Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) President, Lt Gen Dr Ian Khama has embarked on a mission to restore the party’s attractiveness before he retires from the presidency in 2018.
Khama is worried that his once indomitable party will possibly lose office come 2019. The poor performance in the 2014 general elections and the subsequent by-elections losses have given Khama more reasons to worry about the party.
Since August 2015, according to party Secretary General, Botsalo Ntuane, the president has been engaged in a series of mobilisation activities across the country. The activities include meetings with the Central Committee, regional tours, branch visits and other team building functions.
“So far President Khama has chaired over 39 BDP activities in a period of ten months. On Sunday he was part of the Central Committee Retreat and yesterday he chaired Central Committee meeting,” he said.
Speaking during a press conference in Gaborone this week, Ntuane further said that Khama was expected yesterday (Friday) to have led a team building activity in Mahalapye for all BDP Councillors and MPs at which he expected all 41 MPs and 430 councillors of the BDP to be in attendance.
Khama is also expected to address the Gaborone Region today (Saturday), which will mark his 41st event since August last year.
“The BDP means business as evidenced by these activities and many others,” said Ntuane.
Khama took over the reins as party and state president in 2008 from Festus Mogae, with the BDP having garnered a 50.6 percent popular vote and 44 parliamentary seats in the 2004 general elections. Khama then led BDP to an increased 52.3 percent popular vote in the 2009 general elections, taking advantage of the disarray in opposition Botswana National Front (BNF). BDP also increased parliamentary seats to 45.
However, a few months after the general elections, BDP split, resulting in the formation of Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) in May 2010. The formation of BMD was subsequent to squabbles in the party central committee, which had resulted in then party Secretary General, the now late Gomolemo Motswaledi being suspended from the party and as party parliamentary candidate for Gaborone Central.
The split, coupled with the 2011 public servant Industrial strike and formation of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) saw Khama leading BDP to its worst electoral performance since independence, with the party garnering 46.7 percent of the popular vote in the 2014 general elections, and saw then combined opposition increasing its presence to an unprecedented 20 seats in parliament.
“President Khama is on a mission to revitalise and mobilise the party structures at all levels in every single constituency and ward in the country,” Ntuane later told Weekend Post.
“This is a marathon assignment and is set to go on. He is positioning the party well in advance to retain government in 2019.”
By the time BDP meets for the 2017 Elective Congress, it would have already met in two special congresses in between party ordinary congresses. Following the 2015 Mmadinare Congress, where a new central committee was elected, BDP convened a special congress which was held at Limkokwing University in Gaborone. It was at this special congress that President Khama announced the Economic Stimulus Programme (ESP).
The 2017 BDP Congress will be President Khama’s last as party leader, therefore he is hastening to use the time between now and then to fix BDP and position it, in a way to preserve his legacy.
This year, BDP will also converge for another special congress where particular attention will be on government business and necessarily intervention by the party. Party delegates will also be updated on the political and electoral reforms by the Public Education and Elections Committee (PEEC). The PEEC, chaired by party stalwart Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri was mandated with exploring the possibility of re-looking at political and electoral reforms by the Central Committee which was one of the resolutions of the Mmadinare Congress .
Some of the initiatives brought by Khama include appointing BDP MPs to look after constituencies which were won by opposition in the last general elections. The idea behind the initiative was to establish party presence in those constituencies so that BDP members and structures remain informed about parliamentary business.
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.