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Ministry of Tertiary Education, De Beers Group donate 20,000 litres of sanitisers to support COVID-19 prevention


The Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology – through the Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation (BITRI) and the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) – and De Beers Group today donated 20,000 litres of sanitisers to Government.

Received by the Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration Mr Kabo Morwaeng, the sanitisers will be distributed to those in need by the national COVID-19 Task Team.  De Beers Group and the Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, under which both BITRI and BIUST fall, each provided 500,000 Pula for the initiative, with the De Beers Group contribution forming part of its recently announced 10 million Pula in-kind donation to the COVID-19 Relief Fund. The donation from the two entities went towards procurement of raw material, including 20,000 litres of ethanol and containers for the sanitisers.

Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group said: “We continue to explore ways in which we can support and partner with the Government of Botswana in the fight against COVID-19. Regular washing or sanitising of hands is one of the key preventative measures promoted by the World Health Organisation, and we are proud to have partnered with BITRI and BIUST to provide these supplies to those who need them. We stand side by side with Botswana during COVID-19 and are focused on supporting our partners as we progress towards recovery.”

CEO of BITRI, Professor Shedden Masupe, highlighted that both BITRI and BIUST produced equal amounts of the sanitiser in order to expedite production in light of the urgent need to dispatch the products to those who need them now.

He emphasised that for BITRI, the initiative is a once  production to assist in the pandemic as there are a number of SMMEs already participating in this space. “Both institutions prioritise institutional capacity and collaboration with other organizations and institutions.

We are therefore grateful to have collaborated as leaders in the technology space locally, but also thankful to have collaborated with De Beers Group, another leader in the field of technology, over and above its role in the diamond industry,” said Masupe.


Khan: Boko, Masisi are fake politicians

18th January 2021
Masisi & Boko

While there is no hard-and-fast rule in politics, former Molepolole North Member of Parliament, Mohamed Khan says populism acts in the body politic have forced him to quit active partisan politics. He brands this ancient ascription of politics as fake and says it lowers the moral compass of the society.

Khan who finally tasted political victory in the 2014 elections after numerous failed attempts, has decided to leave the ‘dirty game’, and on his way out he characteristically lashed at the current political leaders; including his own party president, Advocate Duma Boko. “I arrived at this decision because I have noticed that there are no genuine politics and politicians. The current leaders, Boko and President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi are fake politicians who are just practicing populist politics to feed their egos,” he said.

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Ookeditse rejects lobby for BPF top post

18th January 2021

Former Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) parliamentary hopeful, Lawrence Ookeditse has rejected the idea of taking up a crucial role in the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) Central Committee following his arrival in the party this week. According to sources close to development, BPF power brokers are coaxing Ookeditse to take up the secretary general position, left vacant by death of Roseline Panzirah-Matshome in November 2020.

Ookeditse’s arrival at BPF is projected to cause conflicts, as some believe they are being overlooked, in favour of a new arrival. The former ruling party strategist has however ruled out the possibility of serving in the party central committee as secretary general, and committed that he will turn down the overture if availed to him by party leadership.

Ookeditse, nevertheless, has indicated that if offered another opportunity to serve in a different capacity, he will gladly accept. “I still need to learn the party, how it functions and all its structures; I must be guided, but given any responsibility I will serve the party as long as it is not the SG position.”

“I joined the BPF with a clear conscious, to further advance my voice and the interests of the constituents of Nata/Gweta which I believe the BDP is no longer capable to execute.” Ookeditse speaks of abject poverty in his constituency and prevalent unemployment among the youth, issues he hopes his new home will prioritise.

He dismissed further allegations that he resigned from the BDP because he was not rewarded for his efforts towards the 2019 general elections. After losing in the BDP primaries in 2018, Ookeditse said, he was offered a job in government but declined to take the post due to his political ambitions. Ookeditse stated that he rejected the offer because, working for government clashed with his political journey.

He insists there are many activists who are more deserving than him; he could have chosen to take up the opportunity that was before him but his conscious for the entire populace’s wellbeing held him back. Ookeditse said there many people in the party who also contributed towards party success, asserting that he only left the BDP because he was concerned about the greater good of the majority not individualism purposes.

According to observers, Ookeditse has been enticed by the prospects of contesting Nata/Gweta constituency in the 2024 general election, following the party’s impressive performance in the last general elections. Nata/Gweta which is a traditional BDP stronghold saw its numbers shrinking to a margin of 1568. BDP represented by Polson Majaga garnered 4754, while BPF which had fielded Joe Linga received 3186 with UDC coming a distant with 1442 votes.

There are reports that Linga will pave way for Ookeditse to contest the constituency in 2024 and the latter is upbeat about the prospects of being elected to parliament. Despite Ookeditse dismissing reports that he is eying the secretary general position, insiders argue that the position will be availed to him nevertheless.

Alternative favourite for the position is Vuyo Notha who is the party Deputy Secretary General. Notha has since assumed duties of the secretariat office on the interim basis. BPF politburo is expected to meet on 25th of January 2020, where the vacancy will be filled.

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BDP cancels MPs retreat

18th January 2021
President Masisi

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) big wigs have decided to cancel a retreat with the party legislators this weekend owing to increasing numbers of Covid-19 cases. The meeting was billed for this weekend at a place that was to be confirmed, however a communique from the party this past Tuesday reversed the highly anticipated meeting.

“We received a communication this week that the meeting will not go as planned because of rapid spread of Covid-19,” one member of the party Central Committee confirmed to this publication.
The gathering was to follow the first of its kind held late last year at party Treasurer Satar Dada’s place.

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