Ntuane will declare business interests, undertake in writing to Khama
There seems to be a strong difference of opinion among the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) leadership incumbents and hopefuls, over who can and cannot be eligible to do business with the party.
This hot potato subject came to life following a vow made by Botsalo Ntuane, a candidate for the position of secretary general, that he will not do any business with the BDP once elected to the party’s high position. The party’s elective congress is scheduled for Mmadinare in July.
Ntuane has set tongues wagging with his 22 points BDP reform agenda which is essentially a response to BDP’s longstanding problems. Ntuane’s reform agenda is a careful, strategic and well thought out plan to counter the cancer that is eating away the BDP.
Foremost among his election promises is that once elected, he will not do any business with the party as has been the case with the past holders of the postion who earned the infamous tag name, ‘BDP tenderpreneurs.’ When the reigning party central committee was voted in, many commentators observed that the party had fallen into to hands of money men.
This was not helped by comments attributted to the party Secretary General Mpho Balopi, that: “It was our turn to eat”, a remark that angered many BDP diehards. There was widespread acrimony about the direction which the party would take under such a leadership of personal interests and the party’s dismal perfomance at the 2014 general elections proved the complainants right.
Ntuane’s decision comes in response to a discussion document his campaign team has circulated to party members where he outlines 22 issues which they think should form part of the BDP’s reform agenda if the ruling party is to reverse the gains made by the main opposition, Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) in the last general elections.
The BDP is expected to face stiff competition in the 2019 elections with the opposition confident that the increasingly unpopular BDP which delivered its worst perfomance since its formation, will finally bite the dust and lose power.
In the Team Botsalo Ntuane discussion document, party members are invited to give feedback and other suggestions for inclusion in the document which is Ntuane’s vehicle for the BDP congress. Part of the feedback is that Ntuane should be an ethical and fair Secretary general.
A handler confirmed to this publication that it is for this reason that Ntuane has undertaken to “not to do any business with the BDP but rather facilitate opportunities for other party members, especially the youth and women, who seriously need empowerment.”
A Team Botsalo Ntuane member has confirmed that although it is not a requirement, their candidate will upon election, voluntarily register his business interests with the Secretariat and make and undertaking in writing to the president, that he will not transact business or compete for tenders with other democrats.
It is believed that this move is meant to demonstrate that Ntuane is going into office to serve and help the party and not to enrich himself through its resources. Ntuane is facing competition from a Gaborone based activist, Olebeng Ngwakwena, and his former campaign manager, Gaotlhaetse Matlhabaphiri, who ditched his principal a few weeks ago.
It was recently reported that the BDP spent multi millions in the last general elections with most of the money going into the pockets of a few selected democrats for providing services and goods. Some democrats have complained that certain officials serving in key positions in the Central Committee lined their pockets during the elections by monopolising party tenders and closing out other party members.
WeekendPost sought the views of the party secretary general, Mpho Balopi, regarding this matter, who said: “Our view is that as long as everything is done in a transparent manner, anybody can benefit from the party’s tenders, irrespective of his position in the party,” he said.
Balopi who won a few tenders from the party, says, “We are Batswana first and we are equally eligible to benefit from the party.” “I cannot be excluded or discriminated on because of my priviledge to have been elected to the party’s leadership positions. If all processes and prcedures have been followed, I think we all have to qualify,” he said.
Former cabinet Minister, Ramadeluka Seretse, who is vying for the Chairmanship of the party, however differs, saying the BDP should as a party in power, align its guiding documents to societal ethics as well as the cardinal principles espoused in various national legislations. However, his contender for the chairmanship, Tebelopele Seretse sits on the fence, on this particular matter.
“I have not been around and I am still learning about what has been happening within the party. But I have obviously heard a lot of things pertaining to that. My view is that such should be open to all BDP members. But transparency and strict measures should be put in place to guard against any form of abuse of office or cases of conflict of interest that may arise,” she said.
Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng together with Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Elias Magosi, this week refused to name and shame the worst performing Ministries and to disclose the best performing Ministries since beginning of 12th parliament including the main reasons for underperformance.
Of late there have been a litany of complaints from both ends of the aisle with cabinet members accused of providing parliament with unsatisfactory responses to the questions posed. In fact for some Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) backbenchers a meeting with the ministers and party leadership is overdue to address their complaints. Jwaneng-Mabutsane MP, Mephato Reatile is also not happy with ministers’ performance.
Bokamoso Private Hospital is battling a P10 million legal suit for a botched fibroids operation which resulted in a woman losing an entire womb and her prospects of bearing children left at zero.
The same suit has also befallen the Attorney General of Botswana who is representing the Ministry of Health and Wellness for their contributory negligence of having the unlawful removal of a patient, Goitsemang Magetse’s womb.
According to the court papers, Magetse says that sometimes in November 2019, she was diagnosed with fibroids at Marina Hospital where upon she was referred to Bokamoso Private Hospital to schedule an appointment for an operation to remove the fibroids, which she did.
Magetse continues that at the instance of one Dr Li Wang, the surgeon who performed the operation, and unknown to her, an operation to remove her whole womb was conducted instead. According to Magetse, it was only through a Marina Hospital regular check-up that she got to learn that her whole womb has been removed.
“At the while she was under the belief that only her fibroids have been removed. By doing so, the hospital has subjected itself to some serious delictual liability in that it performed a serious and life changing operation on patient who was under the belief that she was doing a completely different operation altogether. It thus came as a shock when our client learnt that her womb had been removed, without her consent,” said Magetse’s legal representatives, Kanjabanga and Associates in their summons.
The letter further says, “this is an infringement of our client‘s rights and this infringement has dire consequences on her to the extent that she can never bear children again”. ‘It is our instruction therefore, to claim as we hereby do, damages in the sum of BWP 10,000,000 (ten million Pula) for unlawful removal of client’s womb,” reads Kanjabanga Attorneys’ papers. The defendants are yet to respond to the plaintiff’s papers.
What are fibroids?
Fibroids are tumors made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. They develop in the uterus. It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of women will develop fibroids in their lifetime — however, not everyone will develop symptoms or require treatment.
The most important characteristic of fibroids is that they’re almost always benign, or noncancerous. That said, some fibroids begin as cancer — but benign fibroids can’t become cancer. Cancerous fibroids are very rare. Because of this fact, it’s reasonable for women without symptoms to opt for observation rather than treatment.
Studies show that fibroids grow at different rates, even when a woman has more than one. They can range from the size of a pea to (occasionally) the size of a watermelon. Even if fibroids grow that large, we offer timely and effective treatment to provide relief.
The Alliance for Progressives (AP) President Ndaba Gaolathe has said that despite major accolades that Botswana continues to receive internationally with regard to the state of economy, the prospects for the future are imperilled.
Delivering his party Annual Policy Statement on Thursday, Gaolathe indicated that Botswana is in a state of do or die, and that the country’s economy is on a sick bed. With a major concern for poverty, Gaolathe pointed out that almost half of Botswana’s people are ravaged by or are about to sink into poverty. “Our young people have lost the fire to dream about what they could become,” he said.