Connect with us

BDP congress: Ntuane weighs options

Ntuane calls for BDP to reform ahead of 2019

Former Gaborone Bonnington South Member of Parliament Botsalo Ntuane, has down played reports that he will be contesting for the Secretary General position at the upcoming Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) congress billed for July.

Ntuane, who was elected the Chairman of Gaborone region recently, has chosen not to comment on his perceived interest to run for the secretary general position currently held by Mpho Balopi. This publication has established that the former legislator, who was at some point, the Leader of Opposition while he was with the Botswana Movement for Democracy, is studying the situation with keen interest before actively lobbying for support. “For now, I will not comment on it,” he said.

It is expected that a number of heavyweights within the party are being cajoled to contest for various positions with the party chairpersonship having attracted a lot of interest. WeekendPost have been reliably informed that among the people being lobbied to contest for chairmanship is the Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi and President’s brother, Tshekedi Khama, who is the Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism.

Former Minister of Commerce and Industry, Tebelelo Seretse has already made her ambitions for the chairpersonship clear, having started lobbying for support. Seretse contested and lost the chairmanship to Daniel Kwelagobe at the infamous Kanye congress in 2009.

Ntuane, understood not to be under any lobby list for now, has started calling for reforms within the party ahead of the crucial congress.  Ntuane wants the party to adopt major reforms to ensure that the party rejuvenates itself in order to stay in power beyond 2019. BDP had its worst performance in the history of its existence winning 37 seats and registering 46.7 percent in popular vote.

In the process opposition garnered a historic 20 seats in parliament, 17 seats belonging to the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), a newly formed coalition of opposition parties, while 3 seats were won by Botswana Congress Party (BCP). Ntuane was among the victims, losing his seat to his former colleague, Ndaba Gaolatlhe.

The 2014 general elections also saw BDP losing some its traditional strong holds to UDC, most important constituencies which it never lost in history. BDP surrendered for the first time, Molepolole North, Molepolole South, Ghanzi North and Good Hope-Mabule (formerly Borolong).

It is against this devastating development that Ntuane believes making changes including considering adopting a new electoral system, will help the party. Ntuane is of the view that the current First Past the Post (FPTP) system has been overtaken by time, therefore calling for a hybrid system. Ntuane wants Botswana to adopt an electoral system of a hybrid of proportional representation (PR) with the current first past the post system.

Ntuane who rejoined the BDP in 2012 following his resignation from Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD), a party he helped to found, says BDP must look for inspiration within the region. Ntuane contends that countries like Namibia and South Africa have been using the system for some time now.  “Every democracy is a work in progress and must be reformed as and when conditions call for such,” he contends.

As the chairperson of Gaborone Region, the most influential region in BDP, Ntuane may use his position to cajole the congress into considering reforms. However, Ntuane says his views, which were recently circulated and published in local media were personal and did not have anything to do with him being Gaborone region chairperson.

“The article I wrote is just a personal contribution to the post electoral period which is awash with debates on various subjects and many commentators; partisan and non-partisan people are busy debating the 2014 elections and what it means for the future of politics and governance in our country,” he told this publication. “I cannot prejudge internal BDP discussions because it is up to democrats to decide what is worthy for debate and what isn’t, but it’s great for a nation to debate issues and we should encourage that.”

 Many will recall that ahead of the 2009 Kanye Congress, which eventually led to the party’s split, Ntuane and other stalwarts sympathetic to the Daniel Kwelagobe lobby, called for reforms within the party as well as a constitutional review.  Ntuane says he has always supported and called for reforms within the BDP and even before the party split.

There is a view that many conservative BDP members will be averse to such reforms, especially when they seem to favor the opposition at the current moment. With an electoral system like proportional representation in place BDP, would have lost the past election, and therefore leading to a coalition government as neither party won a simple majority.

Continue Reading


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.

Continue Reading


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

Continue Reading


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.




Continue Reading