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Dikgosi clash over Bogosi Act review

The Balopi Commission of 2000 and the Bogosi Act of 2008 caused an old-school tribal divide among members of Ntlo Ya Dikgosi this week as the tribal leaders affirmed their vote for a motion agitating for a review of the Bogosi Act of 2008.

In a stretched three day deliberation on a motion proposed by Kgosi Galeakanye Modise of Sefhare/Tswapong area, “requesting Government to make a holistic review of the Bogosi Act”, the tribesmen contended that it contains traces of tribal and stately subjugation, gulfs of disparity in statuses of the DiKgosi, fuels power struggles, is ambiguous and vague with potential to throw confusion into the institution among others concerns.

Dikgosi, Kgari Sechele of Bakwena and Sediegeng Kgamane of Bangwato both from the so called main tribes, were the prime antagonists to the motion.

Kgosi Kgari of the Bakwena described the current Bogosi Act as, “straight forward and consistent with the laws of the country.”

On the other end, Kgosi Kgamane of the Bamangwato rose in fierce opposition to the motion calling for a review of the Act and its sections. During the debate members called for equating of ranks and eminences of the members of the house.

During his interventions Kgosi Kgamane chided Kgosi Maruje of Masunga declaring that the latter’s presentation deduced from the Balopi Commission is a divisive attack laced with hatred and hints of tribalism. Kgosi Maruje stood his ground indicating that he only referenced on the Balopi Commission. He said, “these are results of a Presidential Commission and I can’t stoop to that level and absolve myself from that (argument).”

The Dikgosi said that the constitution and the Bogosi Act show that other chiefs of the so called minority tribes in the North East, Gantsi, Kgalagadi, and Chobe, whose tribes were initially believed had no paramount chiefs are addressed as Dikgosana and having a 3 level hierarchy which translates in their positions being equivalent to lesser positions and status in the chieftaincy structure in comparison with the so called main tribes.

This in turn would mean that other tribal territories such as the Bamangwato regions have three more superior multi level leadership positions above other regions, being the Paramount Chief, Deputy Chief, and Senior Sub Tribal Authority.

Furthermore, Kgamane also opposed the call to end the Bogosana description saying that it is a designation that the current DiKgosi and their fore bearers found in the institution. The emotive and combative Kgamane reasoned that such a designation meant the position of Bogosana meant the occupation and not the individual.

Kgamane, who virtually engaged in a tit-for-tat war of words with Kgosi Maruje Masunga advocated for the Bamangwato to be “left alone with their traditional Chieftainship organisation” to which other members of the house cried foul saying it undermined the seemingly lawful chieftainship organisation of other tribes. Kgamane responded in agitation that, “it is our culture and I ask that our tradition be left as it is, in peace.”

Kgosi Modise outlined 14 sections of the constitution which he said were strikingly ambiguous and vague. Modise outlined section 25(1) that states that, ‘subject to provisions of Subsection (2), a person shall be guilty of an offence if he or she commits any act with intent to undermine the lawful power and authority of a Kgosi.’ Modise said his contention is that the word ‘undermine’ as used in the section is not defined in the definitions section of the Act thus making the extent of the parameters of its application vague.

The Dikgosi also argued that the Bogosi Act confers too many laws on the Minister. Kgosi David Toto of Kgalagadi South backed the motion mover in his displeasure with section 21(1) which says ‘a Kgosi may after consultation with the people of the area and with approval of the minister appoint a person as his or her Moemela Kgosi in respect of any area of his or her tribal territory or tribal area and may in a like manner terminate the appointment.

The members of the Ntlo ya Dikgosi said the current Bogosi Act of 2008 has not fully fixed the anomalies of the scrapped Chieftainship Act of 1987 that perpetuated oppression and tribal inequality. A majority of members of the Ntlo ya Dikgosi said that while changes have been made, vestiges of the old system are still alive and well because only in paper the titles of the DiKgosi have been equated while they are still addressed the old way. It has also emerged that the so called Dikgosi of the main tribes are bought expensive personal Special Utility Vehicles (SUV’s), appointed personal secretaries and paid salaries not at par with other chiefs.

Assistant Minister of Local Government Frans Van Der Westhuizen concurred with the vote of the Ntlo ya Dikgosi that the 7 year old Act “needs to be reviewed to consider amendments are necessary.”

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Gov’t shy to shame failing ministers

22nd February 2021

Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng together with Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Elias Magosi, this week refused to name and shame the worst performing Ministries and to disclose the best performing Ministries since beginning of 12th parliament including the main reasons for underperformance.

Of late there have been a litany of complaints from both ends of the aisle with cabinet members accused of providing parliament with unsatisfactory responses to the questions posed. In fact for some Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) backbenchers a meeting with the ministers and party leadership is overdue to address their complaints. Jwaneng-Mabutsane MP, Mephato Reatile is also not happy with ministers’ performance.

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Bokamoso, Gov’t in P10M womb removal suit

22nd February 2021

Bokamoso Private Hospital is battling a P10 million legal suit for a botched fibroids operation which resulted in a woman losing an entire womb and her prospects of bearing children left at zero.

The same suit has also befallen the Attorney General of Botswana who is representing the Ministry of Health and Wellness for their contributory negligence of having the unlawful removal of a patient, Goitsemang Magetse’s womb.

According to the court papers, Magetse says that sometimes in November 2019, she was diagnosed with fibroids at Marina Hospital where upon she was referred to Bokamoso Private Hospital to schedule an appointment for an operation to remove the fibroids, which she did.

Magetse continues that at the instance of one Dr Li Wang, the surgeon who performed the operation, and unknown to her, an operation to remove her whole womb was conducted instead.
According to Magetse, it was only through a Marina Hospital regular check-up that she got to learn that her whole womb has been removed.

“At the while she was under the belief that only her fibroids have been removed. By doing so, the hospital has subjected itself to some serious delictual liability in that it performed a serious and life changing operation on patient who was under the belief that she was doing a completely different operation altogether. It thus came as a shock when our client learnt that her womb had been removed, without her consent,” said Magetse’s legal representatives, Kanjabanga and Associates in their summons.

The letter further says, “this is an infringement of our client‘s rights and this infringement has dire consequences on her to the extent that she can never bear children again”. ‘It is our instruction therefore, to claim as we hereby do, damages in the sum of BWP 10,000,000 (ten million Pula) for unlawful removal of client’s womb,” reads Kanjabanga Attorneys’ papers. The defendants are yet to respond to the plaintiff’s papers.

What are fibroids?

Fibroids are tumors made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. They develop in the uterus. It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of women will develop fibroids in their lifetime — however, not everyone will develop symptoms or require treatment.

The most important characteristic of fibroids is that they’re almost always benign, or noncancerous. That said, some fibroids begin as cancer — but benign fibroids can’t become cancer. Cancerous fibroids are very rare. Because of this fact, it’s reasonable for women without symptoms to opt for observation rather than treatment.

Studies show that fibroids grow at different rates, even when a woman has more than one. They can range from the size of a pea to (occasionally) the size of a watermelon. Even if fibroids grow that large, we offer timely and effective treatment to provide relief.

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Masisi warned against a sinking Botswana

22nd February 2021
Ndaba GAolatlhe

The Alliance for Progressives (AP) President Ndaba Gaolathe has said that despite major accolades that Botswana continues to receive internationally with regard to the state of economy, the prospects for the future are imperilled.

Delivering his party Annual Policy Statement on Thursday, Gaolathe indicated that Botswana is in a state of do or die, and that the country’s economy is on a sick bed. With a major concern for poverty, Gaolathe pointed out that almost half of Botswana’s people are ravaged by or are about to sink into poverty.  “Our young people have lost the fire to dream about what they could become,” he said.

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