Connect with us
Advertisement

Masitara anti-corruption drive annoys BDP

A hardliner ex-legislator Robert Masitara has this week found himself at odds with his party again and threatened with a disciplinary hearing by the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) top politburo.  


Weekend Post has established that on Tuesday night a member of BDP in good standing who is also a cabinet minister, known to this publication, called the former legislator to tip him off of the imminent possibility of a disciplinary hearing. According to information gathered by this publication, the BDP politician cum philanthropist, Masitara has irked some of his party faithfuls, including the party top brass, by a face book post which was seen as “not in the interest of the party.”


The debatable face book post, which Weekend Post has seen reads thus: “I don’t believe in factions and it pains me to see members hating each other in support of these perceived corrupt and greedy leaders across the political divide.” It was not clear what the corruption busting BDP head was referring to.


He however pointed out blatantly that: “let us rebuild the BDP with proper and functioning systems and attract more members to the BDP. We need to expose and prosecute corrupt leaders who are sponsored by corrupt Indians, Chinese and other foreign nationals.”
The outspoken BDP socialite and owner of Masitara foundation then went on to justify through the post that “this is an innocent comment posted for the love of our country.” I am not attacking anyone; he said adding that the winds of change are blowing throughout the length and breadth of Botswana.    


Known for his signature loathe for corruption and his love for shooting from the heap, he provoked party headship which it is understood have discussed the matter thereafter leading to others subsequently calling for his disciplinary action. When reached for a comment, Masitara laughed off but confirmed that “indeed he has been informed by some credible members of both government and party that he will face the disciplinary hearing in a span of time.” He however could not be thrown into further details treading cautiously of further reproaches.   


However the BDP Secretary General Botsalo Ntuane was clueless on the matter. He told Weekend Post that “I know of no disciplinary charge against Mr Masitara. If there was I would be in the know. What offence has he committed? I saw the face book post. If none of our people are not in the pockets of Chinese or Indians then why worry?” he wondered.  


It is not the first time that the former law maker finds himself in hot soup over remarks he uttered. At one point while an MP, he said his counterpart and the then Vice President Ponatshego Kedikilwe should account for the “defective 15 billion pula Morupule B power station” as it was under his watchful as he was Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water resources while the project instigated.  


He was also on the receiving ends with his counterparts in the party particularly his councillors over usage of campaign resources of the party in Gaborone Bonnington North where he was later humbled at the 2014 General Elections by Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) president Duma Boko.


Masitara for BDP chairmanship


Meanwhile the non-conformist politician has also separately confirmed to his inner circle this week that he is putting his head on the block and throwing his hat on the ring for BDP chairmanship. He is expected to face party head honchos and heavy weights including current legislator who represents Moshupa/Manyana doubling as Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi who will become president in March 2018 by virtue of his position.


Another serious contender in the race for party chairperson, whom Masitara will also contest against, is Selibe Phikwe East MP and cabinet Minister Nonofo Molefhi. Jacob Nkate is also in the race too. Masitara told his close associates that he wants to lead the BDP so as to particularly curb corruption that has been institutionalised. He said he has been threatened time and again as a legislator but believes if he leads he can execute the mandate diligently without any influence and interference.


“You see I cannot be led because I cannot do my job to the optimum level. If I am given the chance to lead BDP I will change a lot of things especially rooting out the institutionalised corruption and improving systems in place,” he said.

Continue Reading

News

UDC founder warns against merger

19th October 2020
Ex UDC Convener: Mpotokwane

Lebang Mpotokwane, one of the conveners who presided over the opposition cooperation talks that resulted in the formation of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), has advised against changing the current umbrella model in favour of a merger as proposed by others.

The Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leader, Dumelang Saleshando recently went public to propose that UDC should consider merging of all opposition parties, including Alliance for Progressives (AP) and Botswana Patriotic Front (BNF).

Saleshando has been vehemently opposed by Botswana National Front (BNF), which is in favour of maintaining the current model.  BNF’s position has been favoured by the founding father of UDC, who warned that it will be too early to ditch the current model.

“UDC should be well developed to promote the spirit of togetherness on members and the members should be taught so that the merger is developed gradually. They should approach it cautiously. If they feel they are ready, they can, but it would not be a good idea,” Mpotokwane told WeekendPost this week.

Mpotokwane and Emang Maphanyane are the two men who have since 2003 began a long journey of uniting opposition parties in a bid to dethrone the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BCP) as they felt it needed a strong opposition to avoid complacency.

Tonota born Mpotokwane is however disappointed on how they have been ejected from participating in the last edition of talks ahead of the 2019 general elections in which BCP was brought on board.  However, despite the ejection, Mpotokwane is not resentful to the opposition collective.

He said the vision of opposition unity was to ultimately merge the opposition parties but he believes time has not arrived yet to pursue that path. “The bigger picture was a total merger and we agreed that with three independent parties, members might be against merger eventuality so the current model should be used until a point where they are now together for as long as possible,” he said.

“UDC should gradually perform better in elections and gain confidence. They should not rush the merger. We have been meeting since 2003, but if they rush it might cause endless problems. If they are ready they can anyway,” he advised. For now the constituent parties of the umbrella have been exchanging salvos with others (BCP and BNF).

“There are good reasons for and against merging the parties. Personally, I am in favour of merging the parties (including AP and BPF) into a single formation but I know it’s a complex mission that will have its own challenges,” Saleshando said when he made his position known a week ago.

“Good luck to those advocating for a merger, it will be interesting to observe the tactics they will use to lure the BPF into a merger,” former BNF councillor for Borakalalo Ward and former BNF Youth League Secretary General, Arafat Khan, opined in relation to BCP’s proposed position.

Mpotokwane, who is currently out in the cold from the UDC since he was ejected from the party’s NEC in 2017, said the current bickering and the expected negotiations with other parties need the presence of conveners.

“We did not belong to any party as conveners so we were objective in our submissions. If party propose any progressive idea we will support, if it is not we will not, so I would agree that even now conveners might be key for neutrality to avoid biasness,” he observed. Despite being abandoned, Mpotokwane said he will always be around to assist if at all he is needed.

“If they want help I will be there, I have always been clear about it, but surely I will ask few questions before accepting that role,” he said. UDC is expected to begin cooperation talks with both AP and BPF either this week or next weekend for both upcoming bye-elections (halted by Covid-19) and 2024 general elections and it is revealed that there will be no conveners this time around.

Continue Reading

News

BDP attaches Boko’s property

19th October 2020
DUMA BOKO

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) moved through its lawyers to attach the property of Umbrella for Democratic (UDC) President Duma Boko and other former parliamentary contestants who failed in their court bid to overturn the 2019 general elections in 14 constituencies.

WeekendPost has established that this week, Deputy Sheriffs were commissioned by Bogopa Manewe Tobedza and Company who represented the BDP, to attach the properties of UDC elections contents in a bid to recover costs.  High Court has issued a writ of execution against all petitioners, a process that has set in motion the cost recovery measures.

This content is locked

Login To Unlock The Content!

Continue Reading

News

COVID-19 exposes decay in the education system

19th October 2020
Education Systm

Botswana Sectors of Teachers Union (BOSETU) says COVID-19 as a pandemic has negatively affected the education sector by deeply disrupting the education system. The intermittent lockdowns have resulted in the halting of teaching and learning in schools.

The union indicated that the education system was caught napping and badly exposed when it came to the use of Information System (IT), technological platforms and issues of digitalisation.

“COVID-19 exposed glaring inefficiencies and deficiencies when it came to the use of ITC in schools. In view of the foregoing, we challenge government as BOSETU to invest in school ITC, technology and digitalization,” says BOSETU President Kinston Radikolo during a press conference on Tuesday.

As a consequence, the union is calling on government to prioritise education in her budgeting to provide technological infrastructure and equipment including provision of tablets to students and teachers.

“Government should invest vigorously in internet connectivity in schools and teacher’s residences if the concept of flexi-hours and virtual learning were to be achieved and have desired results,” Radikolo said.

Radikolo told journalists that COVID-19 is likely to negatively affect final year results saying that the students would sit for the final examinations having not covered enough ground in terms of curriculum coverage.

“This is so because there wasn’t any catch up plan that was put in place to recover the lost time by students. We warn that this year’s final examination results would dwindle,” he said.

The Union, which is an affiliate of Botswana Federation of Public, Private and Parastatal Union (BOFEPUSU), also indicated that COVID-19’s presence as a pandemic has complicated the role of a teacher in a school environment, saying a teacher’s role has not only transcended beyond just facilitating teaching and learning, but rather, a teacher in this COVID-19 era, is also called upon to enforce the COVID-19 preventative protocols in the school environment.

“This is an additional role in the duty of a teacher that needs to be recognized by the employers. Teachers by virtue of working in a congested school environment have become highly exposed and vulnerable to COVID-19, hence the reason why BOSETU would like teachers to be regarded as the frontline workers with respect to COVID-19,” says Radikolo.

BOSETU noted that the pandemic has in large scales found its way into most of the school environments, as in thus far more than 50 schools have been affected by COVID-19. The Union says this is quite a worrying phenomenon.

“As we indicated before when we queried that schools were not ready for re-opening, it has now come to pass that our fears were not far-fetched. This goes out to tell that there is deficiency in our schools when it comes to putting in place preventative protocols. In our schools, hygiene is compromised by mere absence of sanitizers, few hand-washing stations, absence of social distancing in classes,” the Union leader said.

Furthermore, Radikolo stressed that the shifting system drastically increased the workload for teachers especially in secondary schools. He says teachers in these schools experience very high loads to an extent that some of them end up teaching up to sixty four periods per week, adding that this has not only fatigued teachers, but has also negatively affected their performance and the quality of teaching.

In what the Union sees as failure to uphold and honour collective agreements by government, owing to the shift system introduced at primary schools, government is still in some instances refusing to honour an agreement with the Unions to hire more teachers to take up the extra classes.

“BOSETU notes with disgruntlement the use of pre-school teachers to teach in the mainstream schools with due regard for their specific areas of training and their job descriptions. This in our view is a variation of the terms of employment of the said teachers,” says Radikolo.

The Union has called on government to forthwith remedy this situation and hire more teachers to alleviate this otherwise unhealthy situation. BOSETU also expressed concerns of some school administrators who continuously run institutions with iron fists and in a totalitarian way.

“We have a few such hot spot schools which the Union has brought to attention the Ministry officials such as Maoka JSS, Artesia JSS, and Dukwi JSS. We are worried that the Ministry becomes sluggish in taking action against such errant school administration. In instances where action is taken, such school administrators are transferred and rotated around schools.”

Continue Reading
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!