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Masisi finally ‘cleans’ civil service

At least five senior civil servants will not return to their plush offices at the beginning of the government financial year next month (April 1st) after President Mokgweetsi Masisi declined to renew their contracts, WeekendPost has learnt.

It is reported that it has been the intention of Masisi, that after winning the 2019 general elections, the civil service would go through an overhaul. With the election storm now over, the President has now set his plan in motion with at least five senior government officials expected to leave the civil service at the end of this month. The quint join their former boss, Carter Morupisi who was also considered surplus to requirements upon the expiry of his contract, despite having expressed his desire to serve two more years in his post.

According to sources the cleansing is aimed at avoiding incidents of sabotage and firing blanks throughout his presidency as some servants are still loyal to the past regime of Lt Gen Ian Khama. Dr Theophilus Mooko who is the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research and Science Technology had his contract not renewed and will not return to his office on April 1st.

His dismissal is heavily linked with the way the Ministry handled the issue of International Aviation Solutions (IAS)-aviation school in which some monies that were to be paid to the school were withheld resulting in massive job losses and bleak future for the students. “The President was very concerned over the matter more especially that it has affected students’ future. The PS has been kept on his toes to pay back the school so that it could resume its operations and there is progress.

But to be honest, the leadership was concerned more especially that the IAS Director even approached DCEC to probe the PS for office abuse and the President believed the matter tarnished government’s image hence the decision not to extend his contract,” explained a source. Mooko when contacted to confirm his impending exit this week said he was not in a position to say anything regarding his contract. Ministry of Transport and Communication’s most senior servant Kabelo Ebineng, is also on his way out.

“He has not cut his ties with former President, Ian Khama,” a source told this publication. “President Masisi believes Khama still has influence in the apparatus of government hence he decided to part ways with him.” Ebineng was roped in as the PS in 2017 by Khama. There are other reasons advanced for his dismissal mostly bordering on meeting the set targets.

When he replaced Ellias Magosi, the expectation was that he will turn some of the parastatals overseen by the ministry like Air Botswana, Botswana Railways and the troubled Civil Aviation Authority Botswana (CAAB). The leadership is not satisfied with his input, sources tell this publication. Ebineng’s office neighbour and National HIV/AIDS Health and Promotion Agency (NAHPA) coordinator Richard Matlhare will see his intimate relationship with the agency coming to an end.

Just like Ebineng, there is a strong believe that he is very close to the past regime especially Khama and former Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Carter Morupisi. “He is close with his former bosses and he is also close to President Masisi,” informant shared with WeekendPost. However, it is highly maintained that his sacking is mostly anchored on performance. “To be honest the leadership is concerned about his performance, He is a non-performer,” a source said explicitly.

Botswana Public Service School (BPSS) Executive Director Botshelo Mathuba is also expected to leave the public service. In 2018 former government spokesperson Jeff Ramsay who was transferred to Botswana Public Service School (BPSS) as a Deputy Executive Secretary also left the institution after government decided not to offer him an extension. Kebonye Moepeng who is the former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs also left the civil service last month.

Another reject is former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Infrastructure and Housing Development, Ruth Maphorisa who left in December last year.  One PS who spoke to this publication on condition of anonymity says though it is discretion of the leadership as to whether they get contract renewals or not, the decision was personal. “Masisi is protecting his close allies and all those who questioned things have been denied contracts, it has nothing to do with performance. The yes boys and girls remain and we will not mortgage ourselves,” raged the outgoing PS in an interview.

Directorate on Public Service Management (DPSM) could not shed light on the developments. “Employment contracts for all Public Service employees, including Senior Servants, come to an end upon expiry of the contracts,” DPSM Director Goitseone Mosalakatane responded this publication’s enquiry and added. “A contract entered into between the employer and employee is private and confidential, therefore, third parties are not privy to its terms.”

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Gov’t shy to shame failing ministers

22nd February 2021
Morwaeng

Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng together with Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Elias Magosi, this week refused to name and shame the worst performing Ministries and to disclose the best performing Ministries since beginning of 12th parliament including the main reasons for underperformance.

Of late there have been a litany of complaints from both ends of the aisle with cabinet members accused of providing parliament with unsatisfactory responses to the questions posed. In fact for some Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) backbenchers a meeting with the ministers and party leadership is overdue to address their complaints. Jwaneng-Mabutsane MP, Mephato Reatile is also not happy with ministers’ performance.

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Bokamoso, Gov’t in P10M womb removal suit

22nd February 2021
Bokamoso

Bokamoso Private Hospital is battling a P10 million legal suit for a botched fibroids operation which resulted in a woman losing an entire womb and her prospects of bearing children left at zero.

The same suit has also befallen the Attorney General of Botswana who is representing the Ministry of Health and Wellness for their contributory negligence of having the unlawful removal of a patient, Goitsemang Magetse’s womb.

According to the court papers, Magetse says that sometimes in November 2019, she was diagnosed with fibroids at Marina Hospital where upon she was referred to Bokamoso Private Hospital to schedule an appointment for an operation to remove the fibroids, which she did.

Magetse continues that at the instance of one Dr Li Wang, the surgeon who performed the operation, and unknown to her, an operation to remove her whole womb was conducted instead.
According to Magetse, it was only through a Marina Hospital regular check-up that she got to learn that her whole womb has been removed.

“At the while she was under the belief that only her fibroids have been removed. By doing so, the hospital has subjected itself to some serious delictual liability in that it performed a serious and life changing operation on patient who was under the belief that she was doing a completely different operation altogether. It thus came as a shock when our client learnt that her womb had been removed, without her consent,” said Magetse’s legal representatives, Kanjabanga and Associates in their summons.

The letter further says, “this is an infringement of our client‘s rights and this infringement has dire consequences on her to the extent that she can never bear children again”. ‘It is our instruction therefore, to claim as we hereby do, damages in the sum of BWP 10,000,000 (ten million Pula) for unlawful removal of client’s womb,” reads Kanjabanga Attorneys’ papers. The defendants are yet to respond to the plaintiff’s papers.

What are fibroids?

Fibroids are tumors made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. They develop in the uterus. It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of women will develop fibroids in their lifetime — however, not everyone will develop symptoms or require treatment.

The most important characteristic of fibroids is that they’re almost always benign, or noncancerous. That said, some fibroids begin as cancer — but benign fibroids can’t become cancer. Cancerous fibroids are very rare. Because of this fact, it’s reasonable for women without symptoms to opt for observation rather than treatment.

Studies show that fibroids grow at different rates, even when a woman has more than one. They can range from the size of a pea to (occasionally) the size of a watermelon. Even if fibroids grow that large, we offer timely and effective treatment to provide relief.

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Masisi warned against a sinking Botswana

22nd February 2021
Ndaba GAolatlhe

The Alliance for Progressives (AP) President Ndaba Gaolathe has said that despite major accolades that Botswana continues to receive internationally with regard to the state of economy, the prospects for the future are imperilled.

Delivering his party Annual Policy Statement on Thursday, Gaolathe indicated that Botswana is in a state of do or die, and that the country’s economy is on a sick bed. With a major concern for poverty, Gaolathe pointed out that almost half of Botswana’s people are ravaged by or are about to sink into poverty.  “Our young people have lost the fire to dream about what they could become,” he said.

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