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Malope II pours cold water on P400 million varsity

In what can only be described as a bizarre development, Bangwaketse Paramount Chief Kgosikgolo Malope Gaseitsiwe II has rejected a proposal to construct a technical university in Kanye.

The university proposal team comprises various tribesmen, academics and powerful business magnates as well as top politician who also helped craft the state-of-the-art technical university; whose construction plans are ready.

When completed the university will help bridge the skills gap and mismatch by offering students training in, among others, tannery (leather), food processing, woodwork, welding, mining and other artisan skills.

WeekendPost has unearthed information that a heated discussion is brewing ‘behind closed doors’ among key stakeholders – and at the core of conflict is the site for the multimillion Pula institution.

It is understood that on one hand the university proposal team is convinced that the place known as Kanye “showground” is central and in a prime area and in close proximity to available amenities like water and electricity.

But to the shock of the team, the traditional leadership is stoutly opposed to the building of the technical institution at the showground – despite the place having been a white elephant for almost 20 years as the once famed Kanye Show has literally been on its deathbed.

This publication has learnt that the university proposal team has already sourced funds to the tune of P400 million from the European Union (EU) for the project.

“The EU is ready, in the twinkling of an eye, to sponsor the project as early as at the crack of dawn of 2016.   

The team believed and still believes that the university should be built at the showground and gave many reasons, including its strategic location but Kgosi Malope stuck to his guns, insisting that the technical university should not temper with the showground, and he instead advised them to look elsewhere,” an insider who was present at the meeting with Kgosi Malope told this publication.

It is understood too that things came to a head when Malope literally threw out the proposal as he was adamant that the showground must be kept exclusively for Kanye Show while the team felt that the university could still be built within its boundaries at the same site.

The donors, who have partnered with the team under Public Private Partnership (PPP), regard Kanye as the ideal location for the university given the recent closure of the Rural Industries Innovation Centre (RIIC).

RIIC was said to benefit the new technical university students as they would have access to the equipment, which is currently lying idle at the organization’s premises.

Developer also believe that the village population will also grow as students and workers alike from other parts of the country will flock to Kanye in search of new life and opportunities at the establishment.

“The increased population will boost the economy of Kanye and subsequently of the country through an increased purchasing power and rental charges for property owners,” the source further pointed out.

When reached for comment, Kgosi Malope confirmed to Weekend Post the meeting he had with the proposed university committee although he was quick to point out that the matter was still internal.

“Where did you get this information? The matter should not have been shared with the media,” he said.

Cagey with the details he said: “Nothing really has been agreed on whether to construct the university at the showground or not. There is an ongoing consultation with the university team.”

However, sources indicate that the Bangwaketse supreme chief was non-committal on the issue and suggested that he should instead call the morafe to advise him on the matter.

“Personally he sounded having deep rooted reservations about taking the institution to the showground and rather preferred a different place.”

There are inherent and entrenched fears that the institution may encroach on village stadium which was supposed to be constructed at the same showground.

Although showground is ideal because it has abundant space it was sequentially elongated and later ceded to Mheelo, which is almost on the “outskirts” of Kanye.

This publication has gathered that failure to build the university at the showground site will be a setback as the institution proposal team believes it will be a special way of honouring Kgosi Malope II’s grandfather – the progressive Kgosi Kgolo Bathoen Gaseitsiwe II who believed in modern developments at the expense of tribal myths and rituals.

Kgosi Kgolo Bathoen is still held in high esteem by many for his practical philosophy of bringing countless developments to his people and therefore the team maintains that building the university in his domain will be a great way of paying homage to the fallen hero.

However, indications are that his grandson will need more convincing to release the showground for the proposed university.

This publication has been informed that the technical university will not only train students in skills but will also create employment opportunities for those who will build the institution and resultant support staff on the university campus.

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Free at last: Ian Kirby Speaks Out

6th December 2021
Justice Ian Kirby

The outgoing President of the Court of Appeal, Justice Ian Kirby, shares his thoughts with us as he leaves the Bench at the end of this year.

WeekendPost: Why did you move between the Attorney General and the Bench?

Ian Kirby: I was a member of the Attorney General’s Chambers three times- first in 1969 as Assistant State Counsel, then in 1990 as Deputy Attorney General (Civil), and finally in 2004 as Attorney General. I was invited in 2000 by the late Chief Justice Julian Nganunu to join the Bench. I was persuaded by former President Festus Mogae to be his Attorney General in 2004 as, he said, it was my duty to do so to serve the nation. I returned to the Judiciary as soon as I could – in May 2006, when there was a vacancy on the High Court Bench.

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Civil society could rescue Botswana’s flawed democracy’ 

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Botswana’s civil society is one of the non-state actors that could save the country’s democracy from sliding into regression, a Germany based think tank has revealed.  This is according to a discussion paper by researchers at the German Development Institute who analysed the effects of e-government usage on political attitudes In Botswana.

In the paper titled “E-government and democracy in Botswana: Observational and experimental evidence on the effects of e-government usage on political attitudes,” the researchers offer a strongly worded commentary on Botswana’s ‘flawed democracy.’  The authors noted that with Botswana’s Parliament structurally – and in practice – feeble, the potential for checks and balances on executive power rests with the judiciary.

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Bangwato at loggerheads over Moshupa trip

6th December 2021

Bangwato in Serowe — where Bamagwato Paramount Chief and former President Lt. Gen Ian Khama originates – disagree on whether they must send a delegation to dialogue with President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s family in Moshupa. Just last week, a meeting was called by the Regent of Bamagwato, Kgosi Sediegeng Kgamane, at Serowe Kgotla to, among others, update the tribe on the whereabouts of their Kgosi (Khama). 

Further, his state of health was also discussed, with Kgamane telling the attendees that all is well with Khama. The main reason for the meeting was to deliberate on the escalating tension between Khama and Masisi — a three-year bloodletting going unabated.

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