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Police clash with students in Good Hope


Botswana Police this week clashed with Good Hope Senior Secondary School students following unruly behavior by some students who hurled stones at the school night watchmen, WeekendPost can reveal.  


It is understood that the students started by firing stones at the watchmen who were on duty at the time. In turn, the furious watchmen launched a vain attempt to quell the onslaught by the students who were in their numbers. The watchmen called in the Police who arrived with weapons, invading the students in their hostels.


“We learnt that some of our colleagues threw stones at the watchmen and he roped in the Police, and when the Police came they beat all of us with sjamboks, they fired rubber bullets and tear gas. They came loaded with all those weapons. Some students even suffered injuries and were admitted at the hospital,” one student who pleaded for anonymity, told this publication at the scene.


WeekendPost arrived on the scene on Wednesday to get first hand information; some students were reported to be in hospital after suffering some injuries due to the clash. When the team left the scene in the late afternoon, some students were seen riding at the back of a police van after having been taken in for questioning on the matter. At the time of going to press, it was not clear if any of the students had been charged with any offence. It is still unclear why the students started the battle or hurled stones at the watchmen.

The Good Hope school management were not forthcoming when asked about the possible reasons for the student’s demonstration, insisting that the investigations are ongoing and could therefore not ascertain facts surrounding the matter.


Chief Education Officer in Good Hope Sub region, Mr Basil Ncaagae confirmed the incident. “There were indeed some disturbances in school as some school boys were agitated and in the process started throwing stones all over; as a result, the school management employed internal security which failed to cool down the students and they engaged the Police who came with their responding mechanisms and invaded the rowdy students.”


He said Ncaagae also confirmed that during the confrontation, some students were injured: “Three students were injured and taken to the hospital; however, police investigations are still continuing,” he emphasised. But the number differs with that of the students who maintained in an interview with this publication that more than 50 students suffered injuries during the clash.


The group of students who spoke to WeekendPost stated that the beatings they experienced at the hands of Government security agents were cruel and apart from physical torture, they may suffer psychological trauma that may lead to poor performance at the ongoing examination sitting.


Ncaagae also revealed that there are 2,000 students in Good Hope Senior Secondary and 95 percent are said to be boarding in the facility. It is understood that those who board at school may, due to their numerical strength, prone to causing unruly behavior.


 Meanwhile, Member of Parliament (MP) for the area, Good Hope/Mabule, James Mathokgwane was spotted at the school accompanied by Okavango MP Bagalatia Arone who were to be briefed on the development and possibly come up with interventions in the matter.


Arone’s attendance at the meeting was precipitated by the existence of students from his constituency who were transferred to Good Hope school following their dismal failure at their first exam sitting as the school. The newly built Shakawe Senior Secondary School opened late during last during 2013 and this affected the students performance at the Botswana General Certificate Secondary Education (BGCSE) sitting. It remains to be seen if they will suffer the same fate should this clash affect their studies and their performance when the results are released early in 2015.


In earnest, Ncaagae believes that “the students are fairly well behaved but ofcourse problems may be there and others here and there, may misbehave.” He added that the police-students clash has not affected examinations which are currently in progress.

 

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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,’

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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.

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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.”

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