Connect with us

Makgato rings changes at BDP Women Wing

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.

Continue Reading


Botswana economic recovery depends on successful vaccine rollout – BoB

5th May 2021

Bank of Botswana (BoB) has indicated that the rebounding of domestic economy will depended on successful vaccine roll-out which could help business activity to return to its post pandemic days.

Projections by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) suggest a rebound in economic growth for Botswana in 2021.

This content is locked

Login To Unlock The Content!


Continue Reading


Inside the UB-BDF fighter Jet tragedy report

5th May 2021

Despite being hailed and still regarded as a hero who saved many lives through his decision to crash the BF5 fighter Jet around the national stadium on the eve of the 2018 BDF day, the deceased Pilot, Major Clifford Manyuni’s actions were treated as a letdown within the army, especially by his master-Commander of the Air Arm, Major General Innocent Phatshwane.

Manyuni’s master says he was utterly disappointed with his Pilot’s failure to perform “simple basics.”

Manyuni was regarded as a hero through social media for his ‘colourful exploits’, but Phatshwane who recently retired as the Air Arm Commander, revealed to WeekendPost in an exclusive interview that while he appreciated Batswana’s outpouring of emotions and love towards his departed Pilot, he strongly felt let down by the Pilot “because there was nothing wrong with that Fighter Jet and Manyuni did not report any problem either.”

The deceased Pilot, Manyuni was known within the army to be an upwardly mobile aviator and in particular an air power proponent.

“I was hurt and very disappointed because nobody knows why he decided to crash a well-functioning aircraft,” stated Phatshwane – a veteran pilot with over 40 years of experience under the Air Arm unit.

Phatshwane went on to express shock at Manyuni’s flagrant disregard for the rules of the game, “they were in a formation if you recall well and the guiding principle in that set-up is that if you have any problem, you immediately report to the formation team leader and signal a break-away from the formation.

Manyuni disregarded all these basic rules, not even to report to anybody-team members or even the barracks,” revealed Phatshwane when engaged on the much-publicised 2018 incident that took the life of a Rakops-born Pilot of BDF Class 27 of 2003/2004.

Phatshwane quickly dismisses the suggestion that perhaps the Fighter Jet could have been faulty, “the reasons why I am saying I was disappointed is that the aircraft was also in good condition and well-functioning. It was in our best interest to know what could have caused the accident and we launched a wholesale post-accident investigation which revealed that everything in the structure was working perfectly well,” he stated.

Phatshwane continued: “we thoroughly assessed the condition of the engine of the aircraft as well as the safety measures-especially the ejection seat which is the Pilot’s best safety companion under any life-threatening situation. All were perfectly functional.”

In aircrafts, an ejection seat or ejector seat is a system designed to rescue the pilot or other crew of an aircraft in an emergency. The seat is propelled out of the aircraft by an explosive charge or rocket motor, carrying the pilot with it.”

Manyuni knew about all these safety measures and had checked their functionality prior to using the Aircraft as is routine practice, according to Phatshwane. Could Manyuni have been going through emotional distress of some sort? Phatshwane says while he may never really know about that, what he can say is that there are laid out procedures in aviation guiding instances of emotional instability which Manyuni also knew about.

“We don’t allow or condone emotionally or physically unfit Pilots to take charge of an aircraft. If a Pilot feels unfit, he reports and requests to be excused. We will subsequently shift the task to another Pilot. We do this because we know the risks of leaving an unfit pilot to fly an aircraft,” says Phatshwane.

Despite having happened a day before the BDF day, Phatshwane says the BDF day mishap did not really affect the BDF day preparations, although it emotionally distracted Manyuni’s flying formation squad a bit, having seen him break away from the formation to the stone-hearted ground. The team soldiered on and immediately reported back to base for advice and way forward, according to Phatshwane.

Sharing the details of the ordeal and his Pilots’ experiences, Phatshwane said: “they (pilots) were in distress, who wouldn’t? They were especially hurt by the deceased‘s lack of communication. I immediately called a chaplain to attend to their emotional needs.

He came and offered them counselling. But soldiers don’t cry, they immediately accepted that a warrior has been called, wiped off their tears and instantly reported back for duty. I am sure you saw them performing miracles the following day at the BDF day as arranged.”

Despite the matter having attracted wide publicity, the BDF kept the crash details a distance away from the public, a move that Phatshwane felt was not in the best interest of the army and public.

“The incident attracted overwhelming public attention. Not only that, there were some misconceptions attached to the incident and I thought it was upon the BDF to come out and address those for the benefit of the public and army’s reputation,” he said.

One disturbing narrative linked to the incident was that Manyuni heroically wrestled the ‘faulty’ aircraft away from the endangered public to die alone, a narrative which Phatshwane disputes as just people’s imaginations. “Like I said the Aircraft was functioning perfectly,” he responded.

A close family member has hinted that the traumatised Manyuni family, at the time of their son’s tragedy, strongly accused the BDF ‘of killing their son’. Phatshwane admits to this development, emphasising that “Manyuni’s mother was visibly and understandably in inconsolable pain when she uttered those words”.

Phatshwane was the one who had to travel to Rakops through the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) aircraft to deliver the sad news to the family but says he found the family already in the know, through social media. At the time of his death, Manyuni was survived by both parents, two brothers, a sister, fiancée and one child. He was buried in Rakops in an emotionally-charged burial. Like his remains, the BDF fighter jets have been permanently rested.

Continue Reading


Uphill battle in Khama’s quest to charge Hubona

5th May 2021

A matter in which former President Lt Gen Ian Khama had brought before Broadhurst Police Station in Gaborone, requesting the State to charge Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) lead investigator, Jako Hubona and others with perjury has been committed to Headquarters because it involves “elders.” 

Broadhurst Police Station Commander, Obusitswe Lokae, told this publication this week that the case in its nature is high profile so the matter has been allocated to his Officer Commanding No.3 District who then reported to the Divisional Commander who then sort to commit it to Police Headquarters.

This content is locked

Login To Unlock The Content!


Continue Reading
Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!