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UDC/BCP coalition talks finally come to a close

The talks between the main opposition parties being Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) have finally been completed, Weekend Post can reveal. The parties will trade under the name UDC+.

An insider confirmed that following the close of the talks this week, Boko and Saleshando are expected to conduct a two-some press conference during the festive season. “It is probable that the briefing will be held between 17 December 2016 and 3 January 2017,” he said. The negotiations were commissioned on the 12th September 2016 at Oasis Motel in Tlokweng just in the outskirts of Gaborone and were initially planned to complete end of October this year but failed.

It appears the target was off the mark as negotiating partners engaged in un-ending heated discussions with every partner fighting from their corner. This led to the final target deadline being postponed to 17 December 2016. Impeccable sources told Weekend Post on Thursday that “this time the deadline has been achieved as the dialogues were summed up this week just before the official target (Saturday 17 December 2017).”

In the contentious talks, UDC was represented by its party members; Botswana National Front (BNF), Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) and Botswana Peoples Party (BPP). A high ranking source from the talks pointed out that “reports from the 3 streams from the negotiation teams have been adopted as they are – with others still having unresolved issues that are expected to be ironed out by both leaders of the negotiating partners that is president of UDC Duma Boko and BCP’s Dumelang Saleshando whom are yet to be officially briefed as well.”

“The two party leaders were not part of the cooperation negotiation teams but will make the final say on each and every stream emanating from the gatherings.” Thorny issues from the talks have been reported as the matter of Vice Presidents (VP). The parties were divided on the issue with others suggesting UDC+ to have two VPs while others felt it was unconstitutional particularly if the party was to win general elections and take over governance.

The two positions were earmarked for both Saleshando and BMD President Ndaba Gaolathe with Boko taking the presidency of the new party, UDC+. Indications suggest that a consensus is far from being reached to strike a deal for Saleshando and Gaolathe as far as the sole position of VP is concerned – a move which continuously creates acrimony between the BMD and the BCP.

Another issue still between the two parties (BCP and BMD) in the partnership was to do with Lentsweletau/Mmopane constituency. The constituency was won by the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) which was represented by Vincent Seretse. Seretse garnered 7 170 and was seconded by BCP’s Phagenyane Phage who had 3 150 votes while Major General Moeng Pheto who was then an Independent candidate, but now UDC member, got 3 120 to Godisang Mbwire of UDC’s 2 999.

It appears that BCP believes that the constituency should be allocated to them on the basis that they were on position 2 and therefore most popular after Domkrag (BDP). On the other side, UDC points out that although they came third they believe their results (UDC) should be added to that of the then independent candidate Moeng Pheto who is now a member of BMD of the UDC.

From the talks there was also an issue however that both parties did not reach a threshold of 30% of the total vote in the constituency that is needed and therefore the area remains open for more dialogue. According to the source, the two issues and any other will be resolved at leadership level by leaders of the UDC+.

It is understood that the interchanges at the talks were premised on three layers – which will now be passed to the UDC+ leaders – in which the first layer embraced streams which include one team being assigned to “address policy issues”. Still on the stream, the others were negotiating on the contentious subject of “distribution of constituencies” while the last one was intended to look at “matters of governance, the constitution and power sharing arrangements.”

The second layer on the talks incorporated the central negotiating body where fiery, heated and intense debates and exchanges were witnessed in the meetings. In addition, the third and last layer tackled questions of leadership of the new political collaboration formation particularly as to who becomes its president, VP and by extension, that of the country if it gains power in the impending 2019 General Elections which are expected to be hotly contested.

When reached for comment, BCP Publicity Secretary, Dithapelo Keorapetse was cagey with the details of the cooperation dialogues. He could only state that “Boko and Saleshando will make an announcement soon, great progress has been made and Batswana should remain hopeful that a better future lies ahead.” His counterpart at the UDC, Moeti Mohwasa also told this publication that they do not have anything at the moment “to share” preferring to keep everything confidential. “We will make announcement at the right time,” he said. 

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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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