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Moruakgomo retained as BALA president

He triumphed over nominated Cllr Peloetletse

Mpho Moruakgomo has been retained as the president of Botswana Association of Local Authority (BALA). Moruakgomo emerged victorious this week after outclassing outspoken Botswana Democratic Party (BDP)’s nominated councilor for Gaborone City Council (GCC), Macdonald Peloetletse. Moruakgomo garnered 70 votes against Peloetletse’s paltry 12 votes.

The vote means Moruakgomo is retained as president of the umbrella body of local authorities in the country for the next two years. Sylviah Muzilla also triumphed as a vice president for the organisation after hammering Caroline Lesang and Alec Seametso who each got 14 votes; Motlhophi Leo came fourth with 12 votes.

 The new Project Officer is James Kgalajwe who got 51 votes against Nthobatsang’s 27. After attracting 38 votes, Peter Williams also lost to Leonard Mojuta who got 41 votes. The additional members are Phenyo Segokgo and Ido Lesope. Other positions included Welfare officer which was won by Botho Ntirang after he garnered 57 votes to Foster Seretse’s 23 votes.

Geoffrey Sibisibi got away with the Finance Committee chair with 65 votes against 13 votes for Mohammed Sobhan while Jordan Makhura was voted by 54 delegates to Ezekiel Kajou’s 23 for the regions. The opposition put forward three names for contestation and won two.

Meanwhile the decision by the opposition Umbrella for Democratic Party (UDC) and Botswana Congress Party (BCP) councilors not to field a candidate is said to have favoured the Moruakgomo camp.

It is understood that due to their inferior numbers in the Local Authorities around the country, the opposition collective did not fancy its chances of taking the reins of leadership at BALA. In most cases, politicians vote along party lines. Some say opposition didn’t contest for top positions as nobody was available from their parties – or atleast not ready to do so. However, it is not clear if they took a resolution as opposition to vote for a preferred candidate over the other. What is crystal clear though is that they have voted – and that is to say they have voted for Mpho Moruakgomo as a preferred BDP candidate in the just ended BALA elections.

Speaking to this publication after the elections, opposition Councillors spokesperson at the event, Stephen Makhura said they had no official position as opposition councilors with regard to who to rally behind between Moruakgomo and Peloetletse. As such, it is believed that Council Secretaries (16) also played a vital role in the outcome. But Makhura confirmed that they all cast their vote in accordance with their individual conscience.

WeekendPost has however established that although they were divided, Moruakgomo had enormous support from the opposition bench. Peloetletse was dismissed as a new comer who doesn’t know anything with regard to running of Councils – this publication gathered.

Makhura defended the opposition’s no-show for the presidency and voted for the BDP’s Moruakgomo saying it was not the first time a party supported the other for BALA leadership. “BALA is not formed under BDP but it’s for all Councils in the country regardless of party affiliations, he clarified.

“Besides the late Botswana National Front (BNF) stalwart Paul Rantao, who was the mayor of Gaborone then, was at one point president of BALA, somewhere between 1989 and 1994, before going to parliament – and he was elected to the position by the ruling BDP. BALA was never formed for BDP or opposition but for all the parties,” he said.

 It has also come to this publication’s attention that some BDP followers are also calling for non politicisation of BALA and want to avoid by all costs turning the organization into pro-BDP organ. They say it should be a representation of all people despite party affiliations. According to Makhura, opposition did not necessarily make an outstanding impact but added that, “only lobby influenced the outcome of the election and not a party bloc supporting one candidate over the other.”

Only delegates were allowed from the Councils to cast their votes. Basically, on average it was 5 delegates per Council. From Gaborone City Council (GCC) was a delegation of 5 Councillors casting their votes in which only 2 were opposition and 3 BDP, while Central District Council (CDC) there were 7 in which 2 were opposition and 5 BDP, Kgatleng District Council (KDC) 6 delegates 5 from opposition and 1 BDP (Moruakgomo himself). Chobe District Council (CDC) had 3 BDP delegates while opposition had 1. Many of the Council delegates were made up of more BDP Councillors than opposition.

Besides the UDC Councillor Makhura also stated that the opposition needs to further understand the organization before they contest for the presidency of the latter. He said they only fielded other positions like that for regions and one of the three special nominated members in the just ended elections.

BALA was formed to promote unity, cohesion, solidarity and cooperation among Local Authorities across the length and breadth of the country. Currently, there are 16 Councils – including ten District Councils, three Town Councils and one Town Authority. In the build up to the formation of BALA, it was found that there is need for information and exchange of experiences among councilors and as such an organisation that was later to be named BALA came to being.

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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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