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Thursday, 30 November 2023

Ex-minister Sieles bogosi mediation fails


The efforts by ex-minister of Local Government and Rural Development Peter Siele to mend fences between two families which both claim are rightful heirs to the Kang chieftainship have failed, Weekend Post has learnt.

The two families; one of Basadi Seipone and the other of Thusoyaone Motaung are both professing the rights as claimants to substantive position of kgosi. The scuffle for the throne comes following the passing of Kgosi Church Pego Seipone in 2010 who was installed way back in 1972 to be precise.

Following his passing, it is understood that Siele, prior to signing out of government in 2014 after losing Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) primary elections at Mmathethe/Molapowabojang constituency to Alfred Madigele, has  dealt with the matter since 2011 in his endeavour to arbitrate between the two rival bogosi families in Kang.

According to court papers seen by Weekend Post, Basadi Seipone claims that she is the rightful kgosi as her name has been confirmed by both her uncles, Kang community and later Minister Siele on behalf of government. On the other hand, Thusoyaone Motaung who is the son to Gaeboelwe Pego who at one point was kgosi and later abdicated – claims too that he is the rightful heir to the throne.

“The meetings by the Minister are admitted. It is however stated that these meetings were preceded by several other meetings one of them on the 30th April 2011 between the Seipone and Motaung families during which my name was confirmed for submission to the Minister by our elder and only surviving uncle Mr July Seipone,” Basadi Seipone claimed in the papers.

In her own account, following the two families meetings she said her name was submitted to the main Kgotla by the Uncle Mr July Seipone at a meeting held in May 2011. “The Kang community accepted my name with the only objections coming from Thusoyaone Motaung and family,” she asserted.    

Court papers further indicate that prior to the late Pego Seipone’s reign, Kang chieftainship was held by Gaeboelwe Pego, who is the father to Thusoyaone Motaung and therefore by that token – claims is the rightful heir to the throne as well. The wrestle for the throne comes as back then Gaeboelwe Pego (Thusoyaone Motaung’s father) abdicated the bogosi mantle to Pego Seipone (Basadi Seipone’s father) as he was said to be a traditional doctor and had indicated that he could not hold the position as he wanted to practice his calling.

In the court papers Basadi Seipone stated that Pego Seipone was then appointed “substantive kgosi” from 1972 but claims was never at any stage regarded as a “regent” which is at the centre of the dispute. “It was denied that Kgosi Pego Seipone acted on behalf of Gaeboelwe and held the bogosi on a regency position.”  

“No issue however arise there from as even if he was, he (Thusoyaone Motaung) should not be entitled to the chieftainship as Gaeboelwe abdicated his position and my father (Pego Seipone) was subsequently appointed as the substantive chief,” Basadi Seipone pointed out in the documents. Weekend Post has gathered that there is an ongoing argument of whether the late Kgosi Pego Seipone was elected or appointed substantive kgosi back then in 1972 which would easily give direction to solving the current bottleneck.  

According to an attorney representing Basadi Seipone, Joram Matomela of JJ Matomela Attorneys, after Basadi Seipone was appointed kgosi by government following her father’s death, Thusoyaone Motaung lodged a review application to challenge the said decision which he later withdrew in June 2016 when it was ripe for argument. “At the time of the said withdrawal Thusoyaone Motaung did not seek leave to reinstitute the said application. Neither did he indicate the reasons for the said withdrawal.”

It is understood that Thusoyaone Motaung prior to that had obtained a consent order with the government “de-recognising” Basadi Seipone without notice to her as she was not served with the statutory notice and the application. Matomela said such order was however rescinded and set aside and Thusoyaone Motaung was directed to serve in which about 2 months after the withdrawal Thusoyaone Motaung authored a statutory notice of intention to sue on 22 June 2016.

He said however at the time the application was filed the decision was almost 2 years old and Basadi Seipone was due to be coronated on the 19th November 2016 as substantive kgosi of Kang village. It is understood that prior to the coronation, Basadi Seipone has been serving as kgosi since recognition and has presided over several cases and community projects in the village in her capacity as kgosi. Minister Siele had previously called and attended several meetings at the village Kgotla in his conciliation mission but as fate would have it – could not make the grade as the matter reached a deadlock – even to this point.

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19 Bokamoso Private Hospital nurses graduate at Lenmed Nursing College

28th November 2023

The graduation of 19 nurses from Bokamoso Private Hospital at Lenmed Nursing College marks a significant milestone in their careers. These nurses have successfully completed various short learning programs, including Adult Intensive Care Unit, Emergency Nursing Care, Anaesthetic & Recovery Room Nursing, Anaesthetic Nursing, and Recovery Room Nursing. The ceremony, held in Gaborone, was a testament to their hard work and dedication.

Lenmed Nursing College, a renowned healthcare group with a presence in South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, and Ghana, has been instrumental in providing quality education and training to healthcare professionals. The Group Head of Operations, Jayesh Parshotam, emphasized the importance of upskilling nurses, who are at the forefront of healthcare systems. He also expressed his appreciation for the partnerships with Bokamoso Private Hospital, the Ministry of Health, and various health training institutes in Botswana.

Dr. Morrison Sinvula, a consultant from the Ministry of Health, commended Lenmed Health and Lenmed Nursing College for their commitment to the education and training of these exceptional nurses. He acknowledged their guidance, mentorship, and support in shaping the nurses’ careers and ensuring their success. Dr. Sinvula also reminded the graduates that education does not end here, as the field of healthcare is constantly evolving. He encouraged them to remain committed to lifelong learning and professional development, embracing new technologies and staying updated with the latest medical advancements.

Dr. Gontle Moleele, the Superintendent of Bokamoso Private Hospital, expressed her excitement and pride in the graduating class of 2023. She acknowledged the sacrifices made by these individuals, who have families and responsibilities, to ensure their graduation. Dr. Moleele also thanked Lenmed Nursing College for providing this opportunity to the hospital’s nurses, as it will contribute to the growth of the hospital.

The certificate recipients from Bokamoso Private Hospital were recognized for their outstanding achievements in their respective programs. Those who received the Cum Laude distinction in the Adult Intensive Care Unit program were Elton Keatlholwetse, Lebogang Kgokgonyane, Galaletsang Melamu, Pinkie Mokgosi, Ofentse Seboletswe, Gorata Basupi, Bareng Mosala, and Justice Senyarelo. In the Emergency Nursing Care program, Atlanang Moilwa, Bakwena Moilwa, Nathan Nhiwathiwa, Mogakolodi Lesarwe, Modisaotsile Thomas, and Lorato Matenje received the Cum Laude distinction. Kelebogile Dubula and Gaolatlhe Sentshwaraganye achieved Cum Laude in the Anaesthetic & Recovery Room Nursing program, while Keletso Basele excelled in the Anaesthetic Nursing program. Mompoloki Mokwaledi received recognition for completing the Recovery Room Nursing program.

In conclusion, the graduation of these 19 nurses from Bokamoso Private Hospital at Lenmed Nursing College is a testament to their dedication and commitment to their profession. They have successfully completed various short learning programs, equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their respective fields. The collaboration between Lenmed Nursing College, Bokamoso Private Hospital, and the Ministry of Health has played a crucial role in their success. As they embark on their careers, these nurses are encouraged to continue their professional development and embrace new advancements in healthcare.

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BNF secures 15 constituencies in UDC coalition, wants more

28th November 2023

The Botswana National Front (BNF) has recently announced that they have already secured 15 constituencies in the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) coalition, despite ongoing negotiations. This revelation comes as the BNF expresses its dissatisfaction with the current government and its leadership.

The UDC, which is comprised of the BNF, Botswana Peoples Party (BPP), Alliance for Progressives (AP), and Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF), is preparing for the upcoming General Elections. However, the negotiations to allocate constituencies among the involved parties are still underway. Despite this, the BNF Chairman, Patrick Molotsi, confidently stated that they have already acquired 15 constituencies and are expecting to add more to their tally.

Molotsi’s statement reflects the BNF’s long-standing presence in many constituencies across Botswana. With a strong foothold in these areas, it is only natural for the BNF to seek an increase in the number of constituencies they represent. This move not only strengthens their position within the UDC coalition but also demonstrates their commitment to serving the interests of the people.

In a press conference, BNF Secretary General, Ketlhafile Motshegwa, expressed his discontent with the current government leadership. He criticized the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) for what he perceives as a disregard for the well-being of the Batswana people. Motshegwa highlighted issues such as high unemployment rates and shortages of essential medicines as evidence of the government’s failure to address the needs of its citizens.

The BNF’s dissatisfaction with the current government is a reflection of the growing discontent among the population. The Batswana people are increasingly frustrated with the lack of progress and the failure to address pressing issues. The BNF’s assertion that the government is playing with the lives of its citizens resonates with many who feel neglected and unheard.

The BNF’s acquisition of 15 constituencies, even before the negotiations have concluded, is a testament to their popularity and support among the people. It is a clear indication that the Batswana people are ready for change and are looking to the BNF to provide the leadership they desire.

As the negotiations continue, it is crucial for all parties involved to prioritize the interests of the people. The allocation of constituencies should be done in a fair and transparent manner, ensuring that the voices of all citizens are represented. The BNF’s success in securing constituencies should serve as a reminder to the other parties of the need to listen to the concerns and aspirations of the people they aim to represent.

In conclusion, the BNF’s acquisition of 15 constituencies, despite ongoing negotiations, highlights their strong presence and support among the Batswana people. Their dissatisfaction with the current government leadership reflects the growing discontent in the country. As the UDC coalition prepares for the upcoming General Elections, it is crucial for all parties to prioritize the needs and aspirations of the people. The BNF’s success should serve as a reminder of the importance of listening to the voices of the citizens and working towards a better future for Botswana.








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Children’s summit to discuss funding of NGOS

21st November 2023

One of the key issues that will be discussed by the Childrens’ Summit, which will be hosted by Childline Botswana Trust on 28th – 30th November in Gaborone, will be the topical issue of financing and strengthening of civil society organizations.

A statement from Childline Botswana indicates that the summit will adopt a road map for resourcing the children’s agenda by funding organizations. It will also cover issues relating to child welfare and protection; aimed at mobilizing governments to further strengthen Child Helplines; as well as sharing of emerging technologies to enhance the protection of Children and promotion of their rights.

According to Gaone Chepete, Communications Officer at Childline Botswana, the overall objective of the summit is to provide a platform for dialogue and engagement towards promoting practices and policies that fulfil children’s rights and welfare.

“Child Helplines in the region meet on a bi-annual basis to reflect on the state of children; evaluate their contribution and share experiences and best practice in the provision of services for children,” said Chepete.

The financing of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) by the state or its functionaries has generated mixed reactions from within the civil society space, with many arguing that it threatened NGOs activism and operational independence.

In February 2019, University of Botswana academic Kenneth Dipholo released a paper titled “State philanthropy: The demise of charitable organizations in Botswana,” in which he faulted then President Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama for using charity for political convenience and annexing the operational space of NGOs.

“Civil society is the domain in which individuals can exercise their rights as citizens and set limits to the power of the state. The state should be developing capable voluntary organizations rather than emaciating or colonizing them by usurping their space,” argued Dipholo.

He further argued that direct involvement of the state or state president in charity breeds unhealthy competition between the state itself and other organizations involved in charity. Under these circumstances, he added, the state will use charity work to remain relevant to the ordinary people and enhance its visibility at the expense of NGOs.

“A consequence of this arrangement is that charitable organizations will become affiliates of the state. This stifles innovation in the sense that it narrows the ability of charitable organizations to think outside the box. It also promotes mono-culturalism, as the state could support only charitable organizations that abide by its wishes,” said Dipholo.

In conclusion, Dipholo urged the state to focus on supporting NGOs so that they operate in a system that combines philanthropic work and state welfare programs.

He added that state philanthropy threatens to relegate and render charitable organizations virtually irrelevant and redundant unless they re-engineer themselves.

Another University of Botswana (UB) academic, Professor Zibani Maundeni, opined that politics vitally shape civil society interaction; as seen in the interactions between the two, where there is mutual criticism in each other’s presence.

Over the years, NGOs have found themselves grappling with dwindling financial resources as donors ran out of money in the face of increased competition for financing. Many NGOs have also been faulted for poorly managing their finances because of limited strategic planning and financial management expertise. This drove NGOs to look to government for funding; which fundamentally altered the relationships between the two. The end result was a complete change in the operational culture of NGOs, which diminished their social impact and made them even more fragile. Increased government control through contract clauses also reduced NGOs activism and autonomy.

However, others believe that NGOs and government need each other, especially in the provision of essential services like child welfare and protection. Speaking at the Civil Society Child Rights Convention in 2020, Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Setlhabelo Modukanele said government considers NGOs as critical partners in development.

“We recognize the role that NGOs play a critical role in the country’s development agenda,” said Modukanele.

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