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BOFEPUSU, Cuba, SACP reaffirm solidarity with UDC in 2019

Four years to the next cut-throat election season the Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions (BOFEPUSU) has reaffirmed solidarity with the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), guaranteeing to give it state power in the 2019 general elections.

BUFEPUSU administrative officer Samuel Molaodi said this at the Botswana National Front (BNF) 50th celebration gala dinner in Mahalapye over the weekend that BUFEPUSU desires for a united opposition and urges parties composing the opposition coalition to lead Batswana as they are worn out and dead beat of BDP misrule. The fire-breathing union leader said UDC is Batswana’s only way out: “you are their last hope and I can assure you that Batswana trust you.”

He reiterated a litigious claim that has upset rival trade union federation, Botswana Federation of Trade Unions (BFTU), of BOFEPUSU being a national trade union labour centre. He said that with BOFEPUSU’s position as a trade union labour centre and representing labour interests of a substantial fraction of the populace it has thus given them the ability to see what Batswana yearn and aspire for as BOFEPUSU collectively represents labour interests of approximately 100 000 members.  

He said the definitive aspiration of BOFEPUSU is to see the establishment tumble over in their lifetime and that Batswana need for the federation to continue to nurture and see through the coalition to political success as the initial conveners of opposition talks.

Molaodi continued saying nothing should split opposition coalition vowing BOFEPUSU will always be on hand for assistance. “We love you and we want to work with you to liberate Batswana because you are the only hope as an alternative government.” Molaodi rumbled, before appealing to UDC legislators to always watch the back of the labour federation and be its mouth-piece in parliament in cases where the ruling party majority toys with passing legislation that eat into the rights of the workers.

He also cautioned that those who depart from the mission will not depress their resolve and staying power and BOFEPUSU will continue with its dreaded enemies of progress ‘hit list’ that detailed names and the heads of politicians and senior administration figures that need to be taken out.

He continued warning that the 2019 elections will see big money being injected into the electoral process and being used against BUFEPUSU and the opposition coalition to thwart the drift of opposition take over. He claims that top opposition leaders are marked men and their lives have been profiled along with their faults and limitations and limitless schemes will be drawn in defer the revolution. Molaodi said that their members at the unions are dealing with such issues and inform them.

Molaodi also said BOFEPUSU will stick to the tried and tested 2011 resolution that was taken after the affliction endured resultant of its 2011 industrial action where the collective 100 000 members of the federation members were doled out the duty of politically converting families and associates into the opposition coalition fold.

He also hastened to warn that the relationship between BOFEPUSU and the opposition coalition is not a permanent one firing a warning shot saying; “after we deliver to you state power we will still be around rolling on our mandate, so don’t be stunned when we step on your feet the moment you impinge on the rights of the workers!”

BOFEPUSU Gender Affairs Officer and Manual Workers Union official Simon Kgaoganang also on the last day of marathon of celebrations restated that he has been dispatched by the federation’s president Johannes Tshukudu to deliver a message of support. The slogan chanting Kgaoganang said: “Our job is to open the door for you-you refused to seize state power in 2014 but this time around we will force it upon you.”He also said that BOFEPUSU sees potential in the UDC and on Election Day’s eve the ruling Botswana Democratic Party should not even be an opposition party but should collapse.

Cuban ambassador to Botswana Carlos Arencibia Corrales also said that the central committee of the Cuban Communist Party sends messages of solidarity and applaud the Botswana National Front as it reaches half a century of existence.

The South African Communist Party emissary and its political chairperson Mpho Motlhabane also urged opposition parties to consolidate their power and put collective interest before individuality saying the SACP will back the UDC parties’ day of night as it has always done working with it in house to house and general campaigns. He said all the 240 000 members of the SACP stand behind the UDC urging parties making up the coalition to take example of the tripartite alliance+1 involving the South African Communist Party, the African National Congress, Congress of South African Trade Unions plus SANCO’s way of doing things.

Motlhabane said the current Botswana government is usually the source of problems plaguing the SADC region as it has the tendency of leaning to western countries in times of a regional tumult.

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Local tennis team upbeat ahead of Billie Jean King cup

29th May 2023

With almost two weeks until the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup, which will be staged in Kenya from June 12-17, 2023, the Botswana Tennis Association (BTA) ladies’ team coach, Ernest Seleke, is optimistic about reaching greater heights.

Billie Jean King Cup, or the BJK Cup, is a premier international team competition in women’s tennis, launched as the Federation Cup to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the International Tennis Federation (ITF). The BJK Cup is the world’s largest annual women’s international team sports competition in terms of the number of nations that compete.

The finals will feature 12 teams (Botswana, Burundi, Ghana, Kenya, Seychelles, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Tunisia, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, and the Democratic Republic of Congo) competing in the four round-robin groups of three. The four group winners will qualify for the semifinals, and the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup will be crowned after the completion of the knockout phase.

Closer to home, the BW Tennis team is comprised of Thato Madikwe, Leungo Monnayoo, Chelsea Chakanyuka, and Kelebogile Monnayoo. However, according to Seleke, they have not assembled the team yet as some of the players are still engaged.

“At the moment, we are depending on the players and their respective coaches in terms of training. However, I will meet up with Botswana-based players in the coming week, while the United States of America (USA) based player Madikwe will probably meet us in Kenya. Furthermore, Ekua Youri and Naledi Raguin, who are based in Spain and France respectively, will not be joining us as they will be writing their examinations,” said Seleke.

Seleke further highlighted the significance of this competition and how competitive it is. “It is a massive platform for our players to showcase their talent in tennis, and it is very competitive as countries target to get promoted to the world categories where they get to face big nations such as Spain, France, USA, and Italy. Though we are going to this tournament as underdogs because it is our second time participating, I’m confident that the girls will put in a good showing and emerge with results despite the odds,” highlighted Seleke.

Quizzed about their debut performance at the BJK Cup, he said, “I think our performance was fair considering the fact that we were newbies. We came third in our group after losing to North Macedonia and South Africa. We went on to beat Uganda, then Kenya in the playoffs. Unfortunately, we couldn’t play Burundi due to heavy rainfall and settled for the position 9/10,” he said.

For her part, team representative Leungo Monnayoo said they are working hard as they aim to do well at the tourney. “The preparations for the tourney have long begun because we practice each and every day. We want to do well, hence we need to be motivated. Furthermore, I believe in my team as we have set ourselves a big target of coming home with the trophy,” she said.

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Pep Stores donates sanitary towels to Popagano JSS

26th May 2023

The Guidance and Counseling unit at Popagano Junior Secondary School received a donation of 790 sanitary towels from Pep stores on Thursday.

When presenting the donation, Mareledi Thebeng, the Dinokaneng Area Manager, highlighted their belief in giving back to the community, as their existence depends on the communities they serve. Thebeng pointed out that research indicates one in four girls miss school every day due to the lack of basic necessities like sanitary towels. Therefore, as a company, they strive to assist in alleviating this situation. She expressed hope that this donation would help ensure uninterrupted learning for girls.

Upon receiving the donation on behalf of the students, Charity Sambire, the President of the Student Representative Council, expressed her gratitude. Sambire specifically thanked Pep Store for their generous gift, speaking on behalf of the students, especially the girl child.

She conveyed their sincere appreciation for Pep Store’s compassion and quoted the adage, “Blessed is the hand that gives.” Sambire expressed the students’ hope for Pep Stores’ prosperity, enabling them to continue supporting the students. As a gesture of gratitude, the students pledged to excel academically.

During her speech, Motlalepula Madome, the Senior Teacher in Guidance and Counseling, highlighted that many students at the school come from disadvantaged backgrounds where parents struggle to provide basic necessities. Consequently, some students miss school when they experience menstruation due to this lack.
Madome emphasized the significance of the donation in preventing the girl child from missing lessons and its potential to improve the school’s overall results. She expressed the school’s gratitude and expressed a desire for continued support from Pep Stores.

Popagano Junior Secondary School, situated in the Okavango District, holds the second position academically in the North West region. Despite its location, the school has been dedicated to achieving excellence since 2017

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Botswana misses out critical PAP committee meeting

23rd May 2023

The Pan African Parliament (PAP) committee on gender, family, youth and people with disability in its sitting considered, adopted and recommended to the plenary session the preliminary report on the framework for the model law on gender equality.

According to the last week’s media release from PAP which is sitting with its various committees until June 2nd,  the committee is following up the PAP initiative to draw up a model law on gender equality to enable national governments to harmonize, modernize and standardize their legislations to address local needs is set to be discussed in Plenary.

However, what is concerning is the fact that Botswana which is a member state missed the deliberations. Kgosi Mosadi Seboko who sat in the committee representing Botswana has since been ejected by parliament and this is a huge blow for a nation that is still battling equity and gender balance.

“Although PAP has no legislative powers it makes model laws for member states to adopt. PAP also develops protocols to be ratified by countries. The input of countries at Committee state is extremely critical. It now means the voice of Botswana is missing the discussions leading up to development of protocols or model laws,” said one of Botswana’s representative at PAP Dr. Kesitegile Gobotswang who is attending the current session.

While Botswana is missing, the committee meeting took place on the sidelines of the Sixth PAP second ordinary Session being held under the African Union Theme of the Year for 2023, “The Year of AfCFTA: Accelerating the Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area” in Midrand, South Africa and will run up to 2 June 2023. Chairperson of the Committee, Hon Mariam Dao-Gabala expressed satisfaction with preliminary processes undertaken so far towards the formulation of the Model Law,” a release from the PAP website reads.

“The law should be suitable to all countries whatever the predominant culture or religion is. The aim is to give an opportunity to women to participate in the economic, political and social development of the continent. Women are not well positioned and face a lot of obstacles. We are introducing the idea of equity in the Law because we cannot talk about equality without equity,” said Hon Mariam Dao-Gabala in the press statement.

The release has stated that among issues to be covered by the Model Law is the migratory movements of women. The Committee proffered that this has to be addressed at the continental level to ensure that migrant women enjoy all their rights and live with dignity in their destination country. The members of the Gender Committee undertook consultations to consolidate the contributions of the various stakeholders that will be the logical framework format for the Model Law.




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