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Khamas 35 proposal for MPs was shot down

President Lt Gen Ian Khama was willing to increase constituency allowance by 35 percent in the last Parliament but these efforts were shot down by Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) heavyweights who wanted Members of Parliament’s salaries to be addressed holistically.

MPs had complained that their travelling expenses were shooting through the ceiling hence sent a delegation to meet the President on the issue of constituency allowance. They indicated that Ministers were given two vehicles, Prado and the black ministerial vehicles whereas MPs got nothing. They had asked that the Prados be availed to them, but the President was of the view that increasing the constituency allowance could help.

The MPs had pointed out that Ministers are provided with two vehicles, a Toyota Prado Land Cruiser and a BMW to use on official business, therefore raising the need for such privileges to MPs when they go to address their constituents.  

Long-time serving legislators, like Daniel Kwelagobe did not support the piecemeal approach to adjusting MPs salaries and they shot down Khama’s proposal. In a brief interview Kwelagobe confirmed that he was against the approach and preferred a holistic review of Members of Parliament’s welfare especially salaries.

During the current session of Parliament, scores of Members of Parliament (MPs) will in the few coming weeks furnish the new Speaker of the National with a litany of welfare concerns they want addressed during the 11th parliament.

Some of the concerns that will be brought forward to the attention of Speaker of the National Assembly, Gladys Kokorwe are understood to be legendary, and were brought before former Speaker Dr Margaret Nasha.

Among the issues which MPs wants to be resolved is the increment of constituency allowances especially for MPs who come from constituencies which are wide in area and require a lot of travelling to cover while addressing constituents.

Constituencies like Okavango, Ngami, Boteti West and Boteti East, Kgalagadi South, Kgalagadi North are amongst those which are not densely populated but are made up of widely dispersed settlements and villages.

In an interview MP for Okavango Bagalatia Arone have been vocal on the matter, says there is need to make improvements to the welfare of MPs in order to allow them to perform their duties effectively and efficiently.

Arone says at the moment the difference between his (Okavango) constituency allowance and a constituency allowance for MPs representing Gaborone constituencies is about P1000, yet as an MP he is expected to drive over 1000 kilometres from Gaborone to reach his constituency, and in addition to that distance he has to traverse the constituency in order to reach out to his constituents.

“We raised these issues to the Speaker of the National Assembly during the 10th parliament and a proposal was sent to Office of the President to make a decision but nothing has materialized yet,” said Arone.

Arone contend that an MP for a nearer and small constituency in terms of area like those in Gaborone will not have to through taxing expenses for him or her to address his or her constituents. The Okavango MP says in their proposal sent to the Office of the President during the last parliament, they made few requests including the option of being given a government vehicle to address their constituents.  

 “We are still to meet with the new Speaker because we do not know her commitment towards these issues. Addressing these concerns will depend on her good will and her attitude towards the issue of an independent parliament.”

Arone says under the current circumstances it is imperative that parliament is given its independence so that it can deliberate on issues of MPs welfare effectively. “We want parliament to prepare its own budget, presented by the Speaker of the National Assembly to parliament and approved by MPs,” stated Arone. Currently parliament budget is prepared by Office of the President and presented before parliament by Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration.  

Meanwhile, former Nata/Gweta MP, Reiner Makosha, who was part of the delegation that went to see President Khama over the issue of MPs salaries, said he is aware that the President was willing to help on constituency allowances but other MPs wanted the entire perks reviewed.

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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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