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Mopipi Headman sues Minister

Former Minister of Local government, Peter Siele

Mopipi headman of records, Oreajetse Machilisa, is suing the government following the Minister of Local government and Rural development’s decision to appoint someone else a chief when he was ‘deserving and endorsed by the Morafe in a recognised kgotla meeting’.

Machilisa blames former Minister, Peter Siele and Bangwato tribal lords for imposing decisions willi-nilly on the people of Boteti. This habit, he said, is deeply rooted in the Bangwato royals who ‘behave like Gods over surbodinate tribes and never want to hear them out’.

“When our chief, Gakemotho Kgwesi died, the tribe gathered and unanimously agreed that I should take over but the then Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Peter Siele and Bangwato top royals made sure that they selected their favourite for the position contrary to the people’s desires,” he decried.

Machilisa further argues that the argument by the government that the people elected their leader is false and without basis as past chiefs were automatically suceeded by their deputies and those who came after them in rank. Notwithstanding this, the government has said the tribe endorsed the candidate.

When the case was initially registered, the judge ruled in favour of Machilisa ordering the matter to be referred back to the people so that they decide on their right chief. The government has however ascribed Machilisa’s ‘temporary victory’ to their failure to communicate that he cited the wrong sections to the courts to rely upon.

Machilisa, they said, had posited that he was employed under section 6 which hires paramount chiefs when he was actually hired under a different section. However since the order was granted, the government has not complied and the chief who was appointed by the Minister is still in office.

Weekendpost called the Boteti tribal office and spoke to him to confirm that he is still in the office. He answered the phone and said Machilisa was on leave.

Meanwhile, Machilisa wants the issue to be tried as contempt. “The government has not complied with the order since it was granted and we want the court to make a ruling on that,” he said.

The government is now making arrangements to address the residents and get a mandate from them before reverting to the courts to make a fresh and perhaps permanent ruling on the matter.

Machilisa is adamant that the people will endorse him and ‘expose Bangwato tribe leaders and their friends’s wickedness’.

He described the Bangwato tribe royals as hostile people who are motivated by nothing but self-interest and dictatorship. “They should respect subordinate tribes and allowe them to decide their fate rather than impose every idea on them,” he charged.

Machilisa further said what hurts him most is that the decision by the government and Bangwato royals,particulalry Sediegeng Kgamane’s deputy is that all were taken in his absence denying him the right to reply-a cardinal principle in natural justice.The case is continuing and will be decided by the courts in the near future.

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Inequalities Faced by Individuals with Disabilities

22nd February 2024

The government’s efforts to integrate individuals with disabilities in Botswana society are being hampered by budgetary constraints. Those with disabilities face inequalities in budgetary allocations in the health and education sectors. For instance, it is reported that the government allocates higher budgetary funds to the general health sector, while marginal allocations are proposed for the development and implementation of the National Primary Health Care guidelines and Standards for those with Disabilities. This shows that in terms of budgetary solutions, the government’s proposed initiatives in improving the health and well-being of those with disabilities remain futile as there is not enough money going towards disability-specific health programs. On the other hand, limited budgetary allocations to the Special Education Unit also are a primary contributor to the inequalities faced by children with disabilities. The government only provides for the employment of 15 teachers with qualifications in special education despite the large numbers of children with intellectual disabilities that are in need of special education throughout Botswana. Such disproportional allocation of resources inhibits the capacity to provide affordable and accessible assisted technology and residential support services for those with disabilities. Given the fact that a different amount of resources have been availed to the education and health sectors, the general understanding is that the government is not doing enough to ensure that adequate resources are distributed to disability-specific programs and facilities such as barrier-free environments, residential homes, and special education schools for children with disabilities.


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Disability characterized by exclusion

22nd February 2024

Disability in Botswana, like in many other nations, has been characterized by exclusion, discrimination, and stigmatization. Negative attitudes towards individuals with disabilities (IWDs) have led to barriers in education, employment, and access to facilities and information. The lack of disability-specific legislation in Botswana has further perpetuated the exclusion of IWDs from society.

The National Policy on Care for People with Disabilities (NPCPD) in Botswana, established in 1996, aims to recognize and protect the rights and dignity of individuals with disabilities. The policy emphasizes the importance of integration and equal opportunities for IWDs in various sectors such as health, education, employment, and social development. While the policy provides a framework for addressing disability issues, it falls short of enacting disability-specific legislation to protect the rights of IWDs.

In 2010, the Government of Botswana established an office for IWDs within the Office of the President to coordinate disability-related policies and programs. While this office plays a crucial role in mobilizing resources for the implementation of policies, its approach to service delivery is rooted in social welfare, focusing on the care of IWDs as a social burden rather than recognizing their rights.

The lack of disability-specific legislation in Botswana has hindered the recognition of the rights of IWDs and the enactment of laws to protect them from discrimination and exclusion. Without legal protections in place, IWDs continue to face barriers in education, employment, and access to facilities and information, perpetuating their exclusion from society.

In order to address the exclusion of IWDs in Botswana, it is crucial for the government to prioritize the enactment of disability-specific legislation to protect their rights and ensure equal opportunities for all. By recognizing the rights and dignity of individuals with disabilities, Botswana can work towards creating a more inclusive society where IWDs are valued and included in all aspects of life.




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DJ Bafana’s one man show on the cards

21st February 2024

DJ Bafana, a talented DJ from Francistown, is gearing up to host his very own one-man show, a groundbreaking event that aims to not only showcase his skills but also empower fellow musicians. This ambitious project is currently in the planning stages, with DJ Bafana actively seeking out potential sponsors to help bring his vision to life.

In a recent interview with WeekendPost, DJ Bafana revealed that he is in talks with two potential venues, Limpopo Gardens and Molapo Leisure Gardens, to host his show. However, he is facing challenges in securing sponsorships from companies, particularly those who do not fully understand the importance of music-related events. Despite this setback, DJ Bafana remains determined to make his one-man show a reality and to use it as a platform to empower and support other artists in the industry.

What sets DJ Bafana’s show apart is the fact that he will be making history as the first person living with a disability to host a one-man show in Botswana. This milestone is a testament to his resilience and determination to break barriers and pave the way for others in similar situations. By showcasing his talent and passion for music, DJ Bafana is not only proving his worth as an artist but also inspiring others to pursue their dreams, regardless of any obstacles they may face.

As DJ Bafana continues to work towards making his one-man show a reality, he remains focused on his goal of empowering and uplifting his fellow musicians. Through his dedication and perseverance, he is setting an example for others to follow and showing that anything is possible with hard work and determination. The date for the show is yet to be announced, but one thing is for certain – DJ Bafana’s one-man show is sure to be a memorable and inspiring event for all who attend.


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