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Khama approves Ntuanes campaign

BLESSINGS FROM FORMER VICE PRESIDENT: Botsalo Ntuane expects many Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) members to approve his run for the position of secretary general. He met President Lt Gen Ian Khama on Wednesday to inform him about his interest.

President Lt Gen Ian Khama has given Botsalo Ntuane the green light to contest for the position of secretary general of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) at the July congress. Sources say the two met on Wednesday this week in a meeting that took about 45 minutes.

Ntuane had appointed with the President to inform him of his interest in the position of secretary general out of courtesy and respect as leader of the BDP. The former Gaborone South Member of Parliament has been reluctant in the past to confirm his availability for the position because he wanted to meet with President Khama before declaring interest.

Contacted for comment, Ntuane said:  “Yes I have indeed informed His Excellency the President about my decision to offer myself for the position of Secretary General of the BDP. I felt he should be the first individual in the party to know about my decision as the party leader. The President has expressed no objection to my decision and further to that I have informed all candidates who have declared interest in the position of chairman that should I be elected secretary general in July, I am ready and willing to work with anyone of them. I believe they are all capable and committed democrats who can make a positive difference to the future of our party. I will state the same to anyone else who declares for chairmanship before July.”

Weekend Post has gathered that three people who have declared interest for the position of chairmanship, namely Tebelelo Seretse; Dikgakgamatso Seretse; and Biggie Butale have all approached lobbying him Ntuane to avail himself as secretary general of the BDP.

Ntuane is also being lobbied by Members of Parliament, Councillors, other party leaders, and other ordinary members of the party who have faith in his skills. Indications are that he had informed those whom lobbied him that he will make a determination before the BDP National Council scheduled for next weekend. About nine regions out of twelve have already approached Ntuane to ask him to stand for the position of secretary general.

What further enhances Ntuane’s chances is the fact that the current secretary general, Mpho Balopi, is not seeking re-election. Many pundits are of the view that the former Member of Parliament may sail through unopposed. While he comes along under the narrative that the political landscape has drastically changed, Ntuane is said to have offered cordial relationship with the party leadership should he be elected. It is well documented that Khama and Ntuane have had their differences as far as politics is concerned, but it appears they are ready to share notes going forward.

Those close to him say that he is done with adversarial politics within the party and he will be willing to give and take should he be allowed by party members to become secretary general. From their 45 minute meeting it is evident that Ntuane and Khama are prepared to work together to revive the BDP fortunes.

The 2014 general election performance is currently informing the way party members are approaching debates and decisions within the party. Most BDP members are said to be aware of the internal and external threats to the party and they want the best possible team to address those. Ntuane has all along called for reforms within the party that will influence the party profile.

The journey to the BDP congress has just begun and it is likely that more candidates could spring up along the way. Though Tshekedi Khama has not publicly declared his candidature for chairman, there is lobbying going on around the country.

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Local tennis team upbeat ahead of Billie Jean King cup

29th May 2023

With almost two weeks until the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup, which will be staged in Kenya from June 12-17, 2023, the Botswana Tennis Association (BTA) ladies’ team coach, Ernest Seleke, is optimistic about reaching greater heights.

Billie Jean King Cup, or the BJK Cup, is a premier international team competition in women’s tennis, launched as the Federation Cup to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the International Tennis Federation (ITF). The BJK Cup is the world’s largest annual women’s international team sports competition in terms of the number of nations that compete.

The finals will feature 12 teams (Botswana, Burundi, Ghana, Kenya, Seychelles, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Tunisia, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, and the Democratic Republic of Congo) competing in the four round-robin groups of three. The four group winners will qualify for the semifinals, and the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup will be crowned after the completion of the knockout phase.

Closer to home, the BW Tennis team is comprised of Thato Madikwe, Leungo Monnayoo, Chelsea Chakanyuka, and Kelebogile Monnayoo. However, according to Seleke, they have not assembled the team yet as some of the players are still engaged.

“At the moment, we are depending on the players and their respective coaches in terms of training. However, I will meet up with Botswana-based players in the coming week, while the United States of America (USA) based player Madikwe will probably meet us in Kenya. Furthermore, Ekua Youri and Naledi Raguin, who are based in Spain and France respectively, will not be joining us as they will be writing their examinations,” said Seleke.

Seleke further highlighted the significance of this competition and how competitive it is. “It is a massive platform for our players to showcase their talent in tennis, and it is very competitive as countries target to get promoted to the world categories where they get to face big nations such as Spain, France, USA, and Italy. Though we are going to this tournament as underdogs because it is our second time participating, I’m confident that the girls will put in a good showing and emerge with results despite the odds,” highlighted Seleke.

Quizzed about their debut performance at the BJK Cup, he said, “I think our performance was fair considering the fact that we were newbies. We came third in our group after losing to North Macedonia and South Africa. We went on to beat Uganda, then Kenya in the playoffs. Unfortunately, we couldn’t play Burundi due to heavy rainfall and settled for the position 9/10,” he said.

For her part, team representative Leungo Monnayoo said they are working hard as they aim to do well at the tourney. “The preparations for the tourney have long begun because we practice each and every day. We want to do well, hence we need to be motivated. Furthermore, I believe in my team as we have set ourselves a big target of coming home with the trophy,” she said.

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Pep Stores donates sanitary towels to Popagano JSS

26th May 2023

The Guidance and Counseling unit at Popagano Junior Secondary School received a donation of 790 sanitary towels from Pep stores on Thursday.

When presenting the donation, Mareledi Thebeng, the Dinokaneng Area Manager, highlighted their belief in giving back to the community, as their existence depends on the communities they serve. Thebeng pointed out that research indicates one in four girls miss school every day due to the lack of basic necessities like sanitary towels. Therefore, as a company, they strive to assist in alleviating this situation. She expressed hope that this donation would help ensure uninterrupted learning for girls.

Upon receiving the donation on behalf of the students, Charity Sambire, the President of the Student Representative Council, expressed her gratitude. Sambire specifically thanked Pep Store for their generous gift, speaking on behalf of the students, especially the girl child.

She conveyed their sincere appreciation for Pep Store’s compassion and quoted the adage, “Blessed is the hand that gives.” Sambire expressed the students’ hope for Pep Stores’ prosperity, enabling them to continue supporting the students. As a gesture of gratitude, the students pledged to excel academically.

During her speech, Motlalepula Madome, the Senior Teacher in Guidance and Counseling, highlighted that many students at the school come from disadvantaged backgrounds where parents struggle to provide basic necessities. Consequently, some students miss school when they experience menstruation due to this lack.
Madome emphasized the significance of the donation in preventing the girl child from missing lessons and its potential to improve the school’s overall results. She expressed the school’s gratitude and expressed a desire for continued support from Pep Stores.

Popagano Junior Secondary School, situated in the Okavango District, holds the second position academically in the North West region. Despite its location, the school has been dedicated to achieving excellence since 2017

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Botswana misses out critical PAP committee meeting

23rd May 2023

The Pan African Parliament (PAP) committee on gender, family, youth and people with disability in its sitting considered, adopted and recommended to the plenary session the preliminary report on the framework for the model law on gender equality.

According to the last week’s media release from PAP which is sitting with its various committees until June 2nd,  the committee is following up the PAP initiative to draw up a model law on gender equality to enable national governments to harmonize, modernize and standardize their legislations to address local needs is set to be discussed in Plenary.

However, what is concerning is the fact that Botswana which is a member state missed the deliberations. Kgosi Mosadi Seboko who sat in the committee representing Botswana has since been ejected by parliament and this is a huge blow for a nation that is still battling equity and gender balance.

“Although PAP has no legislative powers it makes model laws for member states to adopt. PAP also develops protocols to be ratified by countries. The input of countries at Committee state is extremely critical. It now means the voice of Botswana is missing the discussions leading up to development of protocols or model laws,” said one of Botswana’s representative at PAP Dr. Kesitegile Gobotswang who is attending the current session.

While Botswana is missing, the committee meeting took place on the sidelines of the Sixth PAP second ordinary Session being held under the African Union Theme of the Year for 2023, “The Year of AfCFTA: Accelerating the Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area” in Midrand, South Africa and will run up to 2 June 2023. Chairperson of the Committee, Hon Mariam Dao-Gabala expressed satisfaction with preliminary processes undertaken so far towards the formulation of the Model Law,” a release from the PAP website reads.

“The law should be suitable to all countries whatever the predominant culture or religion is. The aim is to give an opportunity to women to participate in the economic, political and social development of the continent. Women are not well positioned and face a lot of obstacles. We are introducing the idea of equity in the Law because we cannot talk about equality without equity,” said Hon Mariam Dao-Gabala in the press statement.

The release has stated that among issues to be covered by the Model Law is the migratory movements of women. The Committee proffered that this has to be addressed at the continental level to ensure that migrant women enjoy all their rights and live with dignity in their destination country. The members of the Gender Committee undertook consultations to consolidate the contributions of the various stakeholders that will be the logical framework format for the Model Law.




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