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Gaborone North big shots in 1.5 million Pula water dispute

Lawyer Uyapo Ndadi represented the applicants (Trust)

The High Court has settled a matter in which Gaborone North residents were embroiled in a dispute involving a community water stand pipe which has so far raised money spanning in more than P1.5 million. The community relies heavily on the supply of water from the said standpipe, as there is no domestic water connection or reticulation by Water Utilities Cooperation (WUC).

It is understood that the millions raised through the standpipe proceeds created problems for the Gaborone North residents as it fuelled ‘divisions’ in the Moshawa Community Development Trust Executive Committee which was established to represent the Gaborone North dwellers.

WeekendPost has established that before the matter was brought to court, residents would go without water because of warring factions in the Executive Committee.

The case has pitted public figures in opposing camps including law maker for Gaborone North Haskins Nkaigwa, former cabinet minister Tebelelo Seretse, Botswana Police Service spokesperson Christopher Mbulawa, Village Chief Magistrate Linah Mokibe-Oahile and other Attorneys living in the area.

According to the court papers, applicants are Gaborone North/ Moshwana Development Trust while former Executive members Linet Habana, Siphiwe Mathendele, Khotso Lebatha and Barclays Bank of Botswana are cited as 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th respondents. Nkaigwa and Mbulawa are with the applicants (Trust) while Seretse and Mokibe (trustee) are with respondents.

It is understood that at the centre of the dispute is the ownership and management of a water standpipe that provides portable water to the Gaborone North and Moshawa community. Emanating from the overarching issues, it was said that, is the operation of a Barclays Bank Motshelo account number 1049942(30) held under G/North Moshawa Community Development Committee, where the proceeds derived from the sale of portable water from the said standpipe are kept.

When delivering judgement on 3 March, Justice Michael Leburu indicated that it is undisputed that the standpipe in question was given to Moshawa Committee by Water Utilities Corporation. The said committee, he added was transformed into a Trust, which is the successor in the title to the said standpipe. “In the final analysis, the standpipe belongs to the Trust,” he declared.

He also explained that the committee which registered the account opened and operated the Motshelo Account and that Habana and Mathendele are signatories to the Motshelo account. However the Judge pointed out that “after the registration of the Trust the trustees resolved that both Habana (treasurer) and Mathendele (secretary) respectively, be removed from holding such posts, which also meant that they were no longer signatories to the Motshelo account.

Justice Leburu highlighted that the said respondents oppose their removal as signatories and posited that the account belongs to the Water committee and not the Trust.

However, in conclusion Leburu ordered that both the treasurer and Secretary be interdicted and restraint from acting as bank signatories to the account. Consequently, “Barclays Bank shall effect the decision to stop Habana (1st) and Mathendele (2nd) respondents from transacting in the account referred to.”

It was further ordered that Barclays Bank shall migrate GNorth Trust account number 1049942(30) to a newly opened account in the name of the Trust (applicant), namely account number 1472121(03) together with all the funds in the said account.

The Judge emphasized that the Trust, as the owner of the standpipe and holder of Motshelo account, in his view, is entitled to migrate the old Motshelo account to a new account. “The 1st, 2nd, 3rd respondents are hereby interdicted from instructing or causing persons who purchase water from the standpipe run by the applicant to pay through the account described,” Justice Leburu stated.

Uyapo Ndadi represented the applicants (Trust) while Mr A.P Williams sat in for respondents (Habana, Mathendele, Lebatha, Barclays Bank of Botswana).

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People with Disabilities Face Barriers to Political Participation in Botswana

23rd February 2024

Individuals challenged by disabilities encounter formidable obstacles when endeavoring to partake in political processes within the context of Botswana. Political involvement, a cornerstone of democratic governance, empowers citizens to shape the legislative landscape that impacts their daily existence. Despite Botswana’s reputation for upholding democratic ideals, recent insights unveil a troubling reality – those with disabilities find themselves marginalized in the realm of politics, contending with substantial barriers obstructing the exercise of their democratic liberties.

A recent inquiry in Botswana unveiled a panorama where individuals with disabilities confront hurdles in navigating the political arena, their involvement often restricted to the basic act of voting. Voices emerged from the study, underscoring the critical necessity of fostering environments that are accessible and welcoming, affording individuals with disabilities the active engagement they rightfully deserve in political processes. Noteworthy was the account of a participant grappling with physical impairments, shedding light on the glaring absence of ramps at polling stations and the urgent call for enhanced support mechanisms to ensure an equitable electoral participation.

The echoes reverberating from these narratives serve as poignant reminders of the entrenched obstacles impeding the full integration of individuals with disabilities into the democratic tapestry. The inaccessibility of polling stations and the glaring absence of provisions tailored to the needs of persons with disabilities loom large as formidable barricades to their political engagement. Particularly pronounced is the plight of those grappling with severe impairments and intellectual challenges, who face even steeper hurdles in seizing political participation opportunities, often grappling with feelings of isolation and exclusion from the political discourse.

Calls for decisive action cascade forth, urging the establishment of more inclusive and accessible political ecosystems that embrace individuals with disabilities in Botswana. Government bodies and concerned stakeholders are urged to prioritize the enactment of laws and policies designed to safeguard the political rights of individuals with disabilities. Furthermore, initiatives geared towards enhancing awareness and education on political processes and rights for this segment of society must be spearheaded, alongside the adoption of inclusive measures within political institutions and party structures.

By dismantling these barriers and nurturing a political landscape that is truly inclusive, Botswana can earnestly uphold its democratic ethos and afford every citizen, including those with disabilities, a substantive opportunity to partake in the political fabric of the nation.

 

 

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Neo Kirchway- Defying the odds

23rd February 2024

In the heartwarming tale of Neo Kirchway, a beacon of inspiration emerges, shining brightly amid life’s adversities.

Defying the constraints of destiny, Neo Kirchway, a resilient Motswana soul now thriving in the United States, stands tall despite the absence of her lower limbs. With unwavering determination, she tends to her cherished family – a loving husband and four children – engaging in the daily symphony of household tasks with remarkable grace.

Neo’s indomitable spirit traces back to the fateful year of 1994, a time when medical intervention called for the amputation of her curled legs. Embracing this pivotal juncture with unwavering courage and the blessing of her mother, she ventured forth into a world adorned with prosthetic legs, eager to script a tale of triumph.

Venturing beyond borders, Neo’s journey led her to the embrace of the United States, where serendipity intertwined her fate with that of her soulmate, Garrett Kirchway. Together, this harmonious duo navigates the ebbs and flows of life, their bond fortified by unwavering love and unyielding support.

In a bid to illuminate paths and embolden hearts, Neo leverages the digital realm, crafting a sanctuary of empowerment on her YouTube channel. Brimming with authenticity and raw emotion, her videos chronicle the tapestry of her daily life, serving as a testament to resilience and the unwavering human spirit.

Amidst the digital cosmos, Neo, affectionately known as “KirchBaby,” reigns supreme, a luminary in the hearts of 658,000 enraptured subscribers. Through her captivating content, she not only navigates the mundane tasks of cooking, cleaning, and childcare but also dances with celestial grace, a testament to her boundless spirit and unyielding zest for life.

In the cathedral of Neo Kirchway’s narrative, resilience reigns supreme, echoing a universal truth – that amidst life’s gales, the human spirit, when kindled by hope and fortitude, emerges as a beacon of light, illuminating even the darkest of paths.

 

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Inequalities Faced by Individuals with Disabilities

22nd February 2024

The government’s efforts to integrate individuals with disabilities in Botswana society are being hampered by budgetary constraints. Those with disabilities face inequalities in budgetary allocations in the health and education sectors. For instance, it is reported that the government allocates higher budgetary funds to the general health sector, while marginal allocations are proposed for the development and implementation of the National Primary Health Care guidelines and Standards for those with Disabilities. This shows that in terms of budgetary solutions, the government’s proposed initiatives in improving the health and well-being of those with disabilities remain futile as there is not enough money going towards disability-specific health programs. On the other hand, limited budgetary allocations to the Special Education Unit also are a primary contributor to the inequalities faced by children with disabilities. The government only provides for the employment of 15 teachers with qualifications in special education despite the large numbers of children with intellectual disabilities that are in need of special education throughout Botswana. Such disproportional allocation of resources inhibits the capacity to provide affordable and accessible assisted technology and residential support services for those with disabilities. Given the fact that a different amount of resources have been availed to the education and health sectors, the general understanding is that the government is not doing enough to ensure that adequate resources are distributed to disability-specific programs and facilities such as barrier-free environments, residential homes, and special education schools for children with disabilities.

 

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