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Rodent infested DPP office inhabitable – Auditor General

Directorate of Public Prosecution offices in Palapye have been found to be unbearable to work in due to unsanitary conditions. The Auditor General, Pulane Letebele has revealed that the DPP offices have been infested with rats which are not only excreting all over the place but are damaging law books and case files.

“Office stationery, law books and case files had been damaged by rats, resulting in files being placed on tables rather than in rats infested cabinets,” Letebele detailed in the Auditor General’s report which was released yesterday (Friday).

Letebele further revealed that at the said offices there are rats’ droppings, urine, fur on table tops, cabinets and chairs and pungent smell in almost all offices. Air conditioners at that office cannot be used as they blow out rats’ droppings and fur.

“The officers have since prematurely vacated the premises and were temporarily accommodated at the Palapye Police station, pending a move to their newly acquired office accommodation,” Letebele further stated.

The rats were not the only hazard in the said office as the “ceiling boards were missing which allowed dust, fur and fibre glass to spill on the floors, walls and on people in offices”.

The report further indicates that the Department of Building and Engineering Services had also carried out an inspection of the premises and noted the same defects, which they observed had impacted negatively on the comfort of the building.

One of the recommendations of the health inspectors was that all the employees who worked in those offices had to undergo a medical examination to ascertain whether their health had not been compromised by working in a contaminated environment. However Letebele was not aware whether any officers had followed up on the recommendations and the result thereof.

“From a health and productivity perspective, the state of this accommodation was manifestly unsuitable and environmentally unacceptable. In my view, all the circumstances of this unsatisfactory state of affairs was attributed to lack of maintenance by the landlord which was condoned by the sitting tenant over a period of time who failed to invoke the terms of lease agreement in this regard,” the Attorney General further stated.

The office was leased by the department of Lands and Housing for use by the DPP since 2009, renewable every two years. According to the report, the current and last lease was renewable effective from September 2013 ending in August 2015, although the renewal note was not signed until July, 2014.

In September 2014, in response to employee complaints, the Environmental Health Department at the Central District Council carried out an occupational health inspection of the premises and found out that the premises were in fact in a serious state of disrepair and of unhygienic standard, almost to the point of being uninhabitable. The inspection report had listed a number of concerns, including the male toilets being without doors, resulting in the facility being exposed to people in the passage among others.

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Khan: Boko, Masisi are fake politicians

18th January 2021
Masisi & Boko

While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.

Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.

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Ookeditse rejects lobby for BPF top post

18th January 2021

Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.

Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.

Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”

“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.

He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.

He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.

According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.

There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.

Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.

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BDP cancels MPs retreat

18th January 2021
President Masisi

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.

“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication.
The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.

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