The Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) opened its doors at their campus in Palapye on the 5th February 2015. Having operated from Odi College of Engineering, the University has now permanently moved to their main campus in Palapye.
It is currently the home to 1 550 students pursuing their studies in Engineering, Science and Technology as well as Information Communication and Technology (ICT).
The classes and research projects are expected to commence immediately and the University Administration has promised that this is the last time the school takes a long time without classes. They said this has since damaged the image of the University and it was very costly. In their endevour to become one of the best Universities in the world, they are currently in a recruit process of lectures that will deliver the best.
In an exclusive interview the University Council Chairman, Bernard Bolele said lately the disturbing issue has been reports of lecturers leaving the University in large numbers. He dismissed such reports as mere allegations and an attempt to create negativity around the university.
He said the university only lost the Vice Chancellor and one professor and they have worked very hard to stabilize the administration. “Any organisation’s strength is not in the top leadership, it depends on the pipeline. I am currently happy about leadership of our council” he said.
The University was officially opened by Assistant Minister, Ministry of Education and Skills Development Unity Dow.
The 800 new students are currently housed at Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) houses in Palapye with the University taking care of all their bills for a period of a month. Other students have been housed at the Old Sekgoma Memorial Hospital in Serowe and the University is providing transport to and from Serowe every day. This, the council Chairman said has since provided a conducive learning environment before students can assume their hostels in the university which are scheduled to be ready in a month time.
While welcoming the students the University Acting Vice Chancellor John Cooke said BIUST has set itself high goals to become one of the best research universities on the continent with developing a reputation for excellence in research and teaching. Knowledge production and knowledge dissemination is their core business.
Speaking at the event, Student Representative Council (SRC) President Enock Government said, “Honourable minister and the acting VC I want to remind you that the students enrolled in BIUST today are the best you can get in the whole continent. I need you to constantly remember that this is the future of the nation and how it unfolds might be in your hands right now”. He further said the nation is trying to move its economy from being resource based to knowledge based and if that is ever going to happen it has to start at BIUST.
“Let me share with you some facts to help you focus. In three weeks time we will have 800 more beds available to us students. In about two months we will have world class Science labs (behind the Cafeteria) complete, also complete will be the labs and classes behind the Engineering building. Recently the government gave this University 500 million to improve infrastructure and staff.
In a few weeks every student in BIUST will have a personal tablet or laptop. I now invite you to imagine what BIUST will be like in just one year or ten years if you want. Ladies and gentlemen if you want my honest opinion I still think BIUST is destined to be the greatest institution in the country,” he concluded.
While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.
Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.
Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.
Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.
Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”
“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.
He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.
He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.
According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.
There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.
Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.
Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.
“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication. The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.