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Corruption claims pulling BDP down Report

BDP Sercetary General, Mpho Balopi

The ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) continues to lose public support amidst allegations of corruption and poor governance and this is making its supporters sad – a draft report on human development by the University of Botswana and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has revealed.

The Botswana national human development report, which is still under review suggests that the declining popularity of the BDP as proven by last year’s poll results shows that socio-economic concerns such as high unemployment especially among the youth, relatively high income inequality, inability to adequately diversify the economy from the diamond mining which is capital intensive are some of the factors that have possibly dented public confidence in the party that has enjoyed uninterrupted rule for the past forty-nine (49) years.  

According to the experts, many people were possibly turned off by the corruption scandals that incriminated some senior government officials and institutions and hence the drop in the BDP Parliamentary seats in the last national polls.

“The country has a well functioning democracy that has been characterised by relatively free and fair elections that were held every five years. Even though each of the election was won by one party, BDP, these have been characterised as free and fair. The elections have however shown a declining popular vote for the ruling party, the worst being the most recent elections in 2014 where the ruling party won with a popular vote for the first time below fifty percent,” the report reads in part.

The BDP won 37 of the 57 constituencies during the 2014 general elections. The coalition opposition party, Umbrella for Democratic Change whose membership include Botswana National Front, Botswana Movement for Democracy  and Botswana People’s Party, secured 17 seats while Botswana Congress Party gained 3.

The report further suggested that the BDP decline in popularity could have been most likely a response by voters to some of the governance issues such as alleged rising corruption among some of the public institutions.
The report collaborates the recent research by the Afro Barometer which suggests that seventy-percent of the voting population belief that the President and his officials are corrupt.

The decline in popularity, according to the UB and UNDP researchers may also be a response to the dissatisfaction of workers to cost of living as salaries were kept unchanged for some time after the 2008 global financial crisis.

“The country witnessed a major public strike in April 2011, which culminated in the civil service unions publicly declaring their support for the united opposition to seek for alternative government to deal with the socio-economic situation which they characterised as highly unsatisfactory,” the report further pointed out.

However they admitted that Botswana is a longest liberal democracy in Africa with good governance record market based economy with relatively strong checks and balances, notably for ensuring public accountability and rules for both public spending and general economic management.

However they noted that while the country has had “a very strong governance system it has continued to experience weak implementation and monitoring and evaluation.”

The experts therefore called on the government to utilise resources in a smarter way rather than seemingly throwing money to problems with little success in terms of sustainable development.

The launch of the report is expected following the final review of the draft which is to be carried out at the end of this Month, in Gaborone by the UN country team, development partners, government officials, researchers, academics and the media.

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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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