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Politics of BCA transformation playout

MP for Gaborone Central Dr Phenyo Butale

Members of Parliament (MPs) from the ranks of opposition have dismissed the proposed bill before parliament to transform the Botswana College of Agriculture into a fully fledged university to be known as Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Debating the proposed bill this week, opposition MPs were doubtful on whether the transformation will bring better results, owing to the scandals which ensnared the much hyped Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST).

Debating the bill, MP for Gaborone Bonnington South Ndaba Gaolathe expressed concern over whether the university would not degenerate to a situation similar to one experienced by BIUST and as a result bring no meaningful contribution to the country’s economy.

BIUST became the centre of attention amid controversies which ensnared the university leading to resignation, expulsion and internal strife involving high profile members of the university. Gaolathe said the status of university comes with certain high governance standards demand and said government should be willing not to compromise if it were to succeed.

Gaolathe also warned government that the appointment of key people tasked with running of the proposed university should be based purely on excellence rather nepotism, a bad phenomenon which he said has engulfed appointments of key people in government and quasi-government institutions.

MP for Gaborone Central Dr Phenyo Butale said he’s concerned on whether the proposed university will be a fully functioning university or just a change of status. Dr Butale expressed his disappoint that BCA is being transformed into a mainstream university instead of a research oriented university. “Do we need another mainstream university or do we need a research oriented university,” Dr Butale posed.

Dr Butale said it would have made better sense if government considered transforming BCA into a research oriented university so that Botswana will have the privilege of joining other international research oriented universities for dialogue over a variety of issues. Dr Butale said Botswana would then have a chance of becoming a school of excellence on issues of agriculture.

Dr Butale also expressed his concern with intimidation of academics by government officials for holding a divergent view from those of government. “Without academic freedom, scholars will not be able to help you with well-informed and researched information,” he said.

Okavango MP Bagalatia Arone said the introduction of university will have no significant impact if the problems of foot and mouth remain unresolved. The same sentiments were shared by MP for Maun West Tawana Moremi.

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6th February 2023

After falling to close the gap on Arsenal by losing to a record breaking goal by Kane at the Tottenham stadium.Manchester City now find themselves being charged by the Premier League with more than 100 breaches of its financial rules following a four-year investigation.

According to BBC , it has referred the club to an independent commission over alleged rule breaches between 2009 and 2018 , and also that Man-city has not been co-operating since the investigation which started in 2018 .

BBC further states that The commission can impose punishment including a fine , points deduction and expelling the club from the Premier league.

The alleged breaches include ,  breaching rules for requiring full details of manager remuneration,from 2009-2010, to 2012-2013 seasons when Roberto Mancini was in charge . Also player remuneration between 2010-2011 and 2015-2016.

The Premier league stated that City breached rules related to UEFA regulations , including Financial Fair Play , from 2013-2014 to 2017-2018 ,as well as Premier League rules on profitability and sustainability from 2014-2016 to 2017-2018

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South Korean Embassy aids students living with disabilities

6th February 2023

South Korean Ambassador in South Africa has donated e-learning equipment through Botswana Red Cross Society (BRCS) to Tlamelong Rehabilitation Centre in Tlokweng recently, in a bid to fine tune the student’s textile skills.  

When talking at the handing over ceremony, Chull-Joo Park, said they agreed with BRCS to give out e-learning equipment to better the training skills of students living with disabilities.

“With the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment and job training skills, we will be able to help the students living with disabilities to do e-learning and to better their education and job training,” said Chull-Joo Park.

It was revealed that the South Korean Embassy approached BRCS with the intent to donate equipment and educational material that includes an embroidery machine, photo copier machine, tablets and interactive boards to be utilized by the trainees.

The industrial printer is a machine that works with embroidery machine to print designs for clothing and it will enable the learners to have more material available to them to facilitate learning.

Through this embroidery machine, students will be exposed to better technologies which ultimately improve the quality of materials they produce. It will also allow students to learn business skills and run profitable ventures.

Smart board gadgets will provide the students with an elevated learning process to be fostered by e-learning. The gadgets provide a more visual element to the learning process, which in turn improves learner mental retention.

Tlamelong Rehabilitation serves the marginalized and underserved less privileged persons living with disability in Botswana. The center offers boarding services, vocational training, social services, physiotherapy and rehabilitation services for young people living disabilities aged 18-35 from across the country over a period of two (2) years per cohort which has a maximum intake capacity of 35. BRCS through International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have managed to create great working synergy with the South Korean Embassy in Pretoria based in South Africa to support or augment the National Society’s Rehabilitation Centre’s learning challenges.

For his part, BRSC Secretary General Kutlwano Mokokomani said they are delighted to convey their gratitude as BRSC to the South Korean Embassy for donation and they look forward to an enduring partnership for such worthy causes.

“South Korean Embassy’s great gesture will enable trainees to thrive, to fulfil their dreams to become a reality as this equipments will go a long way in creating great impact in the lives of trainees and their families. We wish to convey our sincere gratitude to the South Korean Embassy for their noble gesture of donating the E-learning equipments.”

BRCS offers rehabilitation services spread across three (3) areas in Botswana being Sefhare Stimulation center in Sefhare, Tshimologo stimulation center in Francistown and Tlamelong rehabilitation center in Tlokweng.

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DIS alleges plot to kill Masisi hatched in South Africa

6th February 2023

A dispute is brewing between Botswana and South Africa intelligence agencies over alleged mercenary training camps discovered in South Africa by the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS). 

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