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How Goodhope-Mabule was won and lost

DOUBLE VICTORY: Kgosi Lotlaamoreng II will now have control over all Barolong as their area Member of Parliament after he trounced Minister Eric Molale in the weekend bye-election. The Tribal territories Act barred him from accessing Barolong who are beyond Mabule to the South east. It is also evident that his road to the National Assembly had long been orchestrated.

The victory of Kgosi Lotlaamoreng II in last week’s bye-elections re-affirmed the significant influence of Dikgosi over their tribes and how they still command respect among their communities.

Kgosi Lotlaamoreng became the fifth Paramount Chief to be a Member of Parliament in the history of Botswana. This follows Sir Seretse Khama, the founding president of Botswana, Kgosi Bathoen II of Bangwaketse who entered parliament in 1969 after defeating the then Vice President Quett Masire. The trend continued in 1998 when President Lt Gen Ian Khama, otherwise known as Kgosi Khama IV retired from the army to join politics.

In 2009, Kgosi Tawana II of Batawana was elected Member of Parliament under the ticket of the ruling party. Kgosi Tawana later dumped BDP in favour of Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) a member of the UDC. Despite the UDC not doing well in the northern part of Botswana, Tawana was able to retain the constituency under opposition ticket, becoming the first opposition candidate to win in Maun.

Following the resignation of Member of Parliament for the constituency James Mathokgwane, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) leadership moved swiftly to engage Kgosi Lotlaamoreng II to contest under the party banner in the subsequent bye-election.  

WeekendPost has been reliably informed that UDC leadership, led by President Duma Boko approached Kgosi Lotlaamoreng II prior to Mathokgwane’s resignation. “UDC leadership were privy to Mathokgwane’s situation and knew that sooner or later he will resign,” a source revealed. “Kgosi Lotlaamoreng II was informed of the possibility of Mathokgwane’s resignation and he agreed in principle to stand.”

While Mathokgwane’s resignation came as a shocker to many, the same could not be said about UDC leadership. The party knew that they were sitting on a time-ticking bomb and they were much prepared for the situation.

A few days, after Mathokgwane resigned, media reports pointed to Kgosi Lotlaamoreng as the man UDC would trust for the job. More speculation was raised a week after Mathokgwane’s resignation when Kgosi Lotlaamoreng II summoned his tribe requesting them “to release him from his duties so that he could go and rest”.

In the meantime, BDP’s bid to reclaim the constituency was marred by controversies. At the outset, there were efforts to block Molale from contesting, and then there was also the issue about the BDP leadership’s proposal to have Molale’s as a lone contender which ultimately did not see the light of the day.

Subsequent to the BDP primary elections, in which Molale emerged victorious, Fankie Motsaathebe, one of the front runners ahead of the elections disputed the result. The matter was hastily resolved in the final hours before the contesting parties registered their candidates with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC).

Molale’s victory was not helped by the fact that he had more hecklers in the BDP than in the opposition. There were reports that Molale’s bid for the parliamentary seat was motivated by his presidential ambitions. Molale was already in parliament through the Specially Elected dispensation when he decided to run, giving the reports about his ambitions credence.

While BDP’s focus was on the elective congress in Mmadinare following Mathokgwane’s departure, UDC began the campaigning since day one. Boko held a meeting at the constituency to mitigate the situation which put the party in a bad light.
Botswana National Front (BNF), a member of UDC unanimously resolved to move its annual party conference to Goodhope, with the view of boosting its presence in the constituency.   

The aftermath of Mmadinare Congress was followed by reports that Tebelelo Seretse, who had lost the chairpersonship to Mokgweetsi Masisi and her team, did not support Molale in his bid to win the constituency proclaiming that he was already in parliament.

During the campaign in the run-up to the Goodhope-Mabule bye-elections Seretse and her team had a case pending at Tsholetsa House, disputing the chairmanship results. Seretse’s team was too disengaged at the constituency and rarely participated in the bye-election campaign.

Molale was a prime target of the troublesome Botswana Federation of Public Service Unions (BOFEPUSU) during the campaign. Molale was described as ‘enemy number one’ of the workers. BOFEPUSU leadership publicly endorsed Kgosi Lotlaamoreng and he was described as “friends of workers.”

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Local tennis team upbeat ahead of Billie Jean King cup

29th May 2023

With almost two weeks until the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup, which will be staged in Kenya from June 12-17, 2023, the Botswana Tennis Association (BTA) ladies’ team coach, Ernest Seleke, is optimistic about reaching greater heights.

Billie Jean King Cup, or the BJK Cup, is a premier international team competition in women’s tennis, launched as the Federation Cup to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the International Tennis Federation (ITF). The BJK Cup is the world’s largest annual women’s international team sports competition in terms of the number of nations that compete.

The finals will feature 12 teams (Botswana, Burundi, Ghana, Kenya, Seychelles, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Tunisia, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, and the Democratic Republic of Congo) competing in the four round-robin groups of three. The four group winners will qualify for the semifinals, and the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup will be crowned after the completion of the knockout phase.

Closer to home, the BW Tennis team is comprised of Thato Madikwe, Leungo Monnayoo, Chelsea Chakanyuka, and Kelebogile Monnayoo. However, according to Seleke, they have not assembled the team yet as some of the players are still engaged.

“At the moment, we are depending on the players and their respective coaches in terms of training. However, I will meet up with Botswana-based players in the coming week, while the United States of America (USA) based player Madikwe will probably meet us in Kenya. Furthermore, Ekua Youri and Naledi Raguin, who are based in Spain and France respectively, will not be joining us as they will be writing their examinations,” said Seleke.

Seleke further highlighted the significance of this competition and how competitive it is. “It is a massive platform for our players to showcase their talent in tennis, and it is very competitive as countries target to get promoted to the world categories where they get to face big nations such as Spain, France, USA, and Italy. Though we are going to this tournament as underdogs because it is our second time participating, I’m confident that the girls will put in a good showing and emerge with results despite the odds,” highlighted Seleke.

Quizzed about their debut performance at the BJK Cup, he said, “I think our performance was fair considering the fact that we were newbies. We came third in our group after losing to North Macedonia and South Africa. We went on to beat Uganda, then Kenya in the playoffs. Unfortunately, we couldn’t play Burundi due to heavy rainfall and settled for the position 9/10,” he said.

For her part, team representative Leungo Monnayoo said they are working hard as they aim to do well at the tourney. “The preparations for the tourney have long begun because we practice each and every day. We want to do well, hence we need to be motivated. Furthermore, I believe in my team as we have set ourselves a big target of coming home with the trophy,” she said.

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Pep Stores donates sanitary towels to Popagano JSS

26th May 2023

The Guidance and Counseling unit at Popagano Junior Secondary School received a donation of 790 sanitary towels from Pep stores on Thursday.

When presenting the donation, Mareledi Thebeng, the Dinokaneng Area Manager, highlighted their belief in giving back to the community, as their existence depends on the communities they serve. Thebeng pointed out that research indicates one in four girls miss school every day due to the lack of basic necessities like sanitary towels. Therefore, as a company, they strive to assist in alleviating this situation. She expressed hope that this donation would help ensure uninterrupted learning for girls.

Upon receiving the donation on behalf of the students, Charity Sambire, the President of the Student Representative Council, expressed her gratitude. Sambire specifically thanked Pep Store for their generous gift, speaking on behalf of the students, especially the girl child.

She conveyed their sincere appreciation for Pep Store’s compassion and quoted the adage, “Blessed is the hand that gives.” Sambire expressed the students’ hope for Pep Stores’ prosperity, enabling them to continue supporting the students. As a gesture of gratitude, the students pledged to excel academically.

During her speech, Motlalepula Madome, the Senior Teacher in Guidance and Counseling, highlighted that many students at the school come from disadvantaged backgrounds where parents struggle to provide basic necessities. Consequently, some students miss school when they experience menstruation due to this lack.
Madome emphasized the significance of the donation in preventing the girl child from missing lessons and its potential to improve the school’s overall results. She expressed the school’s gratitude and expressed a desire for continued support from Pep Stores.

Popagano Junior Secondary School, situated in the Okavango District, holds the second position academically in the North West region. Despite its location, the school has been dedicated to achieving excellence since 2017

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Botswana misses out critical PAP committee meeting

23rd May 2023

The Pan African Parliament (PAP) committee on gender, family, youth and people with disability in its sitting considered, adopted and recommended to the plenary session the preliminary report on the framework for the model law on gender equality.

According to the last week’s media release from PAP which is sitting with its various committees until June 2nd,  the committee is following up the PAP initiative to draw up a model law on gender equality to enable national governments to harmonize, modernize and standardize their legislations to address local needs is set to be discussed in Plenary.

However, what is concerning is the fact that Botswana which is a member state missed the deliberations. Kgosi Mosadi Seboko who sat in the committee representing Botswana has since been ejected by parliament and this is a huge blow for a nation that is still battling equity and gender balance.

“Although PAP has no legislative powers it makes model laws for member states to adopt. PAP also develops protocols to be ratified by countries. The input of countries at Committee state is extremely critical. It now means the voice of Botswana is missing the discussions leading up to development of protocols or model laws,” said one of Botswana’s representative at PAP Dr. Kesitegile Gobotswang who is attending the current session.

While Botswana is missing, the committee meeting took place on the sidelines of the Sixth PAP second ordinary Session being held under the African Union Theme of the Year for 2023, “The Year of AfCFTA: Accelerating the Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area” in Midrand, South Africa and will run up to 2 June 2023. Chairperson of the Committee, Hon Mariam Dao-Gabala expressed satisfaction with preliminary processes undertaken so far towards the formulation of the Model Law,” a release from the PAP website reads.

“The law should be suitable to all countries whatever the predominant culture or religion is. The aim is to give an opportunity to women to participate in the economic, political and social development of the continent. Women are not well positioned and face a lot of obstacles. We are introducing the idea of equity in the Law because we cannot talk about equality without equity,” said Hon Mariam Dao-Gabala in the press statement.

The release has stated that among issues to be covered by the Model Law is the migratory movements of women. The Committee proffered that this has to be addressed at the continental level to ensure that migrant women enjoy all their rights and live with dignity in their destination country. The members of the Gender Committee undertook consultations to consolidate the contributions of the various stakeholders that will be the logical framework format for the Model Law.




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