Connect with us

Laona Segaetsho The Networker

Mr Laone Joel Segaetsho was a colossus of a man, physically and in deed. As an easy goer and networker, I interacted with him on many fronts and it is difficult to write some and leave some out. We were all activists, but also met on business and family matters. Interestingly, Laone liked swimming, as he would not miss the opportunity of plunging into the swimming pool.

In 1995, I organised an interview with Ms Montlenyane Baaitse of Radio Botswana’s (RB 1) Masa-a-sele programme. As secondary school teachers in Sefhare, we were forming a secondary school teachers’ organisation. RB 1 then had characteristics of a public broadcaster and allowed the interview.

Thousands of teachers were apparently listening to the radio as I and a colleague, Mbanga Mbanga was planning to form a teacher association. That interview, led to what is BOSETU today having metamorphosed from Botswana Federation of Secondary School Teachers association (BOFESETE), which had collapsed then.

It was then difficult to publicise the activities of BOFESETE to the teachers and the nation at large to know that there was a teacher organisation. Radio was the answer. There were no private radio stations and no mobile phones until around 1998 when Gabzfm complimented RB1 quite well by giving us radio interviews too. It was during Segaetsho’s days at RB 1 that BOFESETE grew in leaps and bounds, attracting thousands of new members through the morning show of Masa-a-sele.

As a teacher and BOSETU Publicity Secretary then, I was welcome to propose debate topics to Segaetsho and his other afternoon show team mate Squandor Baitshepi of Live line show. Together with their management team, they gave BOFESETE unlimited airtime.

The organisation was failing to form a quorum at times at national conferences and the radio rescued the situation. By the time autocrats in government blacklisted BOSETU from being covered by Botswana Television, Botswana Daily News and Radio Botswana, BOSETU had already grown in leaps and bounds and did not miss the state media.

The private radio and print media did a great job for the organisation. Through the intense RB 1 debates, the government had to revise a number of programmes and policies during the time, and it was the nation that ultimately benefited. BOSETU launched a spirited publicity campaign against the transportation of students by open trucks, and as a result, government bought buses to solve this problem.

Segaetsho also allowed us to condemn the way parallel progression was structured; re-introduction of school fees; double shift; scarce skills, working and living conditions of teachers, etc. Segaetsho and company would even cover the always successful peaceful demonstrations before such demonstrations were outlawed by the government. While at Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) as Chairperson, Segaetsho would not hesitate to informally remind BOSETU to renew its membership.

He is one of those people who contributed immensely to BOSETU growth and its positive network with the media, through MISA. BOSETU owes its share of growth to this media activist as he did not entertain self sensorship in handling union issues. Last year, when BOSETU was exploring opportunities of further expanding its international networks, Segaetsho came handy and profiled opportunities in USA, especially that he was an employee of the embassy here.

As a progressive media activist, Laone did not miss the recent two Gabz fm Presidential debates, as we would make a post debate analysis at the end. You contributed to media plurality of this country. Go well cde! Your family, friends and nation will take solace to your immense contribution in the media fraternity.

Justin Hunyepa is Former BOSETU Publicity Secretary and Executive Secretary

Continue Reading


Fighting vulture poisoning in KAZA region.

3rd February 2023
As a response to avert vulture poisoning currently going on in Botswana and KAZA region, Birdlife Botswana has collaborated with three other partners (BirdWatch Zambia, BirdLife International & Birdlife Zimbabwe) to tackle wildlife poisoning which by extension negatively affect vulture populations.

The Director of Birdlife Botswana, Motshereganyi Virat Kootshositse has revealed in an interview that the project which is funded by European Union’s main goal is to reduce poisoning related vultures’ death and consequently other wildlife species death within the KAZA region.

He highlighted that Chobe district in Botswana has been selected as a pilot site as it has experienced rampant incidents of vulture poisoning for the past few months. In August this year at least 50 endangered white backed vultures were reported dead at Chobe National Park, Botswana after feeding on a buffalo carcass laced with poison.  In November this year again 43 white backed vultures were found dead and two alive after feeding on a zebra suspected to have poisoned.  Other selected pilots’ sites are Kafue in Zambia and Hwange in Zimbabwe.

Kootshositse further explained they have established a national and regional Wildlife Poisoning Committee. He added that as for the national committee they have engaged various departments such as Crop Productions, Agro Chemicals, Department of Veterinary Services, Department of Wildlife and National Parks and other NGOs such as Raptors Botswana to come together and find a long-lasting solution to address wildlife poisoning in Botswana. ‘Let’s have a strategy or a plan together to tackle wildlife poisoning,’ he stated

He also decried that there is gap in the availability of data about vulture poisoning or wildlife in general. ‘If we have a central point for data, it will help in terms of reporting and advocacy’, he stated

He added that the regional committee comprises of law enforcement officers such as BDF and Botswana police, village leadership such as Village Development Committee and Kgosi. ‘We need to join hand together and protect the wildlife we have as this will increase our profile for conservation and this alone enhances our visitation and boost our local economy,’ he noted

Kootshositse noted that Birdlife together with DWNP also addressed series of meeting in some villages in the Chobe region recently. The purpose of kgotla meetings was to raise awareness on the conservation and protection of vultures in Chobe West communities.

‘After realizing that vulture poisoning in the Chobe areas become frequent, we realise that we need to do something about it.  ‘We did a public awareness by addressing several kgotla meetings in some villages in the Chobe west,’ he stated

He noted that next year they are going to have another round of consultations around the Chobe areas and the approach is to engage the community into planning process. ‘Residents should be part of the plan of actions and we are working with farmers committee in the areas to address vulture poisoning in the area, ‘he added

He added that they have found out that some common reasons for poisoning wildlife are farmers targeting predators such as lions in retaliation to killing of their livestock. Another common incident cross border poaching in the Chobe area as poachers will kills an elephant and poison its carcass targeting vultures because of their aerial circling alerting authorities about poaching activities.

Kootshositse noted that in the last cases it was disheartening the incidents occurred three months apart. He added that for the first time they found that some of the body parts of some vultures were missing. He added harvesting of body parts of vultures is not a common practice in Botswana, although it is used in some parts of Africa. ‘We suspect that someone took advantage of the availability of carcasses and started harvesting their body parts,’

Continue Reading


Giant in the making: Everton Mlalazi

3rd February 2023

The music industry is at a point where artists are jostling for space because there are so many aspirants trying to get their big break, thus creating stiff competition.

In the music business it’s about talent and positioning. You need to be at the right place at the right time with the right people around you to propel you forward.
Against all odds, Everton Mlalazi has managed to takeover the gospel scene effortlessly.
To him, it’s more than just a breakthrough to stardom, but a passion as well as mission directly appointed by the Lord.

Within a short space of 2 years after having decided to persue a solo career, Mlalazi has already made it into international music scene, with his music receiving considerable play on several gospel television and radio stations in Botswana including other regional stations like Trace Africa, One Gospel, Metro FM in South Africa, Hope FM in Kenya and literally all broadcast stations in Zimbabwe.

It doesn’t only stop there, as the musician has already been nominated 2 times and 2 awards which are Bulawayo Arts Awards (BAA) best Male artists 2022, StarFM listerners Choice Award, Best Newcomer 2021 and ZIMA Best Contemporary Gospel 2022, MLA awards Best Male artist & Best Gospel Artist 2022.

Everton’s inspiration stems from his ultimate passion and desire to lead people into Godly ways and it seems it’s only getting started.
The man is a gospel artist to put on your radar.

Continue Reading


African countries call on WHO to increase funding

2nd February 2023

Minister of Health Dr Edwin Dikoloti says Africa member states call on World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure equitable resource allocation for 2024-2025. Dr Dikoloti was speaking this week at the WHO Executive Board Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

He said countries agreed that there is need to address the budget and funding imbalances by increasing the programme budget share of countries and regions to 75% for the next year.

“The proposed budget for 2024-2025 marks an important milestone as it is the first in Programme Budget in which country offices will be allocated more than half of the total budget for the biennium. We highly welcome this approach which will enable the organization to deliver on its mandate while fulfilling the expectations for transparency, efficiency and accountability.”

The Botswana Health Minister commended member states on the extension of the General Programme of Work (GPD 13) and the Secretariat work to monitor the progress towards the triple billion targets, and the health-related SDGs.

“We welcome the Director’s general proposed five priorities which have crystalized into the “five Ps” that are aligned with the GPW 13 extension. Impact can only be achieved through close coordination with, and support to national health authorities. As such, the strengthening of country offices is instrumental, with particular focus on strengthening national health systems and on promoting more equitable access to health services.”

According to Dr Dikoloti, the majority of countries with UHC index that is below the global median are in the WHO Africa region. “For that, we call on the WHO to enhance capacity at the regional and national levels in order to accelerate progress. Currently, the regional office needs both technical and financial support in order to effectively address and support country needs.”

Continue Reading