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Ngamiland farmers want FMD solution

Ngamiland farmers are tired of government’s empty promises towards finding a solution for Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in the area. Minister of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, Dr. Alfred Madigele heard last week in Maun at a stakeholders’ seminar for the FMD diagnostic tool kit research findings by Botswana Institute for Technology, Research and Innovation (BITRI) that farmers are dissatisfied with the government’s efforts towards the disease.

The farmers seized the moment to air their displeasure following the minister’s speech and the presentation on Findings on the Development of the FMD Diagnostic Tool Kit by Dr. Boitumelo Mudabuka, a researcher at BITRI. Madigele had told the farmers that the kit should be able to detect FMD in an animal within 25 minutes and immediately assist in monitoring the disease, but the farmers said they do not trust the government anymore.


“If successful this kit will significantly reduce the waiting period for results to come back from the laboratories far away from the cattle posts thereby saving our farmers the headache of anticipation,” Madigele said. One of the farmers, Sekeletu Sekeletu, questioned how the kit would be successful in eliminating the disease in Ngamiland because of the numbers of buffaloes, which are carriers of the disease, in the area. Sekeletu said that the number of buffaloes will continue to rise everyday as hunting in the area has been suspended although it used to help control the number of buffaloes.


Another farmer Kebitsang Ledimo questioned whether the current FMD vaccine is genuine as farmers in Ngamiland have long been vaccinating their cattle but the status of the disease has not changed for the better. “I am very happy and impressed by the pictures that your junior has just shown to us Minister, but I summon you to fund BITRI and after funding them you should not take their offices to Gaborone because there is no foot and mouth disease in Gaborone,” said Uahenga Ndjarakana another farmer.


When presenting a Foot and Mouth Disease Country update, the Deputy Director at Department of Veterinary Services, Dr. Letlhogile Oarabile said that Botswana and other SADC countries have joined forces to fight the disease. He said that the last FMD outbreak was recorded in September 2014 and ever since then, the department has worked tirelessly to make sure that they prevent another outbreak of the disease. Oarabile further stated that there is a high possibility of contracting the disease from neighbouring infected countries but they are always making sure that there is a barrier that will not allow the cattle to cross into Botswana.

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BDP decides Balopi’s fate

22nd November 2021
Balopi

The Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee (CC) meeting, chaired by President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi late last month, resolved that the party’s next Secretary-General (SG) should be a full-time employee based at Tsholetsa House and not active in politics.

The resolution by the CC, which Masisi proposed, is viewed as a ploy to deflate the incumbent, Mpho Balopi’s political ambitions and send him into political obscurity. The two have not been on good terms since the 2019 elections, and the fallout has been widening despite attempts to reconcile them. In essence, the BDP says that Balopi, who is currently a Member of Parliament, Minister of Employment, Labour Productivity and Skills Development, and a businessman, is overwhelmed by the role.

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BDF-Namibians shootings autopsy report revealed

22nd November 2021
BDF

The Botswana Defence Force (BDF)-Namibians fatal shooting tragedy Inquest has revealed through autopsy report that the BDF carried over 800 bullets for the mission, 32 of which were discharged towards the targets, and 19 of which hit the targets.

This would mean that 13 bullets missed the targets-in what would be a 60 percent precision rate for the BDF operation target shooting. The Autopsy report shows that Martin Nchindo was shot with five (4) bullets, Ernst Nchindo five (5) bullets, Tommy Nchindo five (5) bullets and Sinvula Munyeme five (5) bullets. From the seven (7) BDF soldiers that left the BDF camp in two boats, four (4) fired the shots that killed the Namibians.

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Gov’t confused over Moitoi’s UN job application

22nd November 2021
VENSON MOITOI

The former Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi’s decision to apply for the positions of United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) and their deputies (DSRSG), has left the government confused over whether to lend her support or not, WeekendPost has established.

Moitoi’s application follows the Secretary-General’s launch of the third edition of the Global Call for Heads and Deputy Heads of United Nations Field Missions, which aims to expand the pool of candidates for the positions of SRSG) and their deputies to advance gender parity and geographical diversity at the most senior leadership level in the field. These mission leadership positions are graded at the Under-Secretary-General and Assistant Secretary-General levels.

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