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Kablay pushes for MPs salary increment

Maverick ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) chief whip in parliament and Letlhakane/Lephephe law maker, Liakat Kablay is calling for a salary increment for Members of Parliament (MPs) across the political aisle.


When speaking to WeekendPost this week Kablay stated blatantly that he was representing all MPs and pushing for their welfare; particularly the BDP backbenchers’ who he said have been abandoned and “feel precluded”.


According to Kablay, they worry more because of the “low wages and benefits”.


The opinionated cum non-conformist ruling party legislator highlighted with vigour that salary raises for the lawmakers was long overdue.  “We have proposed around 20% of salary increase at the Office of the President (OP) and it has been almost 1 year while awaiting response,” Kablay lamented.


The outspoken lawmaker observed that at least all political parties represented in parliament agree on the increase unreservedly. He said it has been years since their salaries were increased, adding that they need better conditions of service.


MP’s want constituency automobiles


“Parliamentarians want conditions of service improved especially an introduction of constituency vehicles that they can use on official duties at their constituencies as some areas are wide-ranging and it is so costly to transverse the whole constituency,” Kablay cried out on behalf of other MPs in an interview.


He added that the state of affairs is detrimental to progresses of the area being reached and this may also affect the incumbents from retaining their respective parliamentary seats.


The ruling party law maker labelled the lack of constituency vehicles by MPs as a “disgrace” to the “Honourable” men and women citing an example of Social Workers whom he said are allocated transport by government at their respective places particularly in rural and subjugated areas.


According to the BDP Chief Whip, if there is no salary augmentation as yet, which looks likely, the government should then donate cars to them to relief them at their various constituencies. He dismissed the suggestion that they have parliamentary automobiles saying they only transport them to the national assembly from the parliamentary flats and vice versa and “that’s not enough”.


He further argued that in a year they are only allowed to use the cars four times travelling to the constituency only. 


Kablay: “we are not jealous of the ministers but…”


The BDP backbencher also took a swipe at the executive pointing out that while as MPs they lack constituency based vehicles, ministers and Assistant Ministers are chauffeured around in luxurious two separate cars for each.


He said: “Ministers and Assistant Ministers have Prados that they use to travel to their constituencies and other cars (Mercedes Benz or BMW model) that they use to perform ministerial duties and that may also extend to when travelling to funerals, weddings and other social functions.”


“But just imagine, as MPs we only want one automobile to travel to our constituency kgotla meetings,” the Letlhakane/Lephephe legislator fired while adding that they are not “jealous” of the ministers but want to further caution them that they may be dropped at any point and join the backbench which he described as “mostly mistreated and overlooked”.


He pointed out that as a ruling party chief whip, when things go wrong he speaks up unequivocally from the front row without fear of retributions from anywhere.


He also stressed that democracy is expensive and should be handled as such particularly when making sure that crucial developmental information reaches the people who have sent them to represent them at parliament.


Kablay sits in the parliamentary committee of Members Rights and Interest and Privileges. The committee basically looks into the welfare of the MPs from time to time. He said what he is advocating for is what the committee wants as well, and they are still waiting for response from the OP after submitting crucial proposals.


Other members of the committee include BDP MP for Mahalapye West Joseph Molefhe, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC)’s Shawn Ntlhaile who represents Jwaneng/Mabutsane constituency as well as Gaborone North’s UDC legislator Haskins Nkaigwa who also chairs the committee.

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Local tennis team upbeat ahead of Billie Jean King cup

29th May 2023

With almost two weeks until the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup, which will be staged in Kenya from June 12-17, 2023, the Botswana Tennis Association (BTA) ladies’ team coach, Ernest Seleke, is optimistic about reaching greater heights.

Billie Jean King Cup, or the BJK Cup, is a premier international team competition in women’s tennis, launched as the Federation Cup to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the International Tennis Federation (ITF). The BJK Cup is the world’s largest annual women’s international team sports competition in terms of the number of nations that compete.

The finals will feature 12 teams (Botswana, Burundi, Ghana, Kenya, Seychelles, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Tunisia, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, and the Democratic Republic of Congo) competing in the four round-robin groups of three. The four group winners will qualify for the semifinals, and the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup will be crowned after the completion of the knockout phase.

Closer to home, the BW Tennis team is comprised of Thato Madikwe, Leungo Monnayoo, Chelsea Chakanyuka, and Kelebogile Monnayoo. However, according to Seleke, they have not assembled the team yet as some of the players are still engaged.

“At the moment, we are depending on the players and their respective coaches in terms of training. However, I will meet up with Botswana-based players in the coming week, while the United States of America (USA) based player Madikwe will probably meet us in Kenya. Furthermore, Ekua Youri and Naledi Raguin, who are based in Spain and France respectively, will not be joining us as they will be writing their examinations,” said Seleke.

Seleke further highlighted the significance of this competition and how competitive it is. “It is a massive platform for our players to showcase their talent in tennis, and it is very competitive as countries target to get promoted to the world categories where they get to face big nations such as Spain, France, USA, and Italy. Though we are going to this tournament as underdogs because it is our second time participating, I’m confident that the girls will put in a good showing and emerge with results despite the odds,” highlighted Seleke.

Quizzed about their debut performance at the BJK Cup, he said, “I think our performance was fair considering the fact that we were newbies. We came third in our group after losing to North Macedonia and South Africa. We went on to beat Uganda, then Kenya in the playoffs. Unfortunately, we couldn’t play Burundi due to heavy rainfall and settled for the position 9/10,” he said.

For her part, team representative Leungo Monnayoo said they are working hard as they aim to do well at the tourney. “The preparations for the tourney have long begun because we practice each and every day. We want to do well, hence we need to be motivated. Furthermore, I believe in my team as we have set ourselves a big target of coming home with the trophy,” she said.

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Pep Stores donates sanitary towels to Popagano JSS

26th May 2023

The Guidance and Counseling unit at Popagano Junior Secondary School received a donation of 790 sanitary towels from Pep stores on Thursday.

When presenting the donation, Mareledi Thebeng, the Dinokaneng Area Manager, highlighted their belief in giving back to the community, as their existence depends on the communities they serve. Thebeng pointed out that research indicates one in four girls miss school every day due to the lack of basic necessities like sanitary towels. Therefore, as a company, they strive to assist in alleviating this situation. She expressed hope that this donation would help ensure uninterrupted learning for girls.

Upon receiving the donation on behalf of the students, Charity Sambire, the President of the Student Representative Council, expressed her gratitude. Sambire specifically thanked Pep Store for their generous gift, speaking on behalf of the students, especially the girl child.

She conveyed their sincere appreciation for Pep Store’s compassion and quoted the adage, “Blessed is the hand that gives.” Sambire expressed the students’ hope for Pep Stores’ prosperity, enabling them to continue supporting the students. As a gesture of gratitude, the students pledged to excel academically.

During her speech, Motlalepula Madome, the Senior Teacher in Guidance and Counseling, highlighted that many students at the school come from disadvantaged backgrounds where parents struggle to provide basic necessities. Consequently, some students miss school when they experience menstruation due to this lack.
Madome emphasized the significance of the donation in preventing the girl child from missing lessons and its potential to improve the school’s overall results. She expressed the school’s gratitude and expressed a desire for continued support from Pep Stores.

Popagano Junior Secondary School, situated in the Okavango District, holds the second position academically in the North West region. Despite its location, the school has been dedicated to achieving excellence since 2017

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Botswana misses out critical PAP committee meeting

23rd May 2023

The Pan African Parliament (PAP) committee on gender, family, youth and people with disability in its sitting considered, adopted and recommended to the plenary session the preliminary report on the framework for the model law on gender equality.

According to the last week’s media release from PAP which is sitting with its various committees until June 2nd,  the committee is following up the PAP initiative to draw up a model law on gender equality to enable national governments to harmonize, modernize and standardize their legislations to address local needs is set to be discussed in Plenary.

However, what is concerning is the fact that Botswana which is a member state missed the deliberations. Kgosi Mosadi Seboko who sat in the committee representing Botswana has since been ejected by parliament and this is a huge blow for a nation that is still battling equity and gender balance.

“Although PAP has no legislative powers it makes model laws for member states to adopt. PAP also develops protocols to be ratified by countries. The input of countries at Committee state is extremely critical. It now means the voice of Botswana is missing the discussions leading up to development of protocols or model laws,” said one of Botswana’s representative at PAP Dr. Kesitegile Gobotswang who is attending the current session.

While Botswana is missing, the committee meeting took place on the sidelines of the Sixth PAP second ordinary Session being held under the African Union Theme of the Year for 2023, “The Year of AfCFTA: Accelerating the Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area” in Midrand, South Africa and will run up to 2 June 2023. Chairperson of the Committee, Hon Mariam Dao-Gabala expressed satisfaction with preliminary processes undertaken so far towards the formulation of the Model Law,” a release from the PAP website reads.

“The law should be suitable to all countries whatever the predominant culture or religion is. The aim is to give an opportunity to women to participate in the economic, political and social development of the continent. Women are not well positioned and face a lot of obstacles. We are introducing the idea of equity in the Law because we cannot talk about equality without equity,” said Hon Mariam Dao-Gabala in the press statement.

The release has stated that among issues to be covered by the Model Law is the migratory movements of women. The Committee proffered that this has to be addressed at the continental level to ensure that migrant women enjoy all their rights and live with dignity in their destination country. The members of the Gender Committee undertook consultations to consolidate the contributions of the various stakeholders that will be the logical framework format for the Model Law.




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