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BDP backbencher dismisses ESP

Outspoken Member of Parliament for Nata-Gweta Paulson Majaga has in a rare turn of events broke ranks with his colleagues and openly dismissed the Economic Stimulus Programme, as a remedy to the problems faced by the country.

Contributing to the National Budget presented by Minister of Finance and Development Planning Kenneth Matambo, Majaga said although they were told the ESP was intended for eradication of projects backlog, most projects planned in the previous National Development Plans (NDPs) are not part of ESP.

“Many people think ESP is meant to address all the problems that we are facing and that all projects that were not undertaken will be carried out,” he said.

“I looked at the projects planned under ESP and many projects that were left out in the previous plans from NDP 8 up to NDP 10 are still not part of ESP.”

Majaga said, with the projects which form part of the backlog still not going through, it essentially means ESP will not address the problems faced by his constituents.

Majaga denounced any chance of success for ESP as long as core problems faced by the people are addressed; further stating that it has only raised false hopes.

“People are expecting these developments to be undertaken under ESP, because I went there to inform them about the programme, and I have to come back to this house to represent them…I am here representing my constituents, they sent me here and I will speak without fear,” he said.

Majaga told Parliament that Sowa town is going through a difficult time and government is not coming to the rescue.

He said with a huge economic activity such as Sowa Mine and also tourism attraction such as Nata Sanctuary, the government has to seriously consider putting up appropriate infrastructure.

“Land is the biggest concern in the town. Even Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) is failing to build adequate accommodation for workers in that area. We still have offices operating under residential buildings,” he said.

The Nata-Gweta legislator went on to single out two cabinet ministers; Prince Maele and Kitso Mokaila of Land and Housing and Minerals, Energy and Water Resources respectively as worst performers.

Majaga has the duo’s ministries are failing to provide necessarily facilitation for people to acquire land and develop them.  

“My constituents said they are tired of Minister Prince Maele and his ministry because they cannot be given land for development,” he told Parliament.

“For the past 25 years, the ministry [Lands and Housing] has been making it difficult for people to acquire land. There are no industrial and residential developments yet we have a huge chunk of land available. ESP should be addressing these problems because we cannot continue to say there is no land.”

Majaga suggested that if anything, MPs should form a consortium and seek permission from ministry of lands and housing to develop plots for commercial and residential use.

“It is clear the government is failing, and we can be exemplary and show what we can do for the people,” he said.  

Majaga’s remarks vindicate reports which were rife last year that the distribution of ESP projects had caused a split between cabinet members and backbenchers.

This publication was informed that cabinet members had favoured themselves in allocation of projects at the expense of backbenchers and opposition parties.

ESP, which was officially launched in Machaneng last weekend, was first announced at the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Special Congress in October last year.

Government decided to tap a portion of the P88.1 billion reserves to stimulate the stagnating economy. It has been announced that, the project will stretch over a period of three years, with an expenditure of over P3 billion.

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Gov’t shy to shame failing ministers

22nd February 2021

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.

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Bokamoso, Gov’t in P10M womb removal suit

22nd February 2021

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.

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Masisi warned against a sinking Botswana

22nd February 2021
Ndaba GAolatlhe

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.

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