BDP MPs take over UDC, BCP held constituencies
The ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) through its Central Committee has recently resolved to take over opposition held constituencies across the country.
According to a highly placed BDP law maker, the party feels that the constituencies which were won by the opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) and Botswana Congress Party (BCP) have been neglected.
“As a party we will be taking care of those constituencies to make sure that they are not somehow neglected,” the BDP Member of Parliament (MP) pointed out.
WeekendPost has established that the responsibility entails visiting those constituencies, updating them on parliamentary business in terms of passed and proposed motions, and upcoming developments.
In the 2014 general elections, opposition Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) garnered in their bag 17 constituencies being Gabane-Mmakgodi, Gaborone Bonnington North, Gaborone Bonnington South, Gaborone Central, Gaborone North and Ghanzi North.
Other UDC won constituencies include Goodhope-Mabule, Jwaneng-Mabutsane, Kanye South, Mochudi East, Mochudi West, Mogoditshane, Molepolole South, Molepolole North and Tlokweng.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) attained only 3 constituencies namely Ramotswa, Okavango and SelibePhikwe West.
In the new development, it is understood that for example MP for Gantsi South Christiaan Degraaf will invade and take care of the constituents of Gantsi North as well – where UDC MP’s Noah Salakae is the incumbent.
He added that Muhammad Khan’s Molepolole North will be watched over by Letlhakane-Lephepe MP Liakat Kablay and Gaborone South MP Kagiso Molatlhegi will oversee some of Gaborone constituencies which are UDC infested.
Another BDP MP Ngaka Ngaka representing Letlhakeng/Takatokwane will take over Molepolole South which is currently under Tlamelo Mmatli of UDC. It was also agreed that Tati East law maker Guma Moyo would put a watchful eye on Same Bathobakae’s Tlokweng constituency.
The BDP immaculate source also said that they will use the BDP branch committees to invade the opposition held constituencies.
According to the ruling party MP, the Central Committee reached the decision because “opposition MP’s are difficult to work with as they don’t disseminate every useful information to the electorates as they fear putting BDP on the spotlight”.
BDP Chair for Publicity and International Relations sub-committee Fish Pabalinga confirmed the new development but clarified that the issue was meant for BDP members to easily liaise with each other along the party structures.
“For example if a constituency is not under the radar of BDP, then someone would be summoned to look after the constituents so that accurate information can be properly disseminated,” Pabalinga told this publication.
He emphasized that the move is purely for the benefit of the party so that there is efficiency for trickling of information from ordinary members of the party to BDP MP’s even in areas not in the hands of the party.
However UDC Publicity Secretary Moeti Mohwasa said he is not surprised with the gesture as he believes that with the ruling BDP everything is possible no matter how absurd.
“We are not surprised with the move because with the BDP everything is possible even to reverse the outcome of 2014 General Elections. You know they won with less that 50% so they will do anything really.”
The UDC spokesperson also went on to state that the party does not understand where the problem is, however, Mohwasa hinted that the main problem could be the BDP policies and their attitude towards the workers.
He said: “they are flawed that is why there is a high unemployment rate. They should therefore address the root cause of the problem and not the political stunt of discrediting opposition MP’s by saying they will take care of their constituents.”
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Local tennis team upbeat ahead of Billie Jean King cup
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.
Pep Stores donates sanitary towels to Popagano JSS
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
Botswana misses out critical PAP committee meeting
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.