Masisi says Batswana will propose changes when they want them
Vice President, Mokgweetsi Masisi has said the continual criticism of the current administration, led by President Lt Gen Ian Khama by former presidents is unfair and sometimes uninformed.
The Vice President directed most of his fury at former President Dr Festus Mogae, who he accused of playing to the gallery only after leaving office. Mogae, a well-respected voice on the African continent has used several platforms to bash the Khama administration, directly or indirectly.
As things stand, Masisi is the heir apparent to the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) throne and many observers are of the view that he wants to start coming onto the stage, especially after a Mmadinare congress gave him a boost with a chairmanship triumph over fierce rivals.
Speaking during a press briefing this week, Masisi said though they welcome criticism, it is also worth noting that some of the remarks made by the former heads of state are opportunistic. Masisi took a jab at Mogae for criticising countries which are anti-gay among them Botswana, which is yet to legalise homosexuality.
Masisi expressed disappointment that Mogae has the audacity to suggest adoption of such laws and policies while he did not do so during his presidency. The Vice President who doubles up as chairman of the ruling party said the fact that Mogae came out publicly to state that he could not legalise homosexuality during his presidency because he feared losing elections means that the subject remain unpopular among Batswana.
“We also do not want to lose elections. We are a democratic country. We cannot legalise something which we know people do not want,” emphasised Masisi.
Masisi, who is also the Moshupa-Mmanyana legislator said even opposition parties have not come out publicly to state whether they support homosexuality or not because the subject remains sensitive. The Vice President said it is therefore unfair for the former president to expect his immediate successor to adopt a law which he himself could not adopt.
In a rare turn of events, Masisi showered praises on Zimbabwean president, Robert Mugabe’s stance on homosexuality. Mugabe recently told a United Nations gathering that “Africans are not gays.”
The Vice President also mentioned countries like Kenya and Uguanda who had said no to homosexuality. Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta reportedly told United States President in his recent visit to the country that homosexuality in a ‘non-issue’ in his nation.
Former president Mogae recently told the UN gathering that African countries should start viewing homosexuality issues as human right and therefore being an entitlement to those who are homosexuals.
“The smallest, most vulnerable, most disenfranchised, most excluded, most discriminated sectors of the population should remain highest in a leader’s priority and must be protected,” he said.
“Same sex sexual activity, the most basic right, is now legal in 25 countries in Africa. For the rest of our countries it is punishable by imprisonment of differing periods up to life and going as far as the death penalty,” Mogae had said.
Masisi also slays Masire
Masisi also responded to former president Sir Ketumile Masire’s criticism that governance standards in Africa are going down. Masire who is a board member of the Mo Ibrahim Foundation said bad governance and corruption do not only undermine service delivery, but also impose heavy costs on the economy.
Masisi said although they welcome criticism and are always looking for improvements, the ex-president is possibly being misinformed. He said Masire might not be familiar with modern day service delivery methods as compared to what the former president is accustomed to.
Masisi stated that the Botswana government has introduced major changes in the offering of services to citizens, most of them which are totally different to what government used to do in the past.
“The way in which government offers service delivery also constitutes governance,” said Masisi.
“The old may not be used to the methods which government is using today but the Botswana government is doing its utmost best to deliver services to the people in an efficient manner.”
Mogae also made similar remarks last year on the state of governance in Botswana. Speaking at African Leadership Forum in Tanzania, Mogae stated that Botswana was regressing because of lack of respect of rule of law and deportation of foreign nationals.
The 2015 Mo Ibrahim Index registers that Botswana has since 2011 shown an overall governance deterioration of -1.8 points. The report states that Botswana is among the top ten biggest fallers during this period in Africa. According to the report, the weakening in performance is driven by deterioration in some of the pillars including, safety and rule of law, Participation and human rights, as well as Sustainable Economic Opportunity.
Former President Mogae is a recipient of the Mo Ibrahim Award, while former President Masire is a Board member.
19 Bokamoso Private Hospital nurses graduate at Lenmed Nursing College
The graduation of 19 nurses from Bokamoso Private Hospital at Lenmed Nursing College marks a significant milestone in their careers. These nurses have successfully completed various short learning programs, including Adult Intensive Care Unit, Emergency Nursing Care, Anaesthetic & Recovery Room Nursing, Anaesthetic Nursing, and Recovery Room Nursing. The ceremony, held in Gaborone, was a testament to their hard work and dedication.
Lenmed Nursing College, a renowned healthcare group with a presence in South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, and Ghana, has been instrumental in providing quality education and training to healthcare professionals. The Group Head of Operations, Jayesh Parshotam, emphasized the importance of upskilling nurses, who are at the forefront of healthcare systems. He also expressed his appreciation for the partnerships with Bokamoso Private Hospital, the Ministry of Health, and various health training institutes in Botswana.
Dr. Morrison Sinvula, a consultant from the Ministry of Health, commended Lenmed Health and Lenmed Nursing College for their commitment to the education and training of these exceptional nurses. He acknowledged their guidance, mentorship, and support in shaping the nurses’ careers and ensuring their success. Dr. Sinvula also reminded the graduates that education does not end here, as the field of healthcare is constantly evolving. He encouraged them to remain committed to lifelong learning and professional development, embracing new technologies and staying updated with the latest medical advancements.
Dr. Gontle Moleele, the Superintendent of Bokamoso Private Hospital, expressed her excitement and pride in the graduating class of 2023. She acknowledged the sacrifices made by these individuals, who have families and responsibilities, to ensure their graduation. Dr. Moleele also thanked Lenmed Nursing College for providing this opportunity to the hospital’s nurses, as it will contribute to the growth of the hospital.
The certificate recipients from Bokamoso Private Hospital were recognized for their outstanding achievements in their respective programs. Those who received the Cum Laude distinction in the Adult Intensive Care Unit program were Elton Keatlholwetse, Lebogang Kgokgonyane, Galaletsang Melamu, Pinkie Mokgosi, Ofentse Seboletswe, Gorata Basupi, Bareng Mosala, and Justice Senyarelo. In the Emergency Nursing Care program, Atlanang Moilwa, Bakwena Moilwa, Nathan Nhiwathiwa, Mogakolodi Lesarwe, Modisaotsile Thomas, and Lorato Matenje received the Cum Laude distinction. Kelebogile Dubula and Gaolatlhe Sentshwaraganye achieved Cum Laude in the Anaesthetic & Recovery Room Nursing program, while Keletso Basele excelled in the Anaesthetic Nursing program. Mompoloki Mokwaledi received recognition for completing the Recovery Room Nursing program.
In conclusion, the graduation of these 19 nurses from Bokamoso Private Hospital at Lenmed Nursing College is a testament to their dedication and commitment to their profession. They have successfully completed various short learning programs, equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their respective fields. The collaboration between Lenmed Nursing College, Bokamoso Private Hospital, and the Ministry of Health has played a crucial role in their success. As they embark on their careers, these nurses are encouraged to continue their professional development and embrace new advancements in healthcare.
BNF secures 15 constituencies in UDC coalition, wants more
The Botswana National Front (BNF) has recently announced that they have already secured 15 constituencies in the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) coalition, despite ongoing negotiations. This revelation comes as the BNF expresses its dissatisfaction with the current government and its leadership.
The UDC, which is comprised of the BNF, Botswana Peoples Party (BPP), Alliance for Progressives (AP), and Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF), is preparing for the upcoming General Elections. However, the negotiations to allocate constituencies among the involved parties are still underway. Despite this, the BNF Chairman, Patrick Molotsi, confidently stated that they have already acquired 15 constituencies and are expecting to add more to their tally.
Molotsi’s statement reflects the BNF’s long-standing presence in many constituencies across Botswana. With a strong foothold in these areas, it is only natural for the BNF to seek an increase in the number of constituencies they represent. This move not only strengthens their position within the UDC coalition but also demonstrates their commitment to serving the interests of the people.
In a press conference, BNF Secretary General, Ketlhafile Motshegwa, expressed his discontent with the current government leadership. He criticized the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) for what he perceives as a disregard for the well-being of the Batswana people. Motshegwa highlighted issues such as high unemployment rates and shortages of essential medicines as evidence of the government’s failure to address the needs of its citizens.
The BNF’s dissatisfaction with the current government is a reflection of the growing discontent among the population. The Batswana people are increasingly frustrated with the lack of progress and the failure to address pressing issues. The BNF’s assertion that the government is playing with the lives of its citizens resonates with many who feel neglected and unheard.
The BNF’s acquisition of 15 constituencies, even before the negotiations have concluded, is a testament to their popularity and support among the people. It is a clear indication that the Batswana people are ready for change and are looking to the BNF to provide the leadership they desire.
As the negotiations continue, it is crucial for all parties involved to prioritize the interests of the people. The allocation of constituencies should be done in a fair and transparent manner, ensuring that the voices of all citizens are represented. The BNF’s success in securing constituencies should serve as a reminder to the other parties of the need to listen to the concerns and aspirations of the people they aim to represent.
In conclusion, the BNF’s acquisition of 15 constituencies, despite ongoing negotiations, highlights their strong presence and support among the Batswana people. Their dissatisfaction with the current government leadership reflects the growing discontent in the country. As the UDC coalition prepares for the upcoming General Elections, it is crucial for all parties to prioritize the needs and aspirations of the people. The BNF’s success should serve as a reminder of the importance of listening to the voices of the citizens and working towards a better future for Botswana.
Children’s summit to discuss funding of NGOS
One of the key issues that will be discussed by the Childrens’ Summit, which will be hosted by Childline Botswana Trust on 28th – 30th November in Gaborone, will be the topical issue of financing and strengthening of civil society organizations.
A statement from Childline Botswana indicates that the summit will adopt a road map for resourcing the children’s agenda by funding organizations. It will also cover issues relating to child welfare and protection; aimed at mobilizing governments to further strengthen Child Helplines; as well as sharing of emerging technologies to enhance the protection of Children and promotion of their rights.
According to Gaone Chepete, Communications Officer at Childline Botswana, the overall objective of the summit is to provide a platform for dialogue and engagement towards promoting practices and policies that fulfil children’s rights and welfare.
“Child Helplines in the region meet on a bi-annual basis to reflect on the state of children; evaluate their contribution and share experiences and best practice in the provision of services for children,” said Chepete.
The financing of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) by the state or its functionaries has generated mixed reactions from within the civil society space, with many arguing that it threatened NGOs activism and operational independence.
In February 2019, University of Botswana academic Kenneth Dipholo released a paper titled “State philanthropy: The demise of charitable organizations in Botswana,” in which he faulted then President Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama for using charity for political convenience and annexing the operational space of NGOs.
“Civil society is the domain in which individuals can exercise their rights as citizens and set limits to the power of the state. The state should be developing capable voluntary organizations rather than emaciating or colonizing them by usurping their space,” argued Dipholo.
He further argued that direct involvement of the state or state president in charity breeds unhealthy competition between the state itself and other organizations involved in charity. Under these circumstances, he added, the state will use charity work to remain relevant to the ordinary people and enhance its visibility at the expense of NGOs.
“A consequence of this arrangement is that charitable organizations will become affiliates of the state. This stifles innovation in the sense that it narrows the ability of charitable organizations to think outside the box. It also promotes mono-culturalism, as the state could support only charitable organizations that abide by its wishes,” said Dipholo.
In conclusion, Dipholo urged the state to focus on supporting NGOs so that they operate in a system that combines philanthropic work and state welfare programs.
He added that state philanthropy threatens to relegate and render charitable organizations virtually irrelevant and redundant unless they re-engineer themselves.
Another University of Botswana (UB) academic, Professor Zibani Maundeni, opined that politics vitally shape civil society interaction; as seen in the interactions between the two, where there is mutual criticism in each other’s presence.
Over the years, NGOs have found themselves grappling with dwindling financial resources as donors ran out of money in the face of increased competition for financing. Many NGOs have also been faulted for poorly managing their finances because of limited strategic planning and financial management expertise. This drove NGOs to look to government for funding; which fundamentally altered the relationships between the two. The end result was a complete change in the operational culture of NGOs, which diminished their social impact and made them even more fragile. Increased government control through contract clauses also reduced NGOs activism and autonomy.
However, others believe that NGOs and government need each other, especially in the provision of essential services like child welfare and protection. Speaking at the Civil Society Child Rights Convention in 2020, Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Setlhabelo Modukanele said government considers NGOs as critical partners in development.
“We recognize the role that NGOs play a critical role in the country’s development agenda,” said Modukanele.