Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) stalwarts are lobbying the party leadership to consider adopting a compromise list for July congress in order to preserve party unity leading to 2019 general elections.
Information passed to this publication indicates that there are fears within the party that in the back of opposition coalition, which was announced last week, BDP may head to the elections in the back foot. This has not been helped by the uncertainty which has surrounded Khama’s succession plans with at least more than two key figures within the party having entered the race to challenge Masisi for the party and the country’s presidency.
BDP Secretary General, Botsalo Ntuane has hinted that everything may happen going forward but stated that the matter is a subject which has not been discussed by party leadership or other party structures. “No discussions because no one knows who is contesting until we receive expression of interest,” he said.
“I don’t know [if the party will consider compromise], anything is possible in politics but let’s wait for interested individuals to apply to contest Central Committee positions then we will be in a clearer light,” Ntuane further revealed and added that by next week the party would have issued an invitation to submit expressions of interest to contest by next week, of which the deadline will be on the 5th of March.
Already, former A-Team factionist ring leader, Jacob Nkate has drifted to party Chairman; Mokgweetsi Masisi’s side, giving away his chairmanship and presidential ambitions to now contest as secretary general. Nkate’s change of stance leaves Minister of Infrastructure and Housing Development Nonofo Molefhi and Tshekedi Khama, Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism as clear challengers to Masisi in July Congress and for the presidency as well.
Both men have expressed their desire to challenge Masisi, who is the apparent heir to the throne of presidency by the virtue of his position as President Ian Khama. According to the country’s constitution, a sitting VP, automatically succeeds to presidency in case the sitting President ceases to hold such a position, in case of illness, death, resignation or any circumstances. In case of Masisi, he is expected to elevate to presidency when President Lieutenant General Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama’s 10-year term comes to an end in April 2018, that is, a year before the next general elections.
Although Masisi is guaranteed ascendance to the position of the presidency in 2018, there is a vacuum brought upon by the BDP constitution which allows the party to convene a congress for the purpose of electing a presidential candidate during an election year. This clause has interest many in the party, unsettling party members and stalwarts in the process. President Khama, who would leave power at the end of March next year, has been mum on the matter, allowing the events to play on their own without intervening.
In 2011 following the splitting of the party in the preceding year, Khama devised a compromise list which was endorsed by the congress at Mahalapye.Khama’s succession to the vice presidency was also marred by factional wars within the party, a situation which also threatened BDP rule after the dismal 1994 election performance.
Automatic succession dates back to late 1990’s when former Vice President, Festus Mogae succeeded Sir Quett Ketumile Masire in 1998 after 18 years of Masire’s uninterrupted rule to become the country’s third President, thanks to the then new constitutional provision which introduced a 10-year Presidential term and automatic succession.
However, Ponatshego Kedikilwe, who was viewed as politically stronger than Mogae, had wanted to challenge the latter for the presidency. BDP was however able to agree on compromise list with 1997 and 1999 congresses all endorsing compromise lists. Nonetheless, Khama’s presidency has never been under threat and his has always been a smooth sail. However, the current V.P, Masisi has to contend with many opponents who are ambitious to take him down. In fact the next few weeks will be the busiest for the party as interest parties throw in their name to officially open up their campaigns.
Evidence of disunity within the party played out during the most recent by elections, two weeks ago, in which the party lost all two council seats (Palapye and Tsabong) to opposition parties; the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).
Weekend Post has also been informed that the loss can mainly be attributed to internal bickering between Molefhi and Masisi supporters who are finding it hard to work together during party activities. Molefhi, although on the back foot, enjoys a good will from his colleagues in parliament and a considerable number of party structures in the north. His humble and self-effacing demeanour has earned him respect within the party.
However, the introduction of Nkate on the side of Masisi tilts the scales on Masisi’s side. Nkate’s major strength is his knowledge for party structures, having been Kwelagobe’s (long time serving BDP Chairperson) successor in 2007. Nkate has also been involved in the thick of the things, the factional wars in particular.
Nkate-Masisi deal may see the former taking the country number one position in the event that the BDP successfully defend its stay in power against the now evident formidable opposition. Nkate would however first dispose his long-time nemesis, Thato Kwerepe, in Ngami constituency at the party primary elections next year.
Meanwhile Tshekedi Khama, younger brother to President Khama, has taken a mild approach, waiting for party stalwarts to do the underground work on his behalf. Tshekedi’s stature as President Khama’s brother and the country’s first President, the late Sir Seretse Khama’s son, paves way for him to the hearts of many in the central region, BDP’s stronghold and where Bangwato chieftainship has major influence.
19 Bokamoso Private Hospital nurses graduate at Lenmed Nursing College
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.
BNF secures 15 constituencies in UDC coalition, wants more
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.
Children’s summit to discuss funding of NGOS
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.