More lives are yet to be changed, jobs created and human development sustained through information access and improved livelihoods, if mobile service provider, Mascom Wireless, can continue to have it its way.
This week, Mascom handed over 10 more Mascom kitsong Centres – digital information centres – to young entrepreneurs who have been meticulously trained in business skills and the internationally recognised International Computer Driving License (ICDL), with examinations administered through the University of Botswana. These centres are given to worthy youth to run as their own businesses.
Minister of Transport and Communications Tshenolo Mabeo, officiating at the hand over event, remarked that: “Among other investments, It has come to my knowledge that since 2009 the investment of this project is over P20 million; it is events such as this that bring to life the realization that Mascom is committed to giving back to Batswana and further affirms their position as the Number One Mobile Service Provider of choice in Botswana.”
Mascom Kitsong Centre started as a partnership between Mascom and the Government of Botswana through the Nteletsa II Rural Development Project in 2009, where coverage was extended to 41 villages and Kitsong Centres set up in those villages.
Upon realizing the need and potentially the life changing effects of this project, Mascom continued on this initiative and setup Kitsong Centres in 30 more Villages. Today Mascom will hand over 10 Kitsong Centres to young entrepreneurs making a total of 81 Kitsong Centres in 81 Villages across Botswana.
“Kitsong centers are at the pinnacle of our Corporate social responsibility initiatives, we have realised the need to bridge the gap between urban and rural communities and ICT is one of the ways that Mascom has successfully managed to change mind sets of communities one village at a time,” said Mascom spokesperson Lilly Sullivan, at an auspicious hand over event held Gaborone International Convention Centre on Thursday this week.
“Mascom realises the impact that this initiative can have on Batswana and the youth in particular. We are convinced that the increase in the use of ICT can transform the lives of ordinary people by bridging the rural urban digital divide,” says a statement from the mobile company.
Following the success of the Nteletsa 2, Area 4 Project, where Mascom collaborated with Botswana Government to provide coverage and establish Kitsong and Community Access Centre’s to a total of 41 villages, Mascom invested a further P7 million towards the sustainable local community development projects.
Mascom Kitsong center package comprises of a branded Portacabin equipped with computers, printers, copiers and Data cards. The fully equipped center is then handed to a carefully selected youth to operate as their business. Kitsong Centers provide essential services to communities around the country, these services include email and internet, Mobile money, airtime and simcard sales as well as printing and photocopying.
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.