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Motsaathebe’s night vigil came to naught

Motsaathebe demanded counting be re-done

Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Youth Leader, Kenaleone Motsaathebe is at loggerheads with the party over irregularities that spurned out of the Goodhope-Mabule primary elections.

By Thursday evening Motsaathebe was consulting with some lawyers in Gaborone on the legal options he could pursue against the party after he alleged that he was not given an opportunity to be heard after he complained about “cheating” in the party primaries. But he was also keeping an open mind on a “political solution”.

While Motsaathebe was busy consulting with his lawyers, BDP secretary general, Botsalo Ntuane was already on his way to Goodhope to file papers for the nomination of Eric Molale as the BDP candidate for the bye-election. He also had an engagement with BDP members in the constituency.

Molale was declared winner for the second time on Wednesday night after a verification process that was demanded by Motsaathebe. During the verification process Motsaathebe’s votes increased by a further 67, while

Molale’s went up by 34. Other candidates also received extra 32, 17, and 1 vote in that order.

The additional numbers gave Molale a 45 vote margin over Motsaathebe. Initially Molale garnered 703 votes and Motsaathebe was voted by 625 BDP members.

Those who attended the verification process intimated that Motsaathebe was not convinced that he lost fairly. He indicated that the verification process had revealed discrepancies hence he demanded that the ballots be recounted.

The other candidates, Mononi, Mogatle and Segatle were also invited because they were interested parties. Motsaathebe was clear that the matter involved him and Molale. The BDP hierarchy at the meeting indicated that counting would take the whole night, and was going to be a lot of work, but Motsaathebe insisted on it.

To throw the spanner into the works, BDP lawyer Parks Tafa demanded that Motsaathebe make an undertaking that he will accept the results should the recount be done, but Motsaathebe refused to make an undertaking.

The time was already 11pm and the BDP leaders decided to declare Molale the winner for the second time. Motsaathebe was not happy with the decision.

Those close to Motsaathebe told this publication that he is not happy and is adamant that he was not given a hearing because the process was not completed. He had demanded a recount and it was not done. The former BDP Youth Wing chairman is convinced that the Goodhope-Mabule BDP primary elections were rigged and the results should be nullified. He has indicated to his buddies that the fact that the verification process gave him extra votes more than any of the other candidates is an indication that he was the target of elimination in the election.

“He has told us that the BDP leaders are not willing to find a political solution to the impasse. He is wondering what they intend to do because the legal route does not favour the party at all because they have no leg to stand on,” said one of Motsaathebe’s close allies.

Indications are that Motsaathebe may plunge the BDP into a scenario similar to that created by White Marobela when he challenged the victory of Ignatius Moswaane in the Francistown West BDP primary elections.
A court intervention led to the BDP not contesting the bye-election which was ultimately won by the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) candidate, Dr Habaudi Hobona. BDP members in Goodhope-Mabule fear that Motsaathebe wants to block Molale from contesting the election on August 14th. They have challenged the party to close all legal gaps to ensure that Molale faces Kgosi Lotlaamoreng II of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) and Comfort Molosiwa of the BCP.

Motsaathebe declined to comment on the subject, only indicating that the process of his appeal has not been completed.


“I have opted not to give any details regarding the status quo following the primary election at Goodhope Mabule. For the simple reason that the matter is before BDP structures and I am not a spokesperson of the BDP. It's sad how some people can exploit a person's circumstances for whatever reason! I am a loyal member of the BDP and will remain so forever! I have never on any way had what is said to be "ideas" of working with the opposition! Whatever decisions I take, are entirely within the constitution of the BDP and the best interest of the party and not mine or those of any particular group. As a loyal BDP member, I have and shall always urge democrats to remain loyal and support the BDP at all times! We have a bye election in the 15th August which must be won by the BDP and democrats have to work hard to achieve this and ignore any other attempts to distract us. I have always encouraged all those who voted for me, after thanking them and all other democrats who voted for other candidates, to unite, rally behind the BDP and not individuals, to ensure that the best interests of the BDP are promoted and protected! Goodhope Mabule is a BDP stronghold that has to return to the BDP on August the 15th. We all have a duty to protect our beloved BDP. I urge pleas with democrats to ignore any suggestions that I would sabotage an organization that I voluntarily joined in 1990. Democracy is paramount! I thank you all.”

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People with Disabilities Face Barriers to Political Participation in Botswana

23rd February 2024

Individuals challenged by disabilities encounter formidable obstacles when endeavoring to partake in political processes within the context of Botswana. Political involvement, a cornerstone of democratic governance, empowers citizens to shape the legislative landscape that impacts their daily existence. Despite Botswana’s reputation for upholding democratic ideals, recent insights unveil a troubling reality – those with disabilities find themselves marginalized in the realm of politics, contending with substantial barriers obstructing the exercise of their democratic liberties.

A recent inquiry in Botswana unveiled a panorama where individuals with disabilities confront hurdles in navigating the political arena, their involvement often restricted to the basic act of voting. Voices emerged from the study, underscoring the critical necessity of fostering environments that are accessible and welcoming, affording individuals with disabilities the active engagement they rightfully deserve in political processes. Noteworthy was the account of a participant grappling with physical impairments, shedding light on the glaring absence of ramps at polling stations and the urgent call for enhanced support mechanisms to ensure an equitable electoral participation.

The echoes reverberating from these narratives serve as poignant reminders of the entrenched obstacles impeding the full integration of individuals with disabilities into the democratic tapestry. The inaccessibility of polling stations and the glaring absence of provisions tailored to the needs of persons with disabilities loom large as formidable barricades to their political engagement. Particularly pronounced is the plight of those grappling with severe impairments and intellectual challenges, who face even steeper hurdles in seizing political participation opportunities, often grappling with feelings of isolation and exclusion from the political discourse.

Calls for decisive action cascade forth, urging the establishment of more inclusive and accessible political ecosystems that embrace individuals with disabilities in Botswana. Government bodies and concerned stakeholders are urged to prioritize the enactment of laws and policies designed to safeguard the political rights of individuals with disabilities. Furthermore, initiatives geared towards enhancing awareness and education on political processes and rights for this segment of society must be spearheaded, alongside the adoption of inclusive measures within political institutions and party structures.

By dismantling these barriers and nurturing a political landscape that is truly inclusive, Botswana can earnestly uphold its democratic ethos and afford every citizen, including those with disabilities, a substantive opportunity to partake in the political fabric of the nation.



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Neo Kirchway- Defying the odds

23rd February 2024

In the heartwarming tale of Neo Kirchway, a beacon of inspiration emerges, shining brightly amid life’s adversities.

Defying the constraints of destiny, Neo Kirchway, a resilient Motswana soul now thriving in the United States, stands tall despite the absence of her lower limbs. With unwavering determination, she tends to her cherished family – a loving husband and four children – engaging in the daily symphony of household tasks with remarkable grace.

Neo’s indomitable spirit traces back to the fateful year of 1994, a time when medical intervention called for the amputation of her curled legs. Embracing this pivotal juncture with unwavering courage and the blessing of her mother, she ventured forth into a world adorned with prosthetic legs, eager to script a tale of triumph.

Venturing beyond borders, Neo’s journey led her to the embrace of the United States, where serendipity intertwined her fate with that of her soulmate, Garrett Kirchway. Together, this harmonious duo navigates the ebbs and flows of life, their bond fortified by unwavering love and unyielding support.

In a bid to illuminate paths and embolden hearts, Neo leverages the digital realm, crafting a sanctuary of empowerment on her YouTube channel. Brimming with authenticity and raw emotion, her videos chronicle the tapestry of her daily life, serving as a testament to resilience and the unwavering human spirit.

Amidst the digital cosmos, Neo, affectionately known as “KirchBaby,” reigns supreme, a luminary in the hearts of 658,000 enraptured subscribers. Through her captivating content, she not only navigates the mundane tasks of cooking, cleaning, and childcare but also dances with celestial grace, a testament to her boundless spirit and unyielding zest for life.

In the cathedral of Neo Kirchway’s narrative, resilience reigns supreme, echoing a universal truth – that amidst life’s gales, the human spirit, when kindled by hope and fortitude, emerges as a beacon of light, illuminating even the darkest of paths.


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Inequalities Faced by Individuals with Disabilities

22nd February 2024

The government’s efforts to integrate individuals with disabilities in Botswana society are being hampered by budgetary constraints. Those with disabilities face inequalities in budgetary allocations in the health and education sectors. For instance, it is reported that the government allocates higher budgetary funds to the general health sector, while marginal allocations are proposed for the development and implementation of the National Primary Health Care guidelines and Standards for those with Disabilities. This shows that in terms of budgetary solutions, the government’s proposed initiatives in improving the health and well-being of those with disabilities remain futile as there is not enough money going towards disability-specific health programs. On the other hand, limited budgetary allocations to the Special Education Unit also are a primary contributor to the inequalities faced by children with disabilities. The government only provides for the employment of 15 teachers with qualifications in special education despite the large numbers of children with intellectual disabilities that are in need of special education throughout Botswana. Such disproportional allocation of resources inhibits the capacity to provide affordable and accessible assisted technology and residential support services for those with disabilities. Given the fact that a different amount of resources have been availed to the education and health sectors, the general understanding is that the government is not doing enough to ensure that adequate resources are distributed to disability-specific programs and facilities such as barrier-free environments, residential homes, and special education schools for children with disabilities.


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