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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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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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