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Opposition may drag BDP to court

BDP MP Eric Molale with Phenyo Butale, Member of Parliament (MP) for Gaborone Central

Members of opposition in Parliament are likely to drag the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) leaders to the High Court over the nomination of Eric Molale as a Specially Elected Member of the National Assembly.

Members of opposition who voiced their rejection of Molale’s appointment this week insist that the nomination procedure that brought Molale back to Parliament reek of fraud and needs to be investigated further and ultimately settled through the other arm of government, that is, the judiciary.

“The process that brought Honourable Molale back to this house was fraudulent. The law says only MPs can nominate names of candidates…We are sitting here with an MP who was elected through a process that is not legal!” lamented Phenyo Butale, Member of Parliament (MP) for Gaborone Central.

Butale, of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) together with other opposition MPs tried in vain early this week to get the Speaker of Parliament to reveal the names of MPs who nominated Molale for appointment. Their suspicion is that Molale is President Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama’s choice and was imposed on the majority BDP MPs who were compelled to tow the line and vote for him so as to please their leader.  

However what the Opposition is likely to request the court to do, is to compel the Speaker to release the names of MPs who nominated candidates for the position of Special election post. The candidates included, Eric Molale and Botsalo Ntuane both of the BDP, Dumelang Saleshando of Botswana Congress Party and Shampoo Shadikong Matshediso of the UDC. More reasons why the opposition is holding the Speaker answerable in this matter is the fact that both former MPs, Ntuane and Saleshando who suffered a humiliating defeat during the ballot of the said position maintain that they never consented to the nomination.

“The President has the prerogative to choose anybody he wishes to become special elected member of the house, but the name has to be endorsed by elected MPs. However the lack of transparency during nomination of names is what is creating the current status quo. The whole process is questionable and open to abuse,” added Butale on the sidelines.

The constitution allows for four positions of specially elected MPs. Ideally the four representatives are to be chosen to close the gap of the marginalised groups such as people with disability, financially disadvantaged groups like women and youth, minority groups such  as under-represented tribes like Basarwa and others.

However, in most cases the President of the ruling Party is seemingly using the window to balance his party’s political interest and reward his favourite candidates who lost after elections.

Currently all the specially elected MPs, except Kenneth Matambo are made up of losers from the 2014 general elections. They include, the Minister of Minerals, Water and Energy Resources, Kitso Mokaila who lost the Goodhope-Mabule Constituency to James Mathokgwane of the UDC, Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Eric Molale who lost to Kgosi Lotlaamoreng II of UDC following a by election in the same constituency this year, and the Minister of Education, Dr Unity Dow who lost to Gilbert Mangole of UDC in Mochudi West.

The criterion used by the President to appoint the specially elected MPs has left the opposition frustrated and currently they want to contest Molale’s appointment as an effective way of protest as they do not have the numbers to over-rule the majority BDP MPs in Parliament.

For Molepolole North MP, Mohammed Khan, President Khama’s mistakes are due to ignorance and lack of foresight of the people who put him in power. “The President said he is not a Politician, then why put him in the highest office of the land! Take a mechanic, put him in hospital and make him a doctor! It is stupidity at its best.”

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BAD WEEK FOR MANCHESTER CITY

6th February 2023

After falling to close the gap on Arsenal by losing to a record breaking goal by Kane at the Tottenham stadium.Manchester City now find themselves being charged by the Premier League with more than 100 breaches of its financial rules following a four-year investigation.

According to BBC , it has referred the club to an independent commission over alleged rule breaches between 2009 and 2018 , and also that Man-city has not been co-operating since the investigation which started in 2018 .

BBC further states that The commission can impose punishment including a fine , points deduction and expelling the club from the Premier league.

The alleged breaches include ,  breaching rules for requiring full details of manager remuneration,from 2009-2010, to 2012-2013 seasons when Roberto Mancini was in charge . Also player remuneration between 2010-2011 and 2015-2016.

The Premier league stated that City breached rules related to UEFA regulations , including Financial Fair Play , from 2013-2014 to 2017-2018 ,as well as Premier League rules on profitability and sustainability from 2014-2016 to 2017-2018

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South Korean Embassy aids students living with disabilities

6th February 2023

South Korean Ambassador in South Africa has donated e-learning equipment through Botswana Red Cross Society (BRCS) to Tlamelong Rehabilitation Centre in Tlokweng recently, in a bid to fine tune the student’s textile skills.  

When talking at the handing over ceremony, Chull-Joo Park, said they agreed with BRCS to give out e-learning equipment to better the training skills of students living with disabilities.

“With the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment and job training skills, we will be able to help the students living with disabilities to do e-learning and to better their education and job training,” said Chull-Joo Park.

It was revealed that the South Korean Embassy approached BRCS with the intent to donate equipment and educational material that includes an embroidery machine, photo copier machine, tablets and interactive boards to be utilized by the trainees.

The industrial printer is a machine that works with embroidery machine to print designs for clothing and it will enable the learners to have more material available to them to facilitate learning.

Through this embroidery machine, students will be exposed to better technologies which ultimately improve the quality of materials they produce. It will also allow students to learn business skills and run profitable ventures.

Smart board gadgets will provide the students with an elevated learning process to be fostered by e-learning. The gadgets provide a more visual element to the learning process, which in turn improves learner mental retention.

Tlamelong Rehabilitation serves the marginalized and underserved less privileged persons living with disability in Botswana. The center offers boarding services, vocational training, social services, physiotherapy and rehabilitation services for young people living disabilities aged 18-35 from across the country over a period of two (2) years per cohort which has a maximum intake capacity of 35. BRCS through International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have managed to create great working synergy with the South Korean Embassy in Pretoria based in South Africa to support or augment the National Society’s Rehabilitation Centre’s learning challenges.

For his part, BRSC Secretary General Kutlwano Mokokomani said they are delighted to convey their gratitude as BRSC to the South Korean Embassy for donation and they look forward to an enduring partnership for such worthy causes.

“South Korean Embassy’s great gesture will enable trainees to thrive, to fulfil their dreams to become a reality as this equipments will go a long way in creating great impact in the lives of trainees and their families. We wish to convey our sincere gratitude to the South Korean Embassy for their noble gesture of donating the E-learning equipments.”

BRCS offers rehabilitation services spread across three (3) areas in Botswana being Sefhare Stimulation center in Sefhare, Tshimologo stimulation center in Francistown and Tlamelong rehabilitation center in Tlokweng.

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DIS alleges plot to kill Masisi hatched in South Africa

6th February 2023

A dispute is brewing between Botswana and South Africa intelligence agencies over alleged mercenary training camps discovered in South Africa by the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS). 

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