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Kgosi Tawana chastises Speaker

MAUN: The Member of Parliament for Maun West, Kgosi Tawana Moremi attacked the Speaker of the National Assembly, Gladys Kokorwe at a fully packed meeting at the Batawana main Kgotla on Monday, citing her unfairness in conducting parliament session.

Kokorwe is on country tour programme of taking parliament to the people. Kgosi Tawana says the way members of parliament are pointed to speak in parliament only favours those in the ruling party and it is planned to frustrate opposition members, and are made to look as they are not contributing in parliament.

He highlighted that ‘those’ other members of parliament can make it hard for another member to express their views at the parliament (particularly himself). Kgosi Tawana said those members have invented a back stabbing plan to make sure that their target does not get the chance to speak.

He revealed that as it is at parliament whoever wants to get a chance to speak has to catch Kokorwe’s attention by making gestures by jumping up and down to have a chance to deliberate on the matter put on the table.

“In our parliament if some members of the parliament do not want you to talk they will mark you and make sure they divert the entire Speaker’s attention to themselves and make sure you never get the chance to speak until the stipulated time runs out,” said Kgosi Tawana.

Tawana further said the parliament standing orders are outdated and need to be revised so that they can be fair to all Members of Parliament. He highlighted that if the Speaker of the house does not want you to speak there is nothing that you can do, even if the motion discussed affects your constituency, Tawana even dared Kokorwe to stand up and dispute what he was saying which the Speaker refused to do.

Kgosi Tawana disclosed that in the previous parliament sitting he suggested that each Member of Parliament should be given stipulated time for each of them to get a chance to express their views.

Tawana noted that parliament has become a meeting place where bills and motions are passed but there is nothing that ensures they are implemented He gave the example of the declarations of assets motion which he said was long passed by Parliament but has not been enacted “there is nothing that we say in parliament that is implemented, I suggested that we have a motion that forces implementers to implement all the motions that are passed, failure to do so they can be held accountable,” Tawana said.

He pointed out that a lot needs to be done in order for parliament of Botswana to grow and be effective, “most of the times we never form quorum, and parliament proceeding are affected, it is in this context that I fully agree with live broadcast of parliament proceedings on television as it might help in curbing this absence of Members of Parliament particularly cabinet ministers who never show up to answer our questions. This is contributes to people losing confidence in the Parliament of Botswana.”

The Speaker of the National Assembly, Gladys Kokorwe, in an interview with Weekend Post confirmed that live broadcast of parliament proceedings had been agreed by parliament. “It has been agreed, and am pretty certain it will be done soon, funds permitting, it is something that am looking forward to, it will definitely help me because the public will see how their representatives are behaving and will also expose those who skip parliament.”

Kgosi Tawana also called on the Speaker of the house to see to it that Members of Parliament’s offices in constituencies are fully budgeted for. He complained that the budget allocated to them is not enough to carry out their duties ending up using their own money “every time we are to hold meetings or carry out some programmes in the area I have to take out money from my pocket.”

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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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