The Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism, Tshekedi Khama has complained that his Ministry is one of those which get the lowest budget every year despite being responsible for critical tasks, he remarked that part of the money given to the Directorate on Intelligence and Security (DIS) be diverted to his Ministry.
The Minister said priorities must be set right and deal with issues that affect the people first. Tshekedi’s request comes on the backdrop of DIS requesting an extra P15 million funds to pay suppliers; this is in addition to its P300 million budget for the 2016/2017 financial year. The P15 million will cover costs incurred during the BOT50 celebrations last year. Attempts by the opposition to block the supplementary request were blocked by Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) MPs.
“However, I must hasten to note with concern that, though responsible for such critical tasks, my ministry is one of those which get the lowest budget every year. I therefore urge this Honourable House to ensure that the importance of tourism sector is commensurate with the budget allocated to the Ministry for us to compete with the region and deliver as the future engine of growth in our economy,” he said when presenting his Ministry Budget this week.
Khama indicated that Botswana’s efforts towards economic diversification are dependent on the tourism sector which is the second engine of growth. He pointed out that his ministry puts a lot of effort towards developing and marketing new tourism products and ensuring that Botswana is an attractive destination.
“Further, for wildlife conservation, my ministry is responsible for improving the status of species, populations or ecosystem integrity to prevent extinction. The conservation activities are undertaken both within our boundaries and Trans-Frontier Conservation Areas (TFCAs).” According to the Minister the Ministry has established a data centre in collaboration with Statistics Botswana in order to address the problem of backlog on migration statistics. He said the analysis of 2010-2015 migration statistics is complete with preliminary results ready for use. The 2016 statistics are still being processed.
“However, my Ministry continues to face challenges in relation to funding for tourism statistics. Tourism statistics data collection requires a substantial budget given the large physical scale of the country; the large number of border posts; and the large number of business enterprises involved with tourists.”On citizen participation in the tourism industry, Khama said the Government continues to encourage Batswana to participate in the tourism industry by introducing tourism products that they can partake in.
To emphasise his Ministry’s continued under budgeting, Khama said it has been quite evident that, given the limited resources, compensation for property damaged by wildlife is not sustainable in the long run. He shared a budget allocation for compensation since 2014 which showed that in 2014/2015, P9 million was allocated for 5647 cases but the money needed for compensation was P16 million; In 2015/2016, P8.8 million was allocated for 5500 cases but P16 million was needed again; and in 2016/2017 financial year P4.4 million has been allocated for 5500 cases that need P14 million to compensate people. Khama’s ministry compensates farmers whose crops has been damaged by wild animals. "I think we should be very honest as a nation in terms of our priorities", Tshekedi Khama just told Parliament.
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.
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.
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.