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UDC reviews constitution, readies for power

We are taking over in 2019 – Duma Boko

The leader of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), Duma Boko has declared that his party is definitely taking power in 2019 and has embarked on an exercise to engage various stakeholders including the business community, civil society and the media among others to ensure they adequately prepare for governance.  


Boko said his party is busy working on reviewing its constitution as they prepare for state takeover. He said some of the issues that will be addressed is the top heavy party structure which needs to be made leaner to further the interest of the UDC.  He said the process will go on until next year, and “we are planning to have a special congress to look into these issues,” he explained.


He said they will address the issue of direct membership into the UDC in terms of the structure among other things. He pointed out that: “the National Executive is bloated and there is need to streamline a few things hence we are planning a constitutional congress in the near future,” he said.


The UDC leadership engaged Editors on various issues on Wednesday. He said the UDC believes in a free media and this principle is embodied in the party’s founding documents. He committed to supporting the independence of the media, and confessed to be a profound proponent of self-regulation.

He challenged various media bodies to submit their demands to the UDC so that their ideas could be incorporated into the party’s blue print for the media industry.  
“Our party prescribes wholly to the fundamental precepts of human rights,” he said.


The UDC president said it defies logic why the Media Practitioners’ Act was drafted in the first place. He said his conviction to this position is buttressed by the fact that when he was the chairman of the Law Society of Botswana, they resolved not to nominate anyone to partake in the implementation of the law. “This Act must give up its existence. It must be repelled,” he said. Boko said he will be at the forefront of ensuring that the law is repelled.


He told editors that the media has another role – the advocacy role. “You must advocate for your rights as a profession. We must not run away from these facts,” he said. He indicated that the business community raised the issue of over regulation as a major concern in Botswana, a sign that the UDC will have to look into a number of laws which are seen as red tape by business people and some stakeholders.  Boko encouraged the media to put its position across and make demands to politicians, “politics is not only for professional politicians, you are all part of politics either by complicity, omission or commission,” he said.


Boko further expressed the concern that state media has systematically closed out opposition from coverage to give the public an impression that the opposition Members of Parliament are not performing at the National Assembly. He said they currently depend on private media for coverage and appreciated the role of the private media.


The UDC President also had a go at some of the laws of the republic. He gave the example of the Public Order Act, which he said some of its provisions are unconstitutional. “Something tells me that the requirement that you must get permission from the police to march is unconstitutional,” said Boko.

He indicated that he is just waiting for a test case to challenge the status quo. “I am a human rights lawyer, stump and root. I have a feeling that the process of acquiring permission from the police interferes with a person freedom to express themselves,” he said.


Boko also expressed concern that the Botswana judiciary is populated with conservative voices. He said there is need to have a complete of judges including the radical characters.   


Commenting on the issue of unity talks with the Botswana Congress Party (BCP), Boko said: “We haven’t begun any talks with the BCP. They have only just come out of their congress and they needed to sort out their internal matters. It is not only peculiar to them, as the UDC we are also looking at the constitution as well. I do not think anything will happen this year. Realistically I think we can look at 2016. The willingness is there, at least on our part,” he said.

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BAD WEEK FOR MANCHESTER CITY

6th February 2023

After falling to close the gap on Arsenal by losing to a record breaking goal by Kane at the Tottenham stadium.Manchester City now find themselves being charged by the Premier League with more than 100 breaches of its financial rules following a four-year investigation.

According to BBC , it has referred the club to an independent commission over alleged rule breaches between 2009 and 2018 , and also that Man-city has not been co-operating since the investigation which started in 2018 .

BBC further states that The commission can impose punishment including a fine , points deduction and expelling the club from the Premier league.

The alleged breaches include ,  breaching rules for requiring full details of manager remuneration,from 2009-2010, to 2012-2013 seasons when Roberto Mancini was in charge . Also player remuneration between 2010-2011 and 2015-2016.

The Premier league stated that City breached rules related to UEFA regulations , including Financial Fair Play , from 2013-2014 to 2017-2018 ,as well as Premier League rules on profitability and sustainability from 2014-2016 to 2017-2018

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South Korean Embassy aids students living with disabilities

6th February 2023

South Korean Ambassador in South Africa has donated e-learning equipment through Botswana Red Cross Society (BRCS) to Tlamelong Rehabilitation Centre in Tlokweng recently, in a bid to fine tune the student’s textile skills.  

When talking at the handing over ceremony, Chull-Joo Park, said they agreed with BRCS to give out e-learning equipment to better the training skills of students living with disabilities.

“With the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment and job training skills, we will be able to help the students living with disabilities to do e-learning and to better their education and job training,” said Chull-Joo Park.

It was revealed that the South Korean Embassy approached BRCS with the intent to donate equipment and educational material that includes an embroidery machine, photo copier machine, tablets and interactive boards to be utilized by the trainees.

The industrial printer is a machine that works with embroidery machine to print designs for clothing and it will enable the learners to have more material available to them to facilitate learning.

Through this embroidery machine, students will be exposed to better technologies which ultimately improve the quality of materials they produce. It will also allow students to learn business skills and run profitable ventures.

Smart board gadgets will provide the students with an elevated learning process to be fostered by e-learning. The gadgets provide a more visual element to the learning process, which in turn improves learner mental retention.

Tlamelong Rehabilitation serves the marginalized and underserved less privileged persons living with disability in Botswana. The center offers boarding services, vocational training, social services, physiotherapy and rehabilitation services for young people living disabilities aged 18-35 from across the country over a period of two (2) years per cohort which has a maximum intake capacity of 35. BRCS through International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have managed to create great working synergy with the South Korean Embassy in Pretoria based in South Africa to support or augment the National Society’s Rehabilitation Centre’s learning challenges.

For his part, BRSC Secretary General Kutlwano Mokokomani said they are delighted to convey their gratitude as BRSC to the South Korean Embassy for donation and they look forward to an enduring partnership for such worthy causes.

“South Korean Embassy’s great gesture will enable trainees to thrive, to fulfil their dreams to become a reality as this equipments will go a long way in creating great impact in the lives of trainees and their families. We wish to convey our sincere gratitude to the South Korean Embassy for their noble gesture of donating the E-learning equipments.”

BRCS offers rehabilitation services spread across three (3) areas in Botswana being Sefhare Stimulation center in Sefhare, Tshimologo stimulation center in Francistown and Tlamelong rehabilitation center in Tlokweng.

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DIS alleges plot to kill Masisi hatched in South Africa

6th February 2023

A dispute is brewing between Botswana and South Africa intelligence agencies over alleged mercenary training camps discovered in South Africa by the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS). 

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