Dorcas Makgato wants Women Wing to influence party policy
Newly elected Chairperson of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Women’s Wing, Dorcas Makgato has vowed to have the most active and influential women’s wing during her tenure at helm of the party organ.
Following her ascendency to the leadership of the Women Wing last month, Makgato told the media this week that there would be some reforms introduced to the Women Wing as the organ strives for influence over the party and its central committee. By virtue of her position, Makgato will sit on the party’s Central Committee.
Part of the reforms, she said, include the introduction of the General Assembly which will convene every year after the election of the women’s wing committee members. Makgato said the development was as a result of the recognition that BDP women need to engage more regularly to address issues relating to party policy and others.
“The BDP women wing has also committed to embark on empowerment training, developing a finance and investment strategy, rolling out a recruitment drive as well as engaging in social investment activities,” she said.
Initially the BDP women’s wing met only during the elective congress, which Makgato said led to a lot of inactivity. Makgato, who is also Minister of Health, said it is important that women are empowered through political education to ensure that they play a meaningful role in Botswana politics.
BDP has come under heavy criticism for failing to formulate policies and laws that empower women to play a meaningful role in politics through representation in parliament and councils. BDP has only four female Members of Parliament, one, Dr Unity Dow having been brought to the law making house through the Special Nomination dispensation.
With BDP having received the worst popular vote in its entire history last year, Makgato wants the Women’s Wing to also take charge of increasing the party visibility in constituencies.
Makgato said as part of the new committee’s agenda which includes creating additional organizational structures at regional and national level, the women’s wing will audit BDP women structures as well as identify and profile BDP talent to serve as role models to younger women in politics.
The former Trade Minister said they will have some events which are not partisan to attract new members into the BDP folder.
The newly elected committee met President Khama this week to introduce themselves.
The ascendency of Makgato to the Chairpersonship of the Women’s Wing comes at a time when the party is readying itself for the elective congress in July in which scores of BDP heavy weights are jostling for influential party positions. Makgato has however refused to be drawn into announcing which candidates her committee will be throwing their weight behind.
Since being appointed Specially Elected MP following the 2009 general elections, Makgato has proved to be one of Khama’s trusted and performing cabinet members.
Makgato joined BDP from Botswana Export Development Investment Agency, (now Botswana Investment Trade Centre) and was immediately appointed Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry but later took over as a full Minister following the ill health of the then Minister, the late Baledzi Gaolathe.
During the past general elections, Makgato contested for Sefhare-Ramokgonami constituency and won against Dr Kesitigile Gobotswang of Botswana Congress Party (BCP). She was then moved to Ministry of Health following the appointment of the new cabinet.
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.