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Cabinet rejected Cllrs salary hike


Councillors around the country from accross the political divide are of the view that Cabinet rejected the proposal to have their salaries increased and only opted to re-adjust salaries for Members of Parliament and the Cabinet. Some point out that the decision has de-motivated them and have a serious backlash politically.


Following a six percent increase in salaries of public servants in April this year, Parliament approved increases of close to 40 percent for the President, Vice President, Leader of Opposition and Members of Parliament. Members of Parliament have conveniently justified their salary increase indicating that they are the lowest earning in the SADC region.


Most councillors who spoke to Weekend Post are of the view that the decision to increase salaries stemmed from  the Dibotelo Commission which had made prescriptive recommendations on how politicians should be remunerated.  It emphasised the need to look into the Politicians Salaries and made certain recommendations. Councillors earnings were to be realigned by 57 percent while MPs and Cabinet were at around 30 percent.


The Botswana Association of Local Authtorities (BALA) Chairperson , Mpho Moruakgomo said he was dissapointed that Councillors have once again been left behind. He said what they have been given is  is far below what they expected. 

“My view has always been that politiians should be respected as they are key to the lives of citizens. We should start by paying politicians well so that the world of politics may attract dignified men and women of substance who will be able to bring about change to the lives of the masses,” he observed.


Moruakgomo said they are unhappy at the recent realignment which benefitted the MPs and Cabinet members more as compared to councillors.  “We will continue to engage the powers that be to look into this issue because Councillors do a lot of work but go unnoticed,” he said.


South East District Council, Phenyo Segokgo told this publication that the recent salary increment for Members of Parliament and Cabinet has widened income gap between MPs and Councillors.


“Councillors do a lot of ground work. They interact with the people on daily basis and make sure that services reach every one. Take an example of a Gaborone Mayor, he covers all the five constituencies whilst an MP is answerable to one constituency,” he said.


He added that the Councillors deserve to be rewarded as much as MPs because they are also responsible for formulating policies and implementing bylaws.  “I agree with Councillors that we deserve better packages than the current.” Segokgo is a member of the country’s main opposition party, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC).


Kgatleng District Council Chairperson, Mpho Morolong said they have given up on attaining better salaries, “It seems Councillors will never get a better pay, my view is that atleast we should be given Council transport and offices to conduct our duties instead of relying on these peanuts and ward allowances which are nothing but a rip off considering our heavy workload,” he said.


After the passing of the National Assembly Salaries and Allowances Amendment Bill of 2015 three months ago, President Lt Gen Ian Khama’s salary was increased by 26 percent to P651, 348 per annum while Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi also had his salary increased to P501, 216 per annum or P41, 768 per month.


Meanwhile, cabinet ministers and the Speaker now earn P439, 656 per annum which translate to P36, 638 monthly. The leader of Opposition has his new salary pegged at P30, 891 per month or P370, 692 per annum, on par with that of assistant ministers and Deputy Speaker.



Ordinary Members of Parliament got their salaries increased by at least 32 percent from 201, 565.00 in 2014 to P266, 460 annually effective May this year. Under the new salaries, the chairpersons of parliamentary committees will receive a daily allowance of P59.31 if the committee conducts business on a day that Parliament is not sitting.

The Members of Parliament have also had allowances such as constituency, hospitality, communication and acting allowance increased by six percent.


Public sector unions have blasted members of Parliament for “selfishly” increasing their salaries double figures after failing to support the unions’ plea of a 16 percent salary hike. The Bargaining Council only approved a 6 percent salary increase for public servants. Currently employees of Botswana Unified Revenue Services (BURS) are on strike demanding an 11 percent salary increase.  


There has not been a formal statement from various political representations at Parliament on the subject of salary increases save for individual knee-jerk reactions from MPs. 


The decision to increase the salaries according to Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Botlhogile Tshireletso was a decision that was taken by the all party caucus.


“MPs voted with one voice and it is not true that Councillors did not get anything, they were part of the readjustment,” she said.

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Transgender persons in Botswana live a miserable life

23rd November 2020
Transgender persons

An international report complied in South Africa dubbed ‘Legal Gender Recognition in Botswana’ says that the transgender and gender non-conforming people in Botswana live a miserable life. The community experiences higher levels of discrimination, violence and ill health.

In this report, it has been indicated that this is because their gender identity, which does not conform to narrowly define societal norms, renders them more vulnerable. Gender identity is a social determinant of health, which means that it is a factor that influences people’s health via their social context, their communities and their experiences of social exclusion. The Ministry of Health and Wellness has recognized this, and transgender people are considered a vulnerable population under the Botswana Second National Strategic Framework for HIV and AIDS 2010-2017.

In a recent study that shed light on the lived experiences of transgender and gender non-conforming people in Botswana, transgender persons often experience discrimination because of their gender identity and expression. The study was conducted by the University of Cape Town, LEGABIBO, BONELA, as well as Rainbow Identity Association and approved by the Health Ministry as well as the University of Botswana.

Of the 77 transgender and gender non-conforming people who participated in the study, less than half were employed. Two thirds, which is approximately 67% said that they did not have sufficient funds to cover their everyday needs. Two in five had hidden health concerns from their healthcare provider because they were afraid to disclose their gender identity.

More than half said that because of their gender identity, they had been treated disrespectfully at a healthcare facility (55%), almost half (46%) said they had been insulted at a healthcare facility, and one quarter (25%) had been denied healthcare because of their gender identity.

At the same time, the ‘Are we doing right’ study suggests that transgender and non-conforming people might be at higher risks of experiencing violence and mental ill-health, compared to the general population. More than half had experienced verbal embarrassment because of their gender identity, 48% had experienced physical violence and more than one third (38%) had experienced sexual violence.

The study showed that mental health concerns were high among transgender and gender non-conforming people in Botswana. Half of the transgender and gender non-conforming study participants (53%) showed signs of depression. Between one in four and one in six showed signs of moderate or severe anxiety (22% among transgender women, 24% among transgender men and 17% among gender non-conforming people).

Further, the study revealed that many had attempted suicide: one in three transgender women (32%), more than one in three transgender men (35%) and three in five gender non-conforming people (61%).

International research, as well as research from Botswana, suggests that not being able to change one’s gender marker has a negative impact on access to healthcare and mental health and wellbeing. The study further showed that one in four transgender people in Botswana (25%) had been denied access to healthcare. This is, at least in part, linked to not being able to change one’s gender marker in the identity documents, and thus not having an identity document that matches one’s gender identity and gender expression.

In its Assessment of Legal and Regulatory Framework for HIV, AIDS and Tuberculosis, the Health Ministry noted that “transgender persons in Botswana are unable to access identity documents that reflect their gender identity, which is a barrier to health services, including in the context of HIV. In one documented case, a transwoman’s identity card did not reflect her gender identity- her identity card photo indicated she was ‘male’. When she presented her identity card at a health facility, a health worker called the police who took her into custody.”

The necessity of a correct national identity document goes beyond healthcare. The High Court of Botswana explains that “the national identity document plays a pivotal role in every Motswana’s daily life, as it links him or her with any service they require from various institutions. Most activities in the country require every Motswana to produce their identity document, for identification purposes of receiving services.”

According to the Legal Gender Recognition in Botswana report, this effectively means that transgender, whose gender identity and expression is likely to be different from the sex assigned to them at birth and from what is recorded on their identity document, cannot access services without risk of denial or discrimination, or accusations of fraud.

In this context, gays and lesbians advocacy group LEGABIBO has called on government through the Department of Civil and National Registration to urgently implement the High Court rulings on gender marker changes. As stated by the High Court in the ND vs Attorney General of Botswana judgement, identity cards (Omang) play an important role in the life of every Motswana. Refusal and or delay to issue a Motswana with an Omang is denying them to live a complete and full-filing life with dignity and violates their privacy and freedom of expression.

The judgement clarified that persons can change their gender marker as per the National Registrations Act, so changing the gender marker is legally possible. There is no need for a court order. It further said the person’s gender is self-identified, there is no need to consult medical doctors.

LEGABIBO also called on government to develop regulations that specify administrative procedure to change one’s gender marker, and observing self-determination process. Further, the group looks out for government to ensure members of the transgender community are engaged in the development of regulations.

“We call on this Department of Civil and National Registration to ensure that the gender marker change under the National Registration Act is aligned to the Births and Deaths Registry Act to avoid court order.

Meanwhile, a gay man in Lobatse, Moabi Mokenke was recently viciously killed after being sexually violated in the streets of Peleng, shockingly by his neighbourhood folks. The youthful lad, likely to be 29-years old, met his fate on his way home, from the wearisome Di a Bowa taverns situated in the much populated township of Peleng Central.

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Khato Civils fights back, dares detractors

23rd November 2020
Khato-civil

CEO of Khato Civils Mongezi Mnyani has come out of the silence and is going all way guns blazing against the company’s adversaries who he said are hell-bent on tarnishing his company’s image and “hard-earned good name”

Speaking to WeekendPost from South Africa, Mnyani said it is now time for him to speak out or act against his detractors. Khato Civils has done several projects across Africa. Khato Civils, a construction company and its affiliate engineering company, South Zambezi have executed a number of world class projects in South Africa, Malawi and now recently here in Botswana.

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UDC petitioners turn to Saleshando

23rd November 2020
Dumelang Saleshando

About ten (10) Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) parliamentary candidates who lost the 2019 general election and petitioned results this week met with UDC Vice President, Dumelang Saleshando to discuss the way forward concerning the quandary that is the legal fees put before them by Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) lawyers.

For a while now, UDC petitioners who are facing the wrath of quizzical sheriffs have demanded audience with UDC National Executive Committee (NEC) but in vain. However after the long wait for a tete-a-tete with the UDC, the petitioners met with Saleshando accompanied by other NEC members including Dr. Kesitegile Gobotswang, Reverend Mpho Dibeela and Dennis Alexander.

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