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BDP MPs want Tsogwane to up his game

For Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) top echelons, not all that glitters is gold. Reports coming from both Tsholetsa and Parliament depicts discontentment from some Members of Parliament and the Presidency concerning Vice President Slumber Tsogwane’s failure to stamp authority, WeekendPost is reliably informed.

Meanwhile President Masisi has also takes interest on how the Vice President conducts his business. President Masisi wants more from the man he appointed and endorsed as VP and party Chairman, ahead of other aspirants in Samson Guma and Tshekedi Khama in 2018.
When he was elevated to these positions, Tsogwane was hailed as a man who knows his ceiling and he will not develop ‘ideas’ of grabbing more power as party Chairman.

His ‘intelligence, humility and hard work’ were also added as the reasons why President chose him. Masisi has previously indicated that he opted for Tsogwane as Vice President because he believed the Boteti West Member of Parliament—who is also the longest serving in Parliament— will bring stability to the party. The BDP leader further said, Tsogwane did not ask for the Vice Presidency, and that he is the one who enticed him, and subsequently he agreed.

However discontentment emerged last year prior to elections when Masisi realised that Tsogwane was not measuring up to the task.  “Elections are hectic and Masisi expected Tsogwane to actively campaign and recruit opposition members into the BDP fold. That was not the case, and the President started to have other thoughts about his VP as he had to work hard in the campaigns and be a poster boy too,” said a source.

However, after the election, Masisi decided to throw his weight behind Tsogwane. Tsogwane was endorsed by 42 Members of Parliament, earning extra endorsement votes from opposition MPs. “Another concern is the parliamentary business. The President believes VP who has over 20 years in the house should stamp his authority and depict institutional memory in a number of matters rather than being over powered by newcomers including those from his own party. In short he should be able to defend his party initiatives and government decision with ease,” explains a source this week.

Tsogwane’s failure to reprimand BDP legislators he deemed ‘anti’ BDP and later reported them to Masisi is another indication of an accident waiting to happen, it has been said. Tsogwane has never enjoyed goodwill within the party, and it has been Masisi who has been doing the bidding for him.  “Look at what he does every time he has to defend the party on the Parliament floor. He turns into mockery because of failure to apply himself and this taints the party and his office,” said one MP.

BDP members are also lamenting that as VP, Tsogwane should be pushing for implementation of a number of government initiatives that are stalled, “but he is folding his arms.”  “But now since there are no more actions that require VP to defend government or the party, he was expected to be flying high showing off his government dexterity in Parliament but he is not,” adds a source. Masisi’s loss of confidence in his assistant is reported to have impacted negatively in the developmental agenda of the country as he is limited strategically.

 “This has decreased his thinking nucleus as most of his advisors are not politicians. In reality, VP was supposed to be leading the clique of advisors, coming up with ideas on government matters as well as at party level.” Chief Whip, Liakat Kablay has however defended Tsogwane, arguing that he is a man who loves and always defends the BDP. “That is why opposition MPs like to grill him. They are doing so because they notice how much he protects the party,” Kablay contends. 

“He is a man who also likes discipline. That is why at times he has to call some of our members to order, if he feels they are attacking their own party.” In relation to Masisi, the Chief Whip is of the view that Tsogwane highly respects him. “On many occasions when the MPs want something he will rather wait for his senior so that they can take decision collectively,” he said. “It is a sign of good working relation between the two. Of course here and there some will raise concerns over him but it has not been officially discussed in party platforms, it is more like corridor talks. So, to me he is very committed to both the party and the President.”

Going into the party’s elective congress later this year, Masisi is reportedly a worried man as he will have to double his effort if he wants his preferred candidates to make core of the party Central Committee. It is moments like those that the VP will come in handy but Tsogwane has proven not to be a political pugilist. Once regarded as a strategist by Masisi, the BDP Chairman has always avoided being entangled in factional wars throughout his tenure as MP.  Tsogwane only developed interest in the run up to 2017 congress, after being coaxed by Masisi, who was then running as party chairman.

Running on Masisi’s invincible slate, Tsogwane was voted as one of the five additional members. A political scientist, Dr Mpaphi Teedzani is of the view that Masisi opted for Tsogwane because he knew they can work together better. “Remember when he chose him he wanted someone who wouldn’t go overboard and be selfish and he credited him (VP) for his humility, this is what he wanted. He (Masisi) has experience of being a VP, he could have just wanted someone who is brave enough and who could take bullets for him not the current one.”
Teedzani says, it is difficult for Masisi to demote Tsogwane as it has never happened before.

“That one is impossible,” he continued. “He would do well as a Minister than VP, and I believe there are some within the party that could fare better in that position because people have shown their prowess when given a chance.”  Tsogwane has been a Boteti West MP since 1999. Before last year’s elections Tsogwane was to throw in the towel when it came to the political game, but he was persuaded by some BDP activists including Guma to contest.

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Local tennis team upbeat ahead of Billie Jean King cup

29th May 2023

With almost two weeks until the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup, which will be staged in Kenya from June 12-17, 2023, the Botswana Tennis Association (BTA) ladies’ team coach, Ernest Seleke, is optimistic about reaching greater heights.

Billie Jean King Cup, or the BJK Cup, is a premier international team competition in women’s tennis, launched as the Federation Cup to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the International Tennis Federation (ITF). The BJK Cup is the world’s largest annual women’s international team sports competition in terms of the number of nations that compete.

The finals will feature 12 teams (Botswana, Burundi, Ghana, Kenya, Seychelles, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Tunisia, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, and the Democratic Republic of Congo) competing in the four round-robin groups of three. The four group winners will qualify for the semifinals, and the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup will be crowned after the completion of the knockout phase.

Closer to home, the BW Tennis team is comprised of Thato Madikwe, Leungo Monnayoo, Chelsea Chakanyuka, and Kelebogile Monnayoo. However, according to Seleke, they have not assembled the team yet as some of the players are still engaged.

“At the moment, we are depending on the players and their respective coaches in terms of training. However, I will meet up with Botswana-based players in the coming week, while the United States of America (USA) based player Madikwe will probably meet us in Kenya. Furthermore, Ekua Youri and Naledi Raguin, who are based in Spain and France respectively, will not be joining us as they will be writing their examinations,” said Seleke.

Seleke further highlighted the significance of this competition and how competitive it is. “It is a massive platform for our players to showcase their talent in tennis, and it is very competitive as countries target to get promoted to the world categories where they get to face big nations such as Spain, France, USA, and Italy. Though we are going to this tournament as underdogs because it is our second time participating, I’m confident that the girls will put in a good showing and emerge with results despite the odds,” highlighted Seleke.

Quizzed about their debut performance at the BJK Cup, he said, “I think our performance was fair considering the fact that we were newbies. We came third in our group after losing to North Macedonia and South Africa. We went on to beat Uganda, then Kenya in the playoffs. Unfortunately, we couldn’t play Burundi due to heavy rainfall and settled for the position 9/10,” he said.

For her part, team representative Leungo Monnayoo said they are working hard as they aim to do well at the tourney. “The preparations for the tourney have long begun because we practice each and every day. We want to do well, hence we need to be motivated. Furthermore, I believe in my team as we have set ourselves a big target of coming home with the trophy,” she said.

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Pep Stores donates sanitary towels to Popagano JSS

26th May 2023

The Guidance and Counseling unit at Popagano Junior Secondary School received a donation of 790 sanitary towels from Pep stores on Thursday.

When presenting the donation, Mareledi Thebeng, the Dinokaneng Area Manager, highlighted their belief in giving back to the community, as their existence depends on the communities they serve. Thebeng pointed out that research indicates one in four girls miss school every day due to the lack of basic necessities like sanitary towels. Therefore, as a company, they strive to assist in alleviating this situation. She expressed hope that this donation would help ensure uninterrupted learning for girls.

Upon receiving the donation on behalf of the students, Charity Sambire, the President of the Student Representative Council, expressed her gratitude. Sambire specifically thanked Pep Store for their generous gift, speaking on behalf of the students, especially the girl child.

She conveyed their sincere appreciation for Pep Store’s compassion and quoted the adage, “Blessed is the hand that gives.” Sambire expressed the students’ hope for Pep Stores’ prosperity, enabling them to continue supporting the students. As a gesture of gratitude, the students pledged to excel academically.

During her speech, Motlalepula Madome, the Senior Teacher in Guidance and Counseling, highlighted that many students at the school come from disadvantaged backgrounds where parents struggle to provide basic necessities. Consequently, some students miss school when they experience menstruation due to this lack.
Madome emphasized the significance of the donation in preventing the girl child from missing lessons and its potential to improve the school’s overall results. She expressed the school’s gratitude and expressed a desire for continued support from Pep Stores.

Popagano Junior Secondary School, situated in the Okavango District, holds the second position academically in the North West region. Despite its location, the school has been dedicated to achieving excellence since 2017

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Botswana misses out critical PAP committee meeting

23rd May 2023

The Pan African Parliament (PAP) committee on gender, family, youth and people with disability in its sitting considered, adopted and recommended to the plenary session the preliminary report on the framework for the model law on gender equality.

According to the last week’s media release from PAP which is sitting with its various committees until June 2nd,  the committee is following up the PAP initiative to draw up a model law on gender equality to enable national governments to harmonize, modernize and standardize their legislations to address local needs is set to be discussed in Plenary.

However, what is concerning is the fact that Botswana which is a member state missed the deliberations. Kgosi Mosadi Seboko who sat in the committee representing Botswana has since been ejected by parliament and this is a huge blow for a nation that is still battling equity and gender balance.

“Although PAP has no legislative powers it makes model laws for member states to adopt. PAP also develops protocols to be ratified by countries. The input of countries at Committee state is extremely critical. It now means the voice of Botswana is missing the discussions leading up to development of protocols or model laws,” said one of Botswana’s representative at PAP Dr. Kesitegile Gobotswang who is attending the current session.

While Botswana is missing, the committee meeting took place on the sidelines of the Sixth PAP second ordinary Session being held under the African Union Theme of the Year for 2023, “The Year of AfCFTA: Accelerating the Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area” in Midrand, South Africa and will run up to 2 June 2023. Chairperson of the Committee, Hon Mariam Dao-Gabala expressed satisfaction with preliminary processes undertaken so far towards the formulation of the Model Law,” a release from the PAP website reads.

“The law should be suitable to all countries whatever the predominant culture or religion is. The aim is to give an opportunity to women to participate in the economic, political and social development of the continent. Women are not well positioned and face a lot of obstacles. We are introducing the idea of equity in the Law because we cannot talk about equality without equity,” said Hon Mariam Dao-Gabala in the press statement.

The release has stated that among issues to be covered by the Model Law is the migratory movements of women. The Committee proffered that this has to be addressed at the continental level to ensure that migrant women enjoy all their rights and live with dignity in their destination country. The members of the Gender Committee undertook consultations to consolidate the contributions of the various stakeholders that will be the logical framework format for the Model Law.




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