botswana and South Africa is not optional but necessary, therefore necessary for the two countries to continue engaging each other both at government and party level.

Mantashe gave thumbs up to Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Vincent Seretse’s policy to reserve certain retail businesses for Batswana, which has seen the dominant South African retailers being put on the sidelines. The policy has seen the clash between property owners and South African retailers, who feel hard done by the policy. “I do not have a problem with that if it is meant to empower the citizens [of Botswana]. In South Africa we have localisation policy which we encourage businesses to buy from our people. If you have a small farmer where do you expect them to sell?” he said.

The ANC Secretary General arrived in the country on Wednesday and held a bilateral meeting with the BDP leadership. Both parties have been cagey on revealing the contents of the meeting. Both Botsalo Ntuane, the Secretary General of the BDP and Mantashe refuted claims that the meeting had anything to do with the perceived ongoing political crisis in South Africa brought on by President Jacob Zuma’s cabinet reshuffle. The re-shuffle resulted in the country finance minister being shown the door, subsequently resulting in the rand being set on free fall.   

The leadership of the two parties further insisted that the meeting was long planned and the cabinet reshuffle by Zuma could not deter the meeting from going on. The ANC delegation also paid a courtesy call to President Ian Khama before proceeding to the luncheon which was held at Botswana Craft where they were treated with traditional dishes. Also in attendance at the luncheon were Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry Vincent Seretse, Foreign Affairs Minister Venson-Moitoi, BDP Women’s Wing Chairperson Dorcas Makgato and Youth Wing Chairperson Sam Mavange among others.

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Gov’t shy to shame failing ministers

22nd February 2021

Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng together with Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Elias Magosi, this week refused to name and shame the worst performing Ministries and to disclose the best performing Ministries since beginning of 12th parliament including the main reasons for underperformance.

Of late there have been a litany of complaints from both ends of the aisle with cabinet members accused of providing parliament with unsatisfactory responses to the questions posed. In fact for some Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) backbenchers a meeting with the ministers and party leadership is overdue to address their complaints. Jwaneng-Mabutsane MP, Mephato Reatile is also not happy with ministers’ performance.

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Bokamoso, Gov’t in P10M womb removal suit

22nd February 2021

Bokamoso Private Hospital is battling a P10 million legal suit for a botched fibroids operation which resulted in a woman losing an entire womb and her prospects of bearing children left at zero.

The same suit has also befallen the Attorney General of Botswana who is representing the Ministry of Health and Wellness for their contributory negligence of having the unlawful removal of a patient, Goitsemang Magetse’s womb.

According to the court papers, Magetse says that sometimes in November 2019, she was diagnosed with fibroids at Marina Hospital where upon she was referred to Bokamoso Private Hospital to schedule an appointment for an operation to remove the fibroids, which she did.

Magetse continues that at the instance of one Dr Li Wang, the surgeon who performed the operation, and unknown to her, an operation to remove her whole womb was conducted instead.
According to Magetse, it was only through a Marina Hospital regular check-up that she got to learn that her whole womb has been removed.

“At the while she was under the belief that only her fibroids have been removed. By doing so, the hospital has subjected itself to some serious delictual liability in that it performed a serious and life changing operation on patient who was under the belief that she was doing a completely different operation altogether. It thus came as a shock when our client learnt that her womb had been removed, without her consent,” said Magetse’s legal representatives, Kanjabanga and Associates in their summons.

The letter further says, “this is an infringement of our client‘s rights and this infringement has dire consequences on her to the extent that she can never bear children again”. ‘It is our instruction therefore, to claim as we hereby do, damages in the sum of BWP 10,000,000 (ten million Pula) for unlawful removal of client’s womb,” reads Kanjabanga Attorneys’ papers. The defendants are yet to respond to the plaintiff’s papers.

What are fibroids?

Fibroids are tumors made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. They develop in the uterus. It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of women will develop fibroids in their lifetime — however, not everyone will develop symptoms or require treatment.

The most important characteristic of fibroids is that they’re almost always benign, or noncancerous. That said, some fibroids begin as cancer — but benign fibroids can’t become cancer. Cancerous fibroids are very rare. Because of this fact, it’s reasonable for women without symptoms to opt for observation rather than treatment.

Studies show that fibroids grow at different rates, even when a woman has more than one. They can range from the size of a pea to (occasionally) the size of a watermelon. Even if fibroids grow that large, we offer timely and effective treatment to provide relief.

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Masisi warned against a sinking Botswana

22nd February 2021
Ndaba GAolatlhe

The Alliance for Progressives (AP) President Ndaba Gaolathe has said that despite major accolades that Botswana continues to receive internationally with regard to the state of economy, the prospects for the future are imperilled.

Delivering his party Annual Policy Statement on Thursday, Gaolathe indicated that Botswana is in a state of do or die, and that the country’s economy is on a sick bed. With a major concern for poverty, Gaolathe pointed out that almost half of Botswana’s people are ravaged by or are about to sink into poverty.  “Our young people have lost the fire to dream about what they could become,” he said.

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