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BDP to block July parley live broadcast

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) strategists are said to have hatched a grand-plan to frustrate any efforts to have the upcoming meeting of the 12th parliament live on Botswana Television and Radio Botswana, this publication has established.

The past two emergency meetings of parliament held at Ditshupo hall were beamed live by the public broadcaster (BTV and RB). The expectation is, the impending meeting billed for the 27th of July will also be broadcast for Batswana given the fact that the country is still in the State of Public Emergency.

BDP is said to be feeling the pressure and believes opposition members are exposing the ruling party legislators and wants this coming assembly away from the broadcasters. So the agreement has been made that lack of finances will be used as an excuse not to stream parliament live. Chances are very high Batswana will not watch or listen the proceedings live, an impeccable source told WeekendPost.

The party schemers according to this publications informants believe their members fared badly on those debates and the party should redeem and rebuild the image without cameras and microphones. Appearing before the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) last week, the Clerk of the National Assembly, Barbara Dithapo said parliament was previously allocated P3.7 million for scoping and piloting of the project, over P24 million short of the required amount.

President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi is also said to have come out of an emergency Parliamentary sessions a disappointed man after a poor display by some of his cabinet ministers who suffered humiliation at the hands of Members of Parliament.

After the debates a wide public criticism erupted with political pundits casting aspersions on some of ministers ability including Vice President Slumber Tsogwane. As the Leader of the House, Tsogwane was at the fore-front in rejecting motions and suggestions by members of opposition.

Live broadcast of Botswana Parliament is a very old issue. Former Member of Parliament for Selebi Phikwe West, Gilson Saleshando tabled a motion in parliament requesting government to do so in the 10th Parliament. A source from the National Assembly has told this publication on Thursday that they are not sure whether the meeting will be live on state broadcasters.

BDP Secretary General Mpho Balopi has denied reports that they could be trying to block the live streaming of proceedings. We are the ones who were leading the advocacy for the live broadcast in the past two meetings, so there is no how we can block that development. We would like Batswana to see and hear their representatives at the August house.

Efforts to contact both Minister for Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration Kabo Morwaeng and his assistant Dumezweni Mthimkhulu who are responsible for the live broadcast were futile.

Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Vice President, Dumelang Saleshando recently told this publication that by the time he vacates the office of Leader of Opposition (LOO) he would have rumbled many times with the Speaker, Phandu Skelemani, over parliamentary reforms.

My big assignment is parliamentary live broadcast. We will put pressure to the Speaker that parliamentary proceedings be seen by the public and if he refuses we will ask for an arrangement to have a private live broadcast be it Facebook or anything.

All the reasons that parliament cannot be broadcast live are false as proven by the latest development where it was beamed live on BTV, says Saleshando. In the past we were told that there should be an arrangement on how broadcasting personnel should behave inside the house which is not true, there is nothing like that.

At one point it was an issue of budget, and it shows that they are reluctant to do so. This is a parliamentary reform not the Speaker conducting Kgotla meetings, and I will ensure that it happens. Another UDC MP, Dithapelo Keorapetse has opined as thus; If its indeed true that it is expensive to broadcast parliament live, what are the other cheaper available options and why are they not utilized.

This is the 21st century, the era of 4th Industrial Revolution; the epoch of social media, internet applications and online private radio station among others. Most media houses have Facebook pages and or online platforms through which Parliament can be covered live. In fact, some media houses have threatened court actions to force live broadcast of Parliament.

According to the Selibe Phikwe West MP, the reasoning for the delay, besides that BTV is unable to do so or that the idea has far reaching cost implications, has been that Parliament hasnt provided the guidelines or rules of coverage for its intended live broadcast.

Whilst the guidelines or rules of coverage are important, they cant be used as a valid excuse because they are simple to draft and can be expeditiously adopted and if need evolve or change over time. This is what happened in both developing and developed democracies. In the meantime, online publications and Private radios and TV can be allowed to cover Parliament. The guideline must be expedited to realize this, he added.

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BAD WEEK FOR MANCHESTER CITY

6th February 2023

After falling to close the gap on Arsenal by losing to a record breaking goal by Kane at the Tottenham stadium.Manchester City now find themselves being charged by the Premier League with more than 100 breaches of its financial rules following a four-year investigation.

According to BBC , it has referred the club to an independent commission over alleged rule breaches between 2009 and 2018 , and also that Man-city has not been co-operating since the investigation which started in 2018 .

BBC further states that The commission can impose punishment including a fine , points deduction and expelling the club from the Premier league.

The alleged breaches include ,  breaching rules for requiring full details of manager remuneration,from 2009-2010, to 2012-2013 seasons when Roberto Mancini was in charge . Also player remuneration between 2010-2011 and 2015-2016.

The Premier league stated that City breached rules related to UEFA regulations , including Financial Fair Play , from 2013-2014 to 2017-2018 ,as well as Premier League rules on profitability and sustainability from 2014-2016 to 2017-2018

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South Korean Embassy aids students living with disabilities

6th February 2023

South Korean Ambassador in South Africa has donated e-learning equipment through Botswana Red Cross Society (BRCS) to Tlamelong Rehabilitation Centre in Tlokweng recently, in a bid to fine tune the student’s textile skills.  

When talking at the handing over ceremony, Chull-Joo Park, said they agreed with BRCS to give out e-learning equipment to better the training skills of students living with disabilities.

“With the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment and job training skills, we will be able to help the students living with disabilities to do e-learning and to better their education and job training,” said Chull-Joo Park.

It was revealed that the South Korean Embassy approached BRCS with the intent to donate equipment and educational material that includes an embroidery machine, photo copier machine, tablets and interactive boards to be utilized by the trainees.

The industrial printer is a machine that works with embroidery machine to print designs for clothing and it will enable the learners to have more material available to them to facilitate learning.

Through this embroidery machine, students will be exposed to better technologies which ultimately improve the quality of materials they produce. It will also allow students to learn business skills and run profitable ventures.

Smart board gadgets will provide the students with an elevated learning process to be fostered by e-learning. The gadgets provide a more visual element to the learning process, which in turn improves learner mental retention.

Tlamelong Rehabilitation serves the marginalized and underserved less privileged persons living with disability in Botswana. The center offers boarding services, vocational training, social services, physiotherapy and rehabilitation services for young people living disabilities aged 18-35 from across the country over a period of two (2) years per cohort which has a maximum intake capacity of 35. BRCS through International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have managed to create great working synergy with the South Korean Embassy in Pretoria based in South Africa to support or augment the National Society’s Rehabilitation Centre’s learning challenges.

For his part, BRSC Secretary General Kutlwano Mokokomani said they are delighted to convey their gratitude as BRSC to the South Korean Embassy for donation and they look forward to an enduring partnership for such worthy causes.

“South Korean Embassy’s great gesture will enable trainees to thrive, to fulfil their dreams to become a reality as this equipments will go a long way in creating great impact in the lives of trainees and their families. We wish to convey our sincere gratitude to the South Korean Embassy for their noble gesture of donating the E-learning equipments.”

BRCS offers rehabilitation services spread across three (3) areas in Botswana being Sefhare Stimulation center in Sefhare, Tshimologo stimulation center in Francistown and Tlamelong rehabilitation center in Tlokweng.

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DIS alleges plot to kill Masisi hatched in South Africa

6th February 2023

A dispute is brewing between Botswana and South Africa intelligence agencies over alleged mercenary training camps discovered in South Africa by the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS). 

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