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Khamas show of hands ridiculous – Nasha

Former speaker of the National Assembly, Dr Margret Nasha has labelled Khama’s decision to try to coerce Members of Parliament to endorse the new speaker of National Assembly, Deputy Speaker and Vice President by show of hands as “laughable and ridiculous.”

Addressing the media after the High Court dismissed with cost a case in which the Attorney General (AG) has approached the court to declare the current standing orders to be declared unconstitutional in relation to the endorsement of the Speaker of the National Assembly, Deputy Speaker And Vice President.

The AG wanted the court to side the provisions in the Standing of Orders in favour of voting by “show of hands of simple majority.’ Currently the standing orders require that the Speaker of National Assembly, Deputy Speaker and Vice President should be endorsed through voting by secret ballot.  

Nasha says no self-respecting parliament anywhere in the world especially in the Commonwealth in this day and age could vote on any issue by show of hands. Nasha notes that Parliament of Botswana since the speakership of the Dr Alfred Merriweather has never voted by show of hands on any matter. “The question is therefore why do we want to do it now? There is fear that maybe the preferred candidates for Speakership and Vice President may not get the required votes,” said the triumphant Nasha.

Nasha says the idea of forcing MPs to endorse by show of hands is merely a tool that to be used to intimidate those that do not tow the line, by literally whipping them into submission. “Parliamentarians are suppose to be lobbied to take certain decisions. Those decisions should be taken following free and open debates of the issue at hand.

‘They should not just be told what to do or what not to do. They are honourable men and women with conscience, and the public expects them to behave honourably in everything they do,”she said.

She continued: “These honourable men and women have taken an oath to defend and protect the constitution of Botswana and serve the people of this country without fear or favour. So help them God.”

Nasha says endorsement of Vice President by parliament was never envisaged to be a rubber stamp exercise. She said this is a decision which means in the event that since the vice president is expected to automatically takeover as President, at least until the next elections, such a person has to be someone who is trusted by MPs, to be a person who can take this country somewhere.”

Nasha said the whole idea was to ensure that a VP was a person of intergrity, who has not been put there for any other reason, than with the interests of Botswana at heart.

“Parliament is therefore expected to either endorse if it has confidence in the individual, or refuse to endorse or vote no if they have reason to believe that such an appointee is not fit and proper person to lead this nation, should the need arise.”

“And I must emphasise that these constitutional amendments were introduced and passed by the 7th Parliament and I was an MP ,when that first,historic endorsement of the Vice president took place. I am am amazed, that anybody in their minds, could even suggest that Hounourable MPs should take such serious decisions by show of hands?I rest my case.”

Nasha thanked the many hundreds of individuals and organisational both inside and out outside the country who have been praying, calling and sending her emails and all kinds of messages of support during these very interesting days.

“To me, the decision by this Honourable court today proved that our judiciary can still be trusted. They have acted on the side of the truth,on the side of transparency,and most importantly on the of democracy, And I am aboslutely elated by that decision.”

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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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