The opposition cooperation talks had started and progressed at the speed of light, but all this could come to a halt as the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) refuses to cede the Vice Presidency to the Botswana Congress Party (BCP), who are currently in talks with the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) with the aim of defeating the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) as a single unit in 2019.
According to impeccable sources and reliable literature, the two parties, the BCP and the UDC, have agreed to contest the 2019 general election under the name UDC+ (UDC Plus). The constitution of the organisation has also been drafted with a litany of changes to the original UDC constitution which was ‘too cumbersome’ with a model of a body corporate rather a political party. This publication learns that only a few items of the constitution have been referred to the main negotiating team for finalisation after the lower group agreed to disagree.
However despite the gains made at the level 1 of the negotiations, things took a turn for the darkness recently when the Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) failed to pitch for a meeting that was scheduled to take place in Francistown. The meeting was taken to Francistown to accommodate the Botswana People’s Party (BPP) who had been making all trips to Gaborone.
The Francistown meeting proceeded without the BMD albeit after consulting them. It was at this meeting that it was discovered that the BPP representatives at this stream of the talks were actually a son and his father in law – but it was not an issue because they had the mandate from the party.
It was after the Francistown meeting that the BMD’s position on the issue of the Vice Presidency came out clear. Insiders in the talks say they are disturbed at the turn that the unity talks are taking because a single position should not derail a whole process that has a potential to change the country for the better.
The BMD’s attitude to the BCP does not start with the issue of the Vice Presidency, it has during the course of the negotiations had difficulty with the number of negotiating partners allocated to the BCP. When the talks were given the go ahead at Oasis Motel in Tlokweng, the understanding was that the streams will be constituted of the BCP and UDC representatives.
“This was deliberate and it was always known that there constituent members within the UDC, each of whom shall bring a representative to the table,” said a concerned Botswana National Front (BNF) veteran. The BPP and the BNF agree with the BCP that the talks are between the BCP and the UDC, but the BMD representatives are finding it difficult to accept that the BCP is contributing almost half of the negotiating partners to the table.
“The BMD is insisting on this thing that there are four parties at the negotiating table.” It is understood that the BMD fears that if the notion that there are only two parties at the negotiation table continues, the BCP could be entitled to half share of the positions within the UDC+ with other members of the conglomerate sharing the remaining positions.
Although it was explained that the half share applies only to the position of Vice Presidency, the BMD has not flexed on its position. Insiders say the UDC agreed with the BCP on the Vice Presidency because the latter had easily ceded the Presidency to the former. The idea of two Vice Presidents at the National level was then suggested by the UDC in appreciation of the sentiments shared by the BMD that it was not willing to give the BCP the Vice Presidency.
The matter could not be concluded then because the BMD was not present at the meeting, forcing the matter to be referred to the next level of the streams. The Level 2 stream met this Monday and there was no progress and insiders say there is a chance that things could stall for a while.
There were questions from the BMD side on the issue of constituency allocation and the matter of the half share, but the BCP was since given 17 constituencies, which is not half. However Weekend Post has learnt that at level 2 of the talks the BMD is also questioning the 17 constituencies awarded to the BCP.
The criterion was based on incumbency and second best in the last general election. “It is very likely that everything will be undone at level 2 of the negotiation streams even before it reaches the level of Presidency,” said a source. The Presidency had initially comprised of UDC president, Duma Boko and BCP president, Dumelang Saleshando, but the BMD came out in strong opposition again, demanding that there be four Presidents at that level. There are now four Presidents at that level – these include BMD and BPP presidents.
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.
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.
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.