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Language politics excludes other

Botswana nationals who cannot speak neither Setswana nor English languages are excluded from important national surveys including democracy meters which are usually conducted by the Afrobarometer.

Professor Mogopodi Lekorwe in the department of Political and Administrative Studies at the University of Botswana says the researchers are limited by the country’s policy which specifies two official languages of communication in the country. English and Setswana are the countries official languages.

Lekorwe admits that the language barrier is likely to keep out other tribes who speak different languages other than the two to participate in the surveys.

“Language is a political issue and there is no way we can go to the office of the President with a questionnaire translated into a language that has not been sanctioned by the authority,” Lekorwe explained.

He was actually responding to a question during a media briefing on the findings of round 5 of the Afrobarometer survey on Wednesday this week in Gaborone. Concerns were raised that the 1 200 individuals’ views could not possibly reflect that of the whole nation which has a population of just over two Million people.

However Lekorwe contended that although the number may appear to be small, the interviews were conducted in different parts of the country including the rural, semi-rural and urban area so as to get diverse views.

“A person who cannot speak either one of the official languages is eliminated from the interview,” Lekorwe further added.

He however explained that the survey would only include other indigenous languages if the government becomes liberal on what people can do with their language “as we go on, then we can include other languages in the interviews.”

The country’s constitution provides that no person shall be discriminated along tribal lines, but it does not talk about the language issue. In fact it is the same constitution that proclaims that the country’s official languages would be Setswana and English as the two languages are widely spoken around the country.

Lekorwe says if the interviews are to be made or translated into local languages, then it would have a direct implication on who to employ and that could violate the constitution that embraces the protection of fundamental rights and freedoms. These fundamental rights are articulated as freedom of expression, assembly and association.

The Afrobarometer conducts face to face interviews in the language of the respondents’ choice, but limited to Setswana and English, with nationally representative samples of between 1 200 and 2 400 respondents. It does surveys on democracy, governance, economic conditions and related issues across more than thirty countries in Africa.

Five rounds of surveys were conducted between 1999 and 2013 and round six is currently under way for 2014-2015. However none of the studies has so far included people who cannot speak the country’s official languages.

The language issue was raised at the media briefing, a few days after the former Speaker of Parliament; Margaret Nasha expressed concern at the continued reluctance by government to introduce indigenous language at primary schools so as to help young children grasp the education curriculum faster.

Nasha was speaking at a cultural night organised by Botswana Sector of Educators Union (BOSETU) in Gaborone recently.

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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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