Connect with us
Friday, 01 December 2023

Parliament rejects UDC MPs, they plan mass Protests


UDC MPs to address town/city hall meetings countrywide

Opposition Members of Parliament (MPs) intend to embark on mass demonstration across the country in protest against shortage of fresh water and frequent electricity cuts. The proposed demonstrations follow a failed bid to pass a motion calling on government to give the water and electricity shortfalls on SOS status.

The MPs specifically those of the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) held their first meeting at the civic centre in Gaborone. The meetings will be held nationwide in town halls to discuss the utility crisis with the electorates in an effort to force the Executive to come up with better solutions to this problem.

The Jwaneng/Mabutsane legislator, Shawn Nthaile said the mobilisation of the masses will culminate into a protest petition that would be presented to Parliament at the end of the meetings.

“Our people are not happy. They do not have water and electricity. Our people can no longer express their views through their representatives and we are taking this matter back to the people so that we can carry them with us. We challenge every Motswana who supports civil liberties to come forward. We will continue with the mass action every week that will culminate into a protest petition that will be presented to Parliament,” Nthaile stated during a media briefing in Gaborone this week.

The opposition attempt to get a Parliamentary investigation on the problem was rejected by the majority members of the ruling Botswana Democratic party (BDP) on Tuesday. However the opposition which has a total number of 19 MPs against 41 members of the BDP including 4 specially elected members have vowed to become a challenge to the majority by way of forcing national debate on the matter through the backing of the masses.

“We will march, push and force Parliament to prioritise water and power and put them on the highest agenda table. It is necessary to force this dialogue because our people lack clarity as to what led to the situation, what are the possible solutions and what will be the cost. We have to force this national dialogue in every sector of the society,” Gaolathe explained their plan.

Although some in the BDP are of the view that the opposition is only building their campaign topic ahead of the Goodhope-Mabule by elections, the UDC contends that even if it the subject could be used to convince the masses to rally behind it, the fact of the matter is that people livelihoods are at stake.

One Member of Parliament, Gilbert Mangole of Mochudi West told Parliament that at least one young person was burnt to death after living a candle burning following a power cut. Another MP, Haskins Nkaigwa of Gaborone North alleged that he witnessed an patient dying at Princess Marina hospital in the emergency care unit (ICU) following a power cut. He alleged the generators could not quickly switch on immediately after the power cut.

“Students have been affected, exams are not written, the security and safety of the people is under threat because they are always darkness,” Nkaigwa pointed out in part.

Although the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources tried to convince Parliament that he is doing all within his power to bring the situation back to normal, the opposition maintains that the problem is now beyond him and requires efforts of all stakeholders.

As it is a known fact that the power crisis is escalated by the continued failure of the Multibillion Pula Morupule power plants the Chinese Embassy in Gaborone has also attempted to help Botswana government explain as to how they intend solving the power crisis.

“ China fully understands the importance of Morupule B power plant project to people’s livelihood and economic development of Botswana, and feels very distressed that the project constructed by a Chinese company cannot be fully operational till today, although the causes are very complicated.

Relevant authorities of the Chinese government have already interviewed the accountable officials of the Chinese company several times, demanding them to come up with a feasible rehabilitation plan and to cooperate with Botswana side to fix the failures completely and as soon as possible. The two sides shall work together to solve this problem as soon as possible,” the Embassy explained this week as the debate raged on in Parliament.

Meanwhile the Botswana Power Corporation continues to ration power supply as they issue load shedding schedule every now and then.

The Botswana Water Utilities Corporation has also indicated that Water would continue to be scarce in the Southern Parts of the country. Unless the Southern regions receives heavy rainfalls in the coming rain season, the South, especially Gaborone will have to wait until the year of the next general elections, 2019 to receive the long promised water from the North which are to be carried through the expensive North South Water Carrier.
According to the WUC, the construction of the over 365km North South Carrier Scheme Project will reach Gaborone in 2019.

“The Over 365 Km North South Carrier Scheme Project II (NSC II) is progressing well. This is a pipeline that will transport water from the newly constructed 400MCM Dikgatlhong Dam in the north to the south of the country to augment supply. Construction of the 78km bulk raw water pipeline from Break Pressure Tank I (BPTI) near Letsibogo Dam to Moralane is completed. The next phase of the project which involves the construction of the 78km from Moralane to Palapye is ongoing and will be completed in the 2014/15 financial year. The scheduled completion date for the NCS II Project to reach Gaborone is 2019.”

Other projects that the WUC is working on include several borehole such as the Masama Well-Field that is expected to inject the water into the south of the country. When fully operational, the well-fields will supply 60 Milli liters a day. The project is ongoing and its completion date is 2014/15 financial year.

Continue Reading


19 Bokamoso Private Hospital nurses graduate at Lenmed Nursing College

28th November 2023

The graduation of 19 nurses from Bokamoso Private Hospital at Lenmed Nursing College marks a significant milestone in their careers. These nurses have successfully completed various short learning programs, including Adult Intensive Care Unit, Emergency Nursing Care, Anaesthetic & Recovery Room Nursing, Anaesthetic Nursing, and Recovery Room Nursing. The ceremony, held in Gaborone, was a testament to their hard work and dedication.

Lenmed Nursing College, a renowned healthcare group with a presence in South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, and Ghana, has been instrumental in providing quality education and training to healthcare professionals. The Group Head of Operations, Jayesh Parshotam, emphasized the importance of upskilling nurses, who are at the forefront of healthcare systems. He also expressed his appreciation for the partnerships with Bokamoso Private Hospital, the Ministry of Health, and various health training institutes in Botswana.

Dr. Morrison Sinvula, a consultant from the Ministry of Health, commended Lenmed Health and Lenmed Nursing College for their commitment to the education and training of these exceptional nurses. He acknowledged their guidance, mentorship, and support in shaping the nurses’ careers and ensuring their success. Dr. Sinvula also reminded the graduates that education does not end here, as the field of healthcare is constantly evolving. He encouraged them to remain committed to lifelong learning and professional development, embracing new technologies and staying updated with the latest medical advancements.

Dr. Gontle Moleele, the Superintendent of Bokamoso Private Hospital, expressed her excitement and pride in the graduating class of 2023. She acknowledged the sacrifices made by these individuals, who have families and responsibilities, to ensure their graduation. Dr. Moleele also thanked Lenmed Nursing College for providing this opportunity to the hospital’s nurses, as it will contribute to the growth of the hospital.

The certificate recipients from Bokamoso Private Hospital were recognized for their outstanding achievements in their respective programs. Those who received the Cum Laude distinction in the Adult Intensive Care Unit program were Elton Keatlholwetse, Lebogang Kgokgonyane, Galaletsang Melamu, Pinkie Mokgosi, Ofentse Seboletswe, Gorata Basupi, Bareng Mosala, and Justice Senyarelo. In the Emergency Nursing Care program, Atlanang Moilwa, Bakwena Moilwa, Nathan Nhiwathiwa, Mogakolodi Lesarwe, Modisaotsile Thomas, and Lorato Matenje received the Cum Laude distinction. Kelebogile Dubula and Gaolatlhe Sentshwaraganye achieved Cum Laude in the Anaesthetic & Recovery Room Nursing program, while Keletso Basele excelled in the Anaesthetic Nursing program. Mompoloki Mokwaledi received recognition for completing the Recovery Room Nursing program.

In conclusion, the graduation of these 19 nurses from Bokamoso Private Hospital at Lenmed Nursing College is a testament to their dedication and commitment to their profession. They have successfully completed various short learning programs, equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their respective fields. The collaboration between Lenmed Nursing College, Bokamoso Private Hospital, and the Ministry of Health has played a crucial role in their success. As they embark on their careers, these nurses are encouraged to continue their professional development and embrace new advancements in healthcare.

Continue Reading


BNF secures 15 constituencies in UDC coalition, wants more

28th November 2023

The Botswana National Front (BNF) has recently announced that they have already secured 15 constituencies in the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) coalition, despite ongoing negotiations. This revelation comes as the BNF expresses its dissatisfaction with the current government and its leadership.

The UDC, which is comprised of the BNF, Botswana Peoples Party (BPP), Alliance for Progressives (AP), and Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF), is preparing for the upcoming General Elections. However, the negotiations to allocate constituencies among the involved parties are still underway. Despite this, the BNF Chairman, Patrick Molotsi, confidently stated that they have already acquired 15 constituencies and are expecting to add more to their tally.

Molotsi’s statement reflects the BNF’s long-standing presence in many constituencies across Botswana. With a strong foothold in these areas, it is only natural for the BNF to seek an increase in the number of constituencies they represent. This move not only strengthens their position within the UDC coalition but also demonstrates their commitment to serving the interests of the people.

In a press conference, BNF Secretary General, Ketlhafile Motshegwa, expressed his discontent with the current government leadership. He criticized the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) for what he perceives as a disregard for the well-being of the Batswana people. Motshegwa highlighted issues such as high unemployment rates and shortages of essential medicines as evidence of the government’s failure to address the needs of its citizens.

The BNF’s dissatisfaction with the current government is a reflection of the growing discontent among the population. The Batswana people are increasingly frustrated with the lack of progress and the failure to address pressing issues. The BNF’s assertion that the government is playing with the lives of its citizens resonates with many who feel neglected and unheard.

The BNF’s acquisition of 15 constituencies, even before the negotiations have concluded, is a testament to their popularity and support among the people. It is a clear indication that the Batswana people are ready for change and are looking to the BNF to provide the leadership they desire.

As the negotiations continue, it is crucial for all parties involved to prioritize the interests of the people. The allocation of constituencies should be done in a fair and transparent manner, ensuring that the voices of all citizens are represented. The BNF’s success in securing constituencies should serve as a reminder to the other parties of the need to listen to the concerns and aspirations of the people they aim to represent.

In conclusion, the BNF’s acquisition of 15 constituencies, despite ongoing negotiations, highlights their strong presence and support among the Batswana people. Their dissatisfaction with the current government leadership reflects the growing discontent in the country. As the UDC coalition prepares for the upcoming General Elections, it is crucial for all parties to prioritize the needs and aspirations of the people. The BNF’s success should serve as a reminder of the importance of listening to the voices of the citizens and working towards a better future for Botswana.








Continue Reading


Children’s summit to discuss funding of NGOS

21st November 2023

One of the key issues that will be discussed by the Childrens’ Summit, which will be hosted by Childline Botswana Trust on 28th – 30th November in Gaborone, will be the topical issue of financing and strengthening of civil society organizations.

A statement from Childline Botswana indicates that the summit will adopt a road map for resourcing the children’s agenda by funding organizations. It will also cover issues relating to child welfare and protection; aimed at mobilizing governments to further strengthen Child Helplines; as well as sharing of emerging technologies to enhance the protection of Children and promotion of their rights.

According to Gaone Chepete, Communications Officer at Childline Botswana, the overall objective of the summit is to provide a platform for dialogue and engagement towards promoting practices and policies that fulfil children’s rights and welfare.

“Child Helplines in the region meet on a bi-annual basis to reflect on the state of children; evaluate their contribution and share experiences and best practice in the provision of services for children,” said Chepete.

The financing of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) by the state or its functionaries has generated mixed reactions from within the civil society space, with many arguing that it threatened NGOs activism and operational independence.

In February 2019, University of Botswana academic Kenneth Dipholo released a paper titled “State philanthropy: The demise of charitable organizations in Botswana,” in which he faulted then President Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama for using charity for political convenience and annexing the operational space of NGOs.

“Civil society is the domain in which individuals can exercise their rights as citizens and set limits to the power of the state. The state should be developing capable voluntary organizations rather than emaciating or colonizing them by usurping their space,” argued Dipholo.

He further argued that direct involvement of the state or state president in charity breeds unhealthy competition between the state itself and other organizations involved in charity. Under these circumstances, he added, the state will use charity work to remain relevant to the ordinary people and enhance its visibility at the expense of NGOs.

“A consequence of this arrangement is that charitable organizations will become affiliates of the state. This stifles innovation in the sense that it narrows the ability of charitable organizations to think outside the box. It also promotes mono-culturalism, as the state could support only charitable organizations that abide by its wishes,” said Dipholo.

In conclusion, Dipholo urged the state to focus on supporting NGOs so that they operate in a system that combines philanthropic work and state welfare programs.

He added that state philanthropy threatens to relegate and render charitable organizations virtually irrelevant and redundant unless they re-engineer themselves.

Another University of Botswana (UB) academic, Professor Zibani Maundeni, opined that politics vitally shape civil society interaction; as seen in the interactions between the two, where there is mutual criticism in each other’s presence.

Over the years, NGOs have found themselves grappling with dwindling financial resources as donors ran out of money in the face of increased competition for financing. Many NGOs have also been faulted for poorly managing their finances because of limited strategic planning and financial management expertise. This drove NGOs to look to government for funding; which fundamentally altered the relationships between the two. The end result was a complete change in the operational culture of NGOs, which diminished their social impact and made them even more fragile. Increased government control through contract clauses also reduced NGOs activism and autonomy.

However, others believe that NGOs and government need each other, especially in the provision of essential services like child welfare and protection. Speaking at the Civil Society Child Rights Convention in 2020, Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Setlhabelo Modukanele said government considers NGOs as critical partners in development.

“We recognize the role that NGOs play a critical role in the country’s development agenda,” said Modukanele.

Continue Reading