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Guma, Moswaane rift blamed for BDP loss

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) legislator Ignatious Moswaane

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) legislators Guma Moyo and Ignatious Moswaane’s rift is suspected to have played a role in the ruling party’s loss in Phillip Matante bye-election.

Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) retained the ward following the party candidate, Uyapo Nyeku’s landslide victory over BDP candidate, Peter Nare.

Impeccable sources within BDP who spoke to this publication on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals blamed Guma and Moswaane for the loss of their party.

Moswaane and Guma are said to have been running parallel campaigns.

“Tensions between Guma and Moswaane divided the campaign team and there was animosity between the two camps,” the source revealed.

Furthermore it is said that the camps did not submit their reports as they were divided hence poor coordination of the campaign.

The rivalry between Moswaane and Guma is said to have started three years ago in another bye election that was held in Francistown following the death of Tshelang Masisi.

Sources told this publication that Guma had always wanted to send Moswaane into political wilderness hence he fought tooth and nail to sabotage him in the Francistown West bye election.

The source claimed that Guma sponsored all Whyte Marobela’s court cases. In 2013, Marobela, who had lost to Moswaane in the BDP primaries, took the party to court for not according him hearing after he protested the results. In the process, the court ruled that Moswaane be barred from being nominated as the BDP candidate in the bye election and that the party accord Marobela a hearing.

In an interview, Moswaane told this publication that he received a letter of suspension from the campaign manager, Samson Guma notifying him that he is barred from taking any part in the campaign. “I was suspended from the campaign for no apparent reason. Yes I differed with fellow members on campaign strategies but that did not warrant any suspension,” he disclosed.

The strategy suggested by Moswaane was to lure voters by ushering them with government programmes such as Youth Development Fund (YDF). He said that he had also proposed that voters who were not in Francistown be hunted and transported to the city for them to cast their votes.

The outspoken politician said that Guma was imposed on Francistown people as their campaign manager. He opined that the campaign manager was supposed to be selected amongst members of the Phillip Matante East ward and Francistown South constituency as they have vast knowledge about the constituency.

He said the campaign team dismissed his strategies and his political nemesis, Raoboy Mpuang accused him of trying to traffic voters from Francistown South to Francistown West. Moswaane and Mpuang are expected to battle it out in BDP primaries to be held in two years’ time.

Moswaane claims that Guma, Mpuang and Ford Moiteela who is the BDP Francistown regional chairman are conniving to oust him but reiterated that the trio will not manage as he has strong roots in the constituency. Moiteela and Moswaane are said to have exchanged heavy blows during the campaign.

Reached for comment, Guma told this publication that he is yet to submit a report on the bye election to the central committee. “Yes we have lost and I am busy compiling the report which I will submit to the party elders in due course and I am not going to share the contents of the report with the media,” he said briefly.

Guma declined to comment on his purported sour relation with Moswaane. Furthermore, he refused to share with this publication how much the party spent on the bye election.

BDP Secretary General Botsalo Ntuane said as it is always the case the party will conduct the postmortem in conjunction with all structures that were involved.

“We are still working on that, in the meantime democrats must resist the temptation to point fingers by engaging in a blame game,” he said.

“We are all disappointed and must ensure we close ranks and remain cohesive. We cannot prejudge anything before evaluation. We have to conduct things in an orderly manner and not arrive at premature conclusions.

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Transgender persons in Botswana live a miserable life

23rd November 2020
Transgender persons

An international report complied in South Africa dubbed ‘Legal Gender Recognition in Botswana’ says that the transgender and gender non-conforming people in Botswana live a miserable life. The community experiences higher levels of discrimination, violence and ill health.

In this report, it has been indicated that this is because their gender identity, which does not conform to narrowly define societal norms, renders them more vulnerable. Gender identity is a social determinant of health, which means that it is a factor that influences people’s health via their social context, their communities and their experiences of social exclusion. The Ministry of Health and Wellness has recognized this, and transgender people are considered a vulnerable population under the Botswana Second National Strategic Framework for HIV and AIDS 2010-2017.

In a recent study that shed light on the lived experiences of transgender and gender non-conforming people in Botswana, transgender persons often experience discrimination because of their gender identity and expression. The study was conducted by the University of Cape Town, LEGABIBO, BONELA, as well as Rainbow Identity Association and approved by the Health Ministry as well as the University of Botswana.

Of the 77 transgender and gender non-conforming people who participated in the study, less than half were employed. Two thirds, which is approximately 67% said that they did not have sufficient funds to cover their everyday needs. Two in five had hidden health concerns from their healthcare provider because they were afraid to disclose their gender identity.

More than half said that because of their gender identity, they had been treated disrespectfully at a healthcare facility (55%), almost half (46%) said they had been insulted at a healthcare facility, and one quarter (25%) had been denied healthcare because of their gender identity.

At the same time, the ‘Are we doing right’ study suggests that transgender and non-conforming people might be at higher risks of experiencing violence and mental ill-health, compared to the general population. More than half had experienced verbal embarrassment because of their gender identity, 48% had experienced physical violence and more than one third (38%) had experienced sexual violence.

The study showed that mental health concerns were high among transgender and gender non-conforming people in Botswana. Half of the transgender and gender non-conforming study participants (53%) showed signs of depression. Between one in four and one in six showed signs of moderate or severe anxiety (22% among transgender women, 24% among transgender men and 17% among gender non-conforming people).

Further, the study revealed that many had attempted suicide: one in three transgender women (32%), more than one in three transgender men (35%) and three in five gender non-conforming people (61%).

International research, as well as research from Botswana, suggests that not being able to change one’s gender marker has a negative impact on access to healthcare and mental health and wellbeing. The study further showed that one in four transgender people in Botswana (25%) had been denied access to healthcare. This is, at least in part, linked to not being able to change one’s gender marker in the identity documents, and thus not having an identity document that matches one’s gender identity and gender expression.

In its Assessment of Legal and Regulatory Framework for HIV, AIDS and Tuberculosis, the Health Ministry noted that “transgender persons in Botswana are unable to access identity documents that reflect their gender identity, which is a barrier to health services, including in the context of HIV. In one documented case, a transwoman’s identity card did not reflect her gender identity- her identity card photo indicated she was ‘male’. When she presented her identity card at a health facility, a health worker called the police who took her into custody.”

The necessity of a correct national identity document goes beyond healthcare. The High Court of Botswana explains that “the national identity document plays a pivotal role in every Motswana’s daily life, as it links him or her with any service they require from various institutions. Most activities in the country require every Motswana to produce their identity document, for identification purposes of receiving services.”

According to the Legal Gender Recognition in Botswana report, this effectively means that transgender, whose gender identity and expression is likely to be different from the sex assigned to them at birth and from what is recorded on their identity document, cannot access services without risk of denial or discrimination, or accusations of fraud.

In this context, gays and lesbians advocacy group LEGABIBO has called on government through the Department of Civil and National Registration to urgently implement the High Court rulings on gender marker changes. As stated by the High Court in the ND vs Attorney General of Botswana judgement, identity cards (Omang) play an important role in the life of every Motswana. Refusal and or delay to issue a Motswana with an Omang is denying them to live a complete and full-filing life with dignity and violates their privacy and freedom of expression.

The judgement clarified that persons can change their gender marker as per the National Registrations Act, so changing the gender marker is legally possible. There is no need for a court order. It further said the person’s gender is self-identified, there is no need to consult medical doctors.

LEGABIBO also called on government to develop regulations that specify administrative procedure to change one’s gender marker, and observing self-determination process. Further, the group looks out for government to ensure members of the transgender community are engaged in the development of regulations.

“We call on this Department of Civil and National Registration to ensure that the gender marker change under the National Registration Act is aligned to the Births and Deaths Registry Act to avoid court order.

Meanwhile, a gay man in Lobatse, Moabi Mokenke was recently viciously killed after being sexually violated in the streets of Peleng, shockingly by his neighbourhood folks. The youthful lad, likely to be 29-years old, met his fate on his way home, from the wearisome Di a Bowa taverns situated in the much populated township of Peleng Central.

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Khato Civils fights back, dares detractors

23rd November 2020
Khato-civil

CEO of Khato Civils Mongezi Mnyani has come out of the silence and is going all way guns blazing against the company’s adversaries who he said are hell-bent on tarnishing his company’s image and “hard-earned good name”

Speaking to WeekendPost from South Africa, Mnyani said it is now time for him to speak out or act against his detractors. Khato Civils has done several projects across Africa. Khato Civils, a construction company and its affiliate engineering company, South Zambezi have executed a number of world class projects in South Africa, Malawi and now recently here in Botswana.

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UDC petitioners turn to Saleshando

23rd November 2020
Dumelang Saleshando

About ten (10) Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) parliamentary candidates who lost the 2019 general election and petitioned results this week met with UDC Vice President, Dumelang Saleshando to discuss the way forward concerning the quandary that is the legal fees put before them by Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) lawyers.

For a while now, UDC petitioners who are facing the wrath of quizzical sheriffs have demanded audience with UDC National Executive Committee (NEC) but in vain. However after the long wait for a tete-a-tete with the UDC, the petitioners met with Saleshando accompanied by other NEC members including Dr. Kesitegile Gobotswang, Reverend Mpho Dibeela and Dennis Alexander.

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