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.
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.
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.
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.