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How BDP intends to win Goodhope-Mabule

Fankie, Molale campaign together

Next weekend, Goodhope-Mabule constituency will be voting for their Member of Parliament after the resignation of James Mathokgwane. By all counts, stakes are high at the Barolong land and all the three contesting parties want to have an impact on the election results.


The bookmakers have penned a battle between Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Eric Molale of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP); and Paramount chief of Barolong, Kgosi Lotlaamoreng II of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC). But Comfort Molale Molosiwa of the Botswana congress Party (BCP) is also hard at work – and he may just be the difference between winning and losing the constituency.


The constituency has been a stronghold of the BDP since the first election in 1965, but the UDC believes that the BDP’s first loss in 48 years in the area is a sign that people have given up on the ruling party. On the other hand the BCP takes the view that it knows how to prepare for a bye-election and it may just snatch under the feet of both the BDP and the UDC.


High confidence levels among UDC faithful, fuelled by the fact that they are represented by a paramount chief has forced the BDP to go for an all-out war. They have unleashed almost everyone in the party’s hierarchy – and the instruction is simple – bring the constituency. The BDP campaign in the area is expected to be punctuated by President Lt Gen Ian Khama last minutes’ shock and owes in several villages. There are 14 villages in the constituency.  


The BDP also intends to exploit the “Barolong ba Baikuedi” debate. This is a group of Barolong who do not fall under Kgosi Lotlaamoreng’s rule. According to the Tribal Territories’ Act they are under the Bangwaketse. Lotlaamoreng has jurisdiction over the area and the views of the Barolong in that territory is that they are not being listened to because they have long asked to be incorporated into the other Borolong. Lotlaamoreng has not pursued the matter aggressively.


The BDP also gains confidence from the knowledge that some villages in the Borolong area are not predominatly Rolong. There are areas populated by Xhosas, Basotho, Bangwaketse, and Bahurutshe, among other tribes in the constituency. But it is clear that Lotlaamoreng’s paramount chief status is overwhelming the BDP and they are forced to do beyond electioneering if they are to beat him.

For many, it is not about the UDC, but more about Lotlaamoreng as he does not want to be the first paramount chief to lose an election, many question whether his tribe could desert him. Indications are that many Dikgosi are surreptitiously supporting Lotlaamoreng because his win will continue to prove how influential they are in communities.


The BDP has lined up four Members of Parliament for every village in the constituency as campaign teams backed by members of other party structures, the Women’s Wing and Youth Wing. In the groups of four, they are at least two cabinet members. The Ministers are also expected to take advantage and address kgotla meetings to spell out government policies and promises for the Barolong.

The Members of Parliament will be engaged in house to house campaigns every time they are at their workstations.

As part of the grand scheme, disgruntled Kenaleone Fankie Motsaathebe has been seen with candidate Eric Molale at almost every venue. Motsaathebe lost the BDP primary election in a controversial fashion last month. He had threatened the party with court action but later readjusted his bearings.

Being with Molale at public spaces gives semblance of cooperation and peace hence Motsaathebe’s numbers should boost Molale.  The BDP believes that what matters most is to ensure that all BDP members who are on the Voters’ roll vote for the BDP.


Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi is expected to address a star rally and launch of candidate Molale this weekend and at the same rally a number of prominent opposition functionaries will be displayed as the latest BDP loot from the opposition ranks. Lately BDP secretary general, Botsalo Ntuane has elevated his rivalry with the BCP to dizzy levels, conniving with BCP members to rattle the self-proclaimed stable party.

Ntuane has not seen eye to eye with the BCP since his Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) days. Masisi’s rally will be a prelude for President Ian Khama who will sweep through the constituency like a tornado.  Khama has always been BDP’s trump card and he is expected to address BDP’s handicap of not fielding a person of royal blood.

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Botswana still weighing in on Maseko’s assassination

27th January 2023

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Lemogang Kwape says Botswana has not taken any position regarding the killing of a renowned human rights lawyer, Thulani Maseko, who was gunned down at his house in Mbabane, Eswatini.

In a brief interview with WeekendPost, Dr Kwape said Botswana has not yet taken any position regarding his death. He said the purported incident should be thoroughly probed before Botswana can form an opinion based on the findings of the inquiries.

“Botswana generally condemns any killing of human life by all means,” says Dr. Kwape. He wouldn’t want to be dragged on whether Botswana will support the suspension of Eswatini from SADC.

“We will be guided by SADC organ Troika if they can be an emergency meeting. I am not sure when the meeting will be called by Namibian president,“ he said.

However, the Namibian president Hage Geingob notes with deep concern reports coming out of Eswatini about the killing of Mr. Maseko. In a statement, he called upon the “Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini to ensure that the killing of Maseko is swiftly, transparently and comprehensively investigated, and that any or all persons suspected of committing this heinous crime are brought to justice.”

Maseko was chairperson of the Multi-Stakeholder Forum which was established as a coalition of non-State actors to advocate for a process of national political dialogue aimed at resolving the security and political challenges confronting the Kingdom.

“SADC expresses its deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr. Maseko, his friends, colleagues, and to the people of the Kingdom of Eswatini for the loss of Mr. Maseko. In this context, SADC further calls upon the people of the Kingdom of Eswatini to remain calm, exercise due care and consideration whilst the appropriate structures conduct the investigations and bring the matter to completion,” the statement says.

Geingob reiterated the need for peaceful resolution of the political and security challenges affecting the country.

Meanwhile political activists are calling on SADC to suspend Eswatini from the block including the African Union as well.

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Kopong Murder: Accused interferes with witnesses again!

27th January 2023

State prosecutor, Seeletso Ookeditse revealed before the Broadhurst Magistrate Jobbie Moilatshimo that the third accused involved in the murder of Barulaganye Aston, has interfered with the State witnesses again.

The second and third accused (Lefty Kosie and Outlwile Aston) were previously accused of interference when they were caught in possession of cellphones in prison. They were further accused of planning to kill the deceased’s brother, who is currently the guardian to the children of the deceased.

Ookeditse indicated that Outlwile had earlier went to challenge the magistrate’s decision of denying him bail at the High Court before Judge Michael Motlhabi.

“The third accused approached the High Court and made a bail application, which was dismissed on the same day,” Ookeditse said.

However, even after the High Court verdict on their bail application, the duo (Kosie and Aston) has once again applied for bail this week.

Ookeditse plead with the court to stop the accused from abusing the court process.

“Yesterday, Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) received papers of his bail application filed before the Broadhurst Magistrates Court. However, the papers do not speak to changed circumstances, therefore this back and forth about bail must be put to a stop,” said the State prosecutor.

While giving evidence before court, the Investigations Officer, Detective Inspector Quite Zhalamonto, said his investigations have proved that there is interference continuing regarding the accused trio.

He told the court that on the 12th of January 2023, he received a report from Thato Aston, who is the son of the accused and the deceased. The son had alleged to the Investigation Officer that he received a call from one Phillip Molwantwa.

According to Zhalamonto, Thato revealed that Molwatwa indicated that he was from prison on a visit to the Outlwile Aston and went on to ask where he was staying and where his siblings (Aston’s children) are staying.

“Thato revealed that Phillip went on to ask if he or his siblings saw their father murdering their mother, and he was referring to the crime scene. Thato told me that he, however, refused to answer the questions as he was afraid especially because he was asked about where him and his siblings stay,” said Zhalamonto.

Zhalamonto alluded to the court that he then went to Orange to confirm the communication between Thato and Molwantwa where he found the case.

“I have arrested Philip yesterday and when I interviewed him, he did not deny that he knows Aston and that he has indeed called Thato and asked questions as to where him and his siblings resides even though he failed to give reasons for asking such questions,” Zhalamonto told the court.

He further revealed that Molwantwa indicated that he had received a call from an unknown man who refused to reveal himself.

“Phillip told me that the unknown man said he was sent by the accused (Aston), and that Aston had instructed him to tell me to check if there was still some money in his bank accounts, and he also wanted to know where the kids were residing, the unknown man even asked him to meet at Main Mall” the Investigation Officer told the court.

He further informed the court that he is working tirelessly to identify the “unknown caller” and the route of the cell number.

Furthermore, the fourth accused, Kebaleboge Ntsebe, has revealed to the court through a letter that she was abused and tortured by the Botswana Police Services. She wrote in her letter that she suffered miscarriage as a result of being beaten by the police.

Ntsebe is on bail, while a bail ruling for Aston and Kosie will be delivered on the 6th of next month

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Ngamiland Cattle Farmers Gain Green Zone Revenue

27th January 2023

Cattle farmers from Eretsha and Habu in the Ngamiland district, supported by the Community Based Trade (CBT) project, recently generated over P300 000.00 for sales of 42 cattle to the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) in Maun. This milestone was achieved through support from various stakeholders in conservation, commodity-based trade and the government, in collaboration with farmers. Ordinarily, these farmers would not have made this direct sale since the area is a designated Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) Red Zone.

Traditional livestock farming contributes toward livelihoods and formal employment in the North-West District (Ngamiland) of Botswana. However, primarily due to the increase in FMD outbreaks over the past two decades and predation by wildlife, the viability of livestock agriculture as a source of income has declined in the region. This has led to a greater risk of poverty and food insecurity. Access across the Okavango River (prior to the construction of a bridge) restricted access for farmers in Eretsha. This lack of access hampered sales of cattle beyond Shakawe, further discouraging farmers from investing in proper livestock management practices. This resulted in negative environmental impacts, poor livestock health and productivity.

To address this challenge, farmers are working with a consortium led by Conservation International (CI), with funding secured from the European Union (EU) to pilot a CBT beef project. The project focuses on supporting and enabling communal farmers to comply with standards and regulations that will improve their chances to access markets. An opportunity to earn higher income from cattle sales could incentivize the adoption of restorative rangelands management practices by farmers.

These collaborative efforts being piloted in Habu and Eretsha villages also include the Pro-Nature Enterprises Project for the People of Southern Africa, funded by Agence Française de Développement (AFD) and Le Fonds français pour l’environnement mondial (FFEM). This complementary funding from AFD and FFEM supports the implementation of the Herding4Health (H4H) model and Rangeland Stewardship Agreements across four rangeland sites in Southern Africa, including Habu and Eretsha, to incentivize best practices that could offer sustainability in the long term for livelihoods, conservation and human-wildlife coexistence.

“We spend a lot of money getting our cattle to Makalamabedi quarantine site, the herder spends on average two months taking care of the cattle before they are taken into quarantine – that needs money. All these costs lead to us getting less money from BMC,” said one of the farmers in the programme, Mr Monnaleso Mosanga.

Farmers that participate in the project agree for their cattle to be herded and kraaled communally by fulltime professional herders (eco-rangers). At the core of this pilot is the use of predator-proof bomas (cattle kraals), planned grazing systems and mobile quarantine bomas (electrified enclosures) for the cattle, facilitated in support with the Department of Veterinary Services. The first successful exit from the mobile quarantine bomas in the Habu and Eretsha villages, in December 2022, saw cattle quarantined on-site and directly transported to BMC in Maun. Farmers received almost double the average sales within this region, as costs including transportation to quarantine sites, herder’s fees and other associated costs incurred before qualifying for BMC sales were no longer included.

“This pilot mobile quarantine is leveraging the techniques and protocols we are using at our current permanent quarantine sites, and we are still observing the results of the project. The outcome of this pilot will be presented to the World Organisation of Animal Health to assess its effectiveness and potentially be approved to be used elsewhere,” said Dr Odireleng Thololwane, the Principal Veterinary Officer (Maun).

Through co-financing of almost P1 billion from the Botswana government and Green Climate Fund, these interventions will be replicated, through The Ecosystem Based Adaptation and Mitigation in Botswana’s Communal Rangelands project, across the country. Both projects aim to improve the economic benefits of cattle owners and multitudes of Batswana households, while contributing to land restoration and climate change efforts by the Botswana government

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