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No action on Masisi victory petition

Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi and President Lt. Gen. Ian Khama

There are concerns from the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) faithfuls that the party is ignoring a petition by the defeated party chairmanship candidates who had protested Vice President, Mokgweetsi Masisi’s chairmanship win at the July Mmadinare Congress.

The petitioners are former Minister of Justice, Defence and Security, Ramadeluka Seretse; former Botswana Ambassador to the United States of America, Tebelelo Seretse; former Youth Wing chairman Dithapelo Tshotego; Seteng Motalaote and businessman, Moemedi Dijeng.

The petition which was led by Tebelelo Seretse was made two weeks after the losing candidates had accepted defeat. Seretse, who lost to Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi by 219 votes to 582 wrote a letter to party President, Lieutenant General Ian Khama indicating that she does not accepts the results citing some irregularities and pinpointing a few individuals as well as quoting some.

Among those who have offended the petitioners is the Chairman of the electoral board, Parks Tafa who at one point at the congress asked whether one of the candidates was really a bonafide member of the BDP.

The letter was signed by all the candidates except Tati West Member of Parliament, Biggie Butale who also lost in the chairperson race. Seretse has refused to divulge the aims of the letter as well as its contents.

This publication has established that the party is ignoring Seretse and other petitioners’ letter with the hope and knowledge that the protest will die a natural death. Although it’s not clear what the letter intends to achieve, Seretse says she will be patient with the party, “we do not know when they will respond to the letter and we don’t want to pass judgement now. What we are still waiting for is a response,” she said in response to WeekendPost.

Asked about whether she deems the time taken by the party as reasonable, Seretse who was at pains to speak on the matter said “I cannot make judgements, I don’t know what is delaying them,   I can only pass judgement if I was privy to the details of their delay,” she said.

Seretse would not discuss other arising questions referring this publication to the BDP. “I cannot give my opinion on some issues because this is a matter that is still before the party,” she said.

In an interview, the Party Secretary General, Botsalo Ntuane said that it was regrettable that the party has taken so long to respond to the concerns of the petitioners, “it is indeed regrettable that we have taken so long to respond. That matter is now before the Council of elders and we are still waiting to hear from them,” he said.

He ascribed the delay to various issues like failure to convene meetings and some difficulties, “We will engage affected parties once the matter has been dealt with,” said the Secretary General.

During the campaigns, Seretse and other candidates raised a concern that Masisi was using state resources to campaign and his campaign team members were intimidating delegates. Things came to light when the Francistown West Member of Parliament asked the Ministry of the presidency to update Parliament about the places Masisi visited using Botswana Defence Force aircrafts, the total fuel and ancillary flying costs in his campaign before the Mmadinare congress in July. Mmolotsi also wanted to know the areas the Vice President visited using government vehicles as well as the cost of vehicle and hotel accommodation for him and his entourage, during the campaign trail.

Makgalemele said that during the campaign period (April 2015 to July 2015), Masisi used approximately P170,000 on transport and fuel for his air/road trips countrywide and P48,000 on accommodation. “I wish to point out that where meetings were tied to official duties, government covers costs, while for party business, His Honour the Vice President meets the costs of accommodation and food,” he said.

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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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