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DIS inside newsrooms stinks

Kesitegile Gobotswang (PhD)
BCP Deputy Leader

Reports that Sunday Standard is in procession of a tape-cum intelligence document containing a private conversation between Kentse Rammidi the Secretary General of the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and Tumiso Rakgare former BCP Youth League President is shocking to say the least. The fact that the tape was leaked by the Directorate Intelligence Security Service (DISS) to the Sunday Standard says a lot about the relationship that exists between some Newspaper Editors and the DISS. Apparently they share vital intelligence to fight political battles.

It is a well-known fact that DIS has splashed cash that is never accounted for in purchasing the latest technologies to listen to private conversations between innocent citizens.  Pius Mokgware the former Botswana Defence Force (BDF) Commander of the Ground Forces and Member of Parliament for Gabane-Mmankgodi is one of the many victims of the DIS spying on innocent citizens. The case between the General and DISS was finally settled out of court as it would have exposed the illegal operations of DISS.

On the private conversation between Rammidi and Rakgare the Sunday Standard deliberately misdirected itself into celebrating the DIS leak based on an illegal act of invading privacy of innocent citizens to serve their wicket intentions. By publishing a private conversation not related to criminal activity would render Sunday Standard an accomplice in undermining the fundamental rights of citizens to privacy.

The case of Rammidi and Rakgare reminds one of the biblical story captured in John, Chapter 8, Verse 1-12. In this incident a whole community had turned against an adulterous woman calling for her to be stoned to death where upon Jesus said “He who is without sin among you, let him stone at her first.” It is said that they went away one by one until Jesus was the only one remaining together with the accused woman. Today we say to those who are accusing Rammidi and Rakgare, he who never held compromising private  conversations must raise their hands up and be counted as a rare breed, the editors of Sunday Standard included.

We can state for a fact that DIS under Isaac Kgosi who is its Director General is a menace to our political order. In the current scenario the ultimate target is clearly the destruction of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) and BCP in particular. Destroying a political formation that is set to liberate Batswana from excessive looting of state assets and official corruption is seditious. DIS think it is okay to break the law to keep the BDP safe. Their strategy is to destabilize the opposition party project that is the only hope for Batswana.  There is no evidence of collusion between BCP and DIS. In fact the screaming headline and content are at variance.

In the recent past DIS has not hesitated to intervene in the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) internal wars. Recently there were reports about their active involved in BDP internal elections in support of the Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s faction. It would appear that DIS has found in some newsrooms editors who are willing to play ball to safeguard their business interests. Recently Sunday Standard reported that there were “Newsrooms crawling with DIS moles masquerading as editors;” literally sending everyone on a wild goose chase.

According to the Botswana Gazette (Wednesday 26 July-01 August 01 2017) DIS Chief confirmed that the spy agency has informers in the media industry. He revealed that the reason why some of the journalists were peddling propaganda against DIS was because they have terminated their service. Apparently there are some in the newsrooms who are rented reporters tasked with publishing fake news to discredit opponents of their handlers. To suggest that a private conversation between two individual members of the National Executive Committee (NEC) translates into a BCP official position is superfluous to say the least. As if this was not enough the Sunday Standard report stretches the conversation to be a conspiracy between DIS and BCP to destroy Ndaba Gaolathe. Spinning best describes the way they used the material obtained through their DIS connections.

As BCP we remain focused on holding the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) accountable. We are working tirelessly to frustrate BDP tactics aimed at stealing the 2019 elections using EVMs. The party is also pursuing government against broad day light stealing of state assets such as Air Botswana, power stations, and Botswana Meat Commission. The BCP will not rest until Mosu scandal is fully accounted for.  More importantly we demand that money ear-marked for purchasing Gripen fighter jets should be used to re-open BCL mines to save thousands jobs and the economy of SPEDU region. Make no mistake, if there is any scalp we are aiming at it is the BDP’s.

It will be amiss of us if we failed to examine the relationship between Sunday Standard and notorious foreign intelligence outfits such as the American Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The two are long time partners who undertake joint projects. The most significant was the botched second-hand Printing Plant currently in Pilane.  Sunday Standard benefited from dirty money channelled through the New York-based Media Development Investment Fund (MDIF) linked to George Soros. Sunday Standard is yet to refute charges that they own P500 000 to the late Louis Nchindo, the former Managing Director of Debswana. Debswana is a joint diamond mining company between the Botswana government and De Beers.

Given Sunday Standard background of benefiting from intelligence money it is possible that they might be linked to DIS or some elements within the organization. They come across as a proxy member of the Intelligence Community. A close analysis of their news coverage shows that 80 per cent of their front page stories are sourced either through their DIS or Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) connections, most of which are recycled material.

In 2014 Botswana Congress Party (BCP) became a victim of devilish collusion between DIS agents masquerading as editors. They successfully cooked a dossier meant to discredit the BCP Leader linking him to imagined businesses associated with the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) heavy weights. So well designed was the fake story that even some academics believed it.

As Hon Dithapelo Keorapetse concisely put it, up to today they have dismally failed to provide “names of companies, directorships, addresses and what these companies trade with”. The issue of possible existence of a third force in Botswana politics may be true after all. The entry point appears to be some local media houses that are serving imperialist interests. The real thugs will soon be exposed. Sunday Standard-CIA link stinks to high heaven and UDC is the ultimate target.

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The Daring Dozen at Bari

8th December 2020
JEFF---Batswana-smoke-unit

Seventy-seven years ago, on the evening of December 2, 1943, the Germans launched a surprise air raid on allied shipping in the Italian port of Bari, which was then the key supply centre for the British 8th army’s advance in Italy.

The attack was spearheaded by 105 Junkers JU88 bombers under the overall command of the infamous Air Marshal Wolfram von Richthofen (who had initially achieved international notoriety during the Spanish Civil War for his aerial bombardment of Guernica). In a little over an hour the German aircraft succeeded in sinking 28 transport and cargo ships, while further inflicting massive damage to the harbour’s facilities, resulting in the port being effectively put out of action for two months.

Over two thousand ground personnel were killed during the raid, with the release of a secret supply of mustard gas aboard one of the destroyed ships contributing to the death toll, as well as subsequent military and civilian casualties. The extent of the later is a controversy due to the fact that the American and British governments subsequently covered up the presence of the gas for decades.

At least five Batswana were killed and seven critically wounded during the raid, with one of the wounded being miraculously rescued floating unconscious out to sea with a head wound. He had been given up for dead when he returned to his unit fourteen days later. The fatalities and casualties all occurred when the enemy hit an ammunition ship adjacent to where 24 Batswana members of the African Pioneer Corps (APC) 1979 Smoke Company where posted.

Thereafter, the dozen surviving members of the unit distinguished themselves for their efficiency in putting up and maintaining smokescreens in their sector, which was credited with saving additional shipping. For his personal heroism in rallying his men following the initial explosions Company Corporal Chitu Bakombi was awarded the British Empire Medal, while his superior officer, Lieutenant N.F. Moor was later given an M.B.E.

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A Strong Marriage Bond Needs Two

8th December 2020

Remember: bricks and cement are used to build a house, but mutual love, respect and companionship are used to build a HOME. And amongst His signs is this: He creates for you mates out of your own kind, so that you may find contentment (Sukoon) with them, and He engenders love and tenderness between you; in this behold, there are signs (messages) indeed for people who reflect and think (Quran 30:21).

This verse talks about contentment; this implies companionship, of their being together, sharing together, supporting one another and creating a home of peace. This verse also talks about love between them; this love is both physical and emotional. For love to exist it must be built on the foundation of a mutually supportive relationship guided by respect and tenderness. As the Quran says; ‘they are like garments for you, and you are garments for them (Quran 2:187)’. That means spouses should provide each other with comfort, intimacy and protection just as clothing protects, warms and dignifies the body.

In Islam marriage is considered an ‘ibaadah’, (an act of pleasing Allah) because it is about a commitment made to each other, that is built on mutual love, interdependence, integrity, trust, respect, companionship and harmony towards each other. It is about building of a home on an Islamic foundation in which peace and tranquillity reigns wherein your offspring are raised in an atmosphere conducive to a moral and upright upbringing so that when we all stand before Him (Allah) on that Promised Day, He will be pleased with them all.

Most marriages start out with great hopes and rosy dreams; spouses are truly committed to making their marriages work. However, as the pressures of life mount, many marriages change over time and it is quite common for some of them to run into problems and start to flounder as the reality of living with a spouse that does not meet with one’s pre-conceived ‘expectations’. However, with hard work and dedication, couples can keep their marriages strong and enjoyable. How is it done? What does it take to create a long-lasting, satisfying marriage?

Below are some of the points that have been taken from a marriage guidance article I read recently and adapted for this purposes.

POSITIVITY
Spouses should have far more positive than negative interactions. If there is too much negativity — criticizing, demanding, name-calling, holding grudges, etc. — the relationship will suffer. However, if there is never any negativity, it probably means that frustrations and grievances are not getting ‘air time’ and unresolved tension is accumulating inside one or both partners waiting to ‘explode’ one day.

“Let not some men among you laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor let some women laugh at others: it may be that the (latter) are better than the (former): nor defame nor be sarcastic to each other, nor call each other by (offensive) nicknames.” (49:11)

We all have our individual faults though we may not see them nor want to admit to them but we will easily identify them in others. The key is balance between the two extremes and being supportive of one another. To foster positivity in a marriage that help make them stable and happy, being affectionate, truly listening to each other, taking joy in each other’s achievements and being playful are just a few examples of positive interactions.
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “The believers who show the most perfect faith are those who have the best character and the best of you are those who are best to their wives”

UNDERSTANDING

Another characteristic of happy marriages is empathy; understanding your spouses’ perspective by putting oneself in his or her shoes. By showing that understanding and identifying with your spouse is important for relationship satisfaction. Spouses are more likely to feel good about their marriage and if their partner expresses empathy towards them. Husbands and wives are more content in their relationships when they feel that their partners understand their thoughts and feelings.

Successful married couples grow with each other; it simply isn’t wise to put any person in charge of your happiness. You must be happy with yourself before anyone else can be.  You are responsible for your actions, your attitudes and your happiness. Your spouse just enhances those things in your life. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “Treat your women well and be kind to them for they are your partners and committed helpers.”

COMMITMENT

Successful marriages involve both spouses’ commitment to the relationship. The married couple should learn the art of compromise and this usually takes years. The largest parts of compromise are openness to the other’s point of view and good communication when differences arise.

When two people are truly dedicated to making their marriage work, despite the unavoidable challenges and obstacles that come, they are much more likely to have a relationship that lasts. Husbands and wives who only focus on themselves and their own desires are not as likely to find joy and satisfaction in their relationships.

ACCEPTANCE

Another basic need in a relationship is each partner wants to feel valued and respected. When people feel that their spouses truly accept them for who they are, they are usually more secure and confident in their relationships. Often, there is conflict in marriage because partners cannot accept the individual preferences of their spouses and try to demand change from one another. When one person tries to force change from another, he or she is usually met with resistance.

However, change is much more likely to occur when spouses respect differences and accept each other unconditionally. Basic acceptance is vital to a happy marriage. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said: “It is the generous (in character) who is good to women, and it is the wicked who insults them.”
“Overlook (any human faults) with gracious forgiveness.” (Quran 15:85)

COMPASSION, MUTUAL LOVE AND RESPECT

Other important components of successful marriages are love, compassion and respect for each other. The fact is, as time passes and life becomes increasingly complicated, the marriage is often stressed and suffers as a result. A happy and successful marriage is based on equality. When one or the other dominates strongly, intimacy is replaced by fear of displeasing.

It is all too easy for spouses to lose touch with each other and neglect the love and romance that once came so easily. It is vital that husbands and wives continue to cultivate love and respect for each other throughout their lives. If they do, it is highly likely that their relationships will remain happy and satisfying. Move beyond the fantasy and unrealistic expectations and realize that marriage is about making a conscious choice to love and care for your spouse-even when you do not feel like it.

Seldom can one love someone for whom we have no respect. This also means that we have to learn to overlook and forgive the mistakes of one’s partner. In other words write the good about your partner in stone and the bad in dust, so that when the wind comes it blows away the bad and only the good remains.

Paramount of all, marriage must be based on the teachings of the Noble Qur’an and the teachings and guidance of our Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). To grow spiritually in your marriage requires that you learn to be less selfish and more loving, even during times of conflict. A marriage needs love, support, tolerance, honesty, respect, humility, realistic expectations and a sense of humour to be successful.

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Chronic Joblessness: How to Help Curtail it

30th November 2020
Motswana woman

The past week or two has been a mixed grill of briefs in so far as the national employment picture is concerned. BDC just injected a further P64 million in Kromberg & Schubert, the automotive cable manufacturer and exporter, to help keep it afloat in the face of the COVID-19-engendered global economic apocalypse. The financial lifeline, which follows an earlier P36 million way back in 2017, hopefully guarantees the jobs of 2500, maybe for another year or two.

It was also reported that a bulb manufacturing company, which is two years old and is youth-led, is making waves in Selibe Phikwe. Called Bulb Word, it is the only bulb manufacturing operation in Botswana and employs 60 people. The figure is not insignificant in a town that had 5000 jobs offloaded in one fell swoop when BCL closed shop in 2016 under seemingly contrived circumstances, so that as I write, two or three buyers have submitted bids to acquire and exhume it from its stage-managed grave.

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