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Fire churches body petitions Govt


The Umbrella body of pentecostal and evangelical churches, Evangelical Fellowship of Botswana (EFB) has petitioned the government over the decision to amend the Societies Act and increase the number of members required to register a church from ten(10) to two hundred and fifty (250)- a number which evangelical churches argue is unreasonable and almost impossible.


The churches in the letter argue that the decision will infringe on fundamental freedoms of association and religion as it is in simple terms barring new churches registration. Among other points, the churches argue that 250 is a number too big for a new church as is the case even within long existing churches.They further argue that the decision renders the Registrar of Societies incompetent to arrive at such a decision. It is understood that the move is calculated at remedying the government’s failed attempt to regulate and monitor societies.


The Societies Act has been saying that a society is any club, company, partnership or association of 10 or more persons, whatever its nature or objects. The move by the government also intends to curb too many breakaways, mushrooming of churches and widespread reports of pastors who preach false gospel for commercial reasons.


Other umbrella bodies in Botswana Council of Churches and the Organisation of African Instituted Churches (OAIC), are not part of the petition as they share the view with government on the issue.


WeekendPost has it on good authority that the president, Lt Gen Ian Khama was also behind the decision after several briefings from the Ministry. In Tlokweng last year, Khama made his views known over mushrooming of churches.


We quote him verbatim, “I was recently told by my minister that the numbers are in hundreds and I was shocked at this because what I know is that we used to have a few in Botswana but today everyone has his own. Some even have strange and difficult names and most of these church leaders prefer to be referred to as Bishops and will kill you for calling them a priest. I would not be surprised to hear that we also have a pope here in Botswana,” said Khama.


The president continued that most of these churches are led by foreigners, most of whom are also owners, adding that you will find someone calling himself a Bishop when he has less than twenty members. “Way back foreign pastors were allowed to stay and work in Botswana without permits but that was back then when we ran short of qualified ministers. We are working around the clock to address these matters,” he said.


Earlier when the news broke, the EFB threatened legal action but has since chosen to engage the Ministry, responsible with the hope of ‘bringing sanity to the issue’. It is understood that they backtracked on the issue after been advised that only a party being denied registration has legal right to sue.

They have thus chosen to write Minister of Labour and Home Affairs Edwin Batshu a hard-hitting letter on the issue, further asking for his audience over the matter. The EFB leader, Rev Master Matlhaope said he was not in a position to comment on the matter.


University of Botswana academic, Rev Dr. Obed Kealotswe has hailed the Government’s decision but said measures should be put in place to make sure that unregistered churches are monitored since they are the ones which bring many problems to the Christian and non- Christian communities in Botswana.

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BAD WEEK FOR MANCHESTER CITY

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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