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UDC MPs demand 2019 election report

Umbrella for Democratic Changes (UDC) 15 legislators have requested the National Executive Committee (NEC) and constituent parties to deliver the 2019 election report as a matter of urgency, WeekendPost has established.

The party leadership met with the MPs last weekend at Ave Maria Pastoral Centre for a consultative meeting. The gatherings main agenda according to the UDC spokesperson, Moeti Mohwasa, was to discuss a number of issues, including the recently proposed Floor Crossing Bill. He however admits that other matters were raised from the meeting which he says should remain internal.

This publication is reliably informed that the party leadership also took the time to gauge the legislators performance in parliament. The UDC politburo is reportedly satisfied with how the MPs have fared so far in terms of motions and bills.

Among the bills UDC will table in this winter meeting is requesting parliament to set-up a commission in three months to review the constitution. UDC has also tabled, albeit unsuccessfully, the Media Practitioners Act Repeal Bill.

We cannot really blow our own trumpet but it seems the leadership is so far happy with our submission in parliament, but it has been underscored that most of us are new in the house and with time we will mature, said Selibe Phikwe East MP, Kgoberego Nkawana. Not only that, the other issue which was discussed was last Octobers election report.

According to Mohwasa, the party has agreed that each constituent party will do its report and submit to UDC NEC for consolidation. He however concedes that, some structures are still lagging behind while others have completed theirs. From the weekend meeting the MPs are reported to have pleaded with their superiors to press individual parties to ensure that they finish their reports to allow UDC NEC to compile a consolidated report.

It will help us as a party to see how and where we went wrong in 2019 and that can also assist us to plot accordingly for the next elections in 2024, one MP told this publication on condition of anonymity. The reasons for the delay as Mohwasa said is laxity from the parties. Again, another factor highlighted was Covid-19 and the imposition lockdowns which put plans and activities on hold.

Failure to have deadlines on this could have also had a hand in the delay, added the anonymous legislator. Currently, Botswana Congress Party (BCP) is said to be the only party that has engaged all the structures and ready to submit its report. On the other hand Botswana National Front (BNF) and Botswana Peoples Party (BPP) are said to be still consulting and yet to finalize their reports for consolidation.

We are busy with the report, it is not final. For now I am not sure when it will be ready because we are not allowed to gather but we are working on it, BPP leader Motlatsi Molapisi told this publication in a brief interview. BCP President Dumelang Saleshando, who apart from being UDC VP is also a Maun West MP, said he was not in a position to comment on the matter as he is conflicted by being in UDC NEC and being an MP.

All the political parties that participated in last years election should have already drafted and compiled their reports. However, MPs admit that reasons to delays are understandable. Meanwhile, the MPs also requested the party leadership to work closely to create the necessary cohesion and avoid having parallel axis.

The argument is, if the two take long to meet, it might create an impression that parliament is an independent structure from UDC which is not true. The last time the MPs met with UDC NEC was last year but the two structures should meet regularly. The MPs say they want to frequently meet with UDC President Duma Boko.

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Fighting vulture poisoning in KAZA region.

3rd February 2023
As a response to avert vulture poisoning currently going on in Botswana and KAZA region, Birdlife Botswana has collaborated with three other partners (BirdWatch Zambia, BirdLife International & Birdlife Zimbabwe) to tackle wildlife poisoning which by extension negatively affect vulture populations.

The Director of Birdlife Botswana, Motshereganyi Virat Kootshositse has revealed in an interview that the project which is funded by European Union’s main goal is to reduce poisoning related vultures’ death and consequently other wildlife species death within the KAZA region.

He highlighted that Chobe district in Botswana has been selected as a pilot site as it has experienced rampant incidents of vulture poisoning for the past few months. In August this year at least 50 endangered white backed vultures were reported dead at Chobe National Park, Botswana after feeding on a buffalo carcass laced with poison.  In November this year again 43 white backed vultures were found dead and two alive after feeding on a zebra suspected to have poisoned.  Other selected pilots’ sites are Kafue in Zambia and Hwange in Zimbabwe.

Kootshositse further explained they have established a national and regional Wildlife Poisoning Committee. He added that as for the national committee they have engaged various departments such as Crop Productions, Agro Chemicals, Department of Veterinary Services, Department of Wildlife and National Parks and other NGOs such as Raptors Botswana to come together and find a long-lasting solution to address wildlife poisoning in Botswana. ‘Let’s have a strategy or a plan together to tackle wildlife poisoning,’ he stated

He also decried that there is gap in the availability of data about vulture poisoning or wildlife in general. ‘If we have a central point for data, it will help in terms of reporting and advocacy’, he stated

He added that the regional committee comprises of law enforcement officers such as BDF and Botswana police, village leadership such as Village Development Committee and Kgosi. ‘We need to join hand together and protect the wildlife we have as this will increase our profile for conservation and this alone enhances our visitation and boost our local economy,’ he noted

Kootshositse noted that Birdlife together with DWNP also addressed series of meeting in some villages in the Chobe region recently. The purpose of kgotla meetings was to raise awareness on the conservation and protection of vultures in Chobe West communities.

‘After realizing that vulture poisoning in the Chobe areas become frequent, we realise that we need to do something about it.  ‘We did a public awareness by addressing several kgotla meetings in some villages in the Chobe west,’ he stated

He noted that next year they are going to have another round of consultations around the Chobe areas and the approach is to engage the community into planning process. ‘Residents should be part of the plan of actions and we are working with farmers committee in the areas to address vulture poisoning in the area, ‘he added

He added that they have found out that some common reasons for poisoning wildlife are farmers targeting predators such as lions in retaliation to killing of their livestock. Another common incident cross border poaching in the Chobe area as poachers will kills an elephant and poison its carcass targeting vultures because of their aerial circling alerting authorities about poaching activities.

Kootshositse noted that in the last cases it was disheartening the incidents occurred three months apart. He added that for the first time they found that some of the body parts of some vultures were missing. He added harvesting of body parts of vultures is not a common practice in Botswana, although it is used in some parts of Africa. ‘We suspect that someone took advantage of the availability of carcasses and started harvesting their body parts,’

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Giant in the making: Everton Mlalazi

3rd February 2023

The music industry is at a point where artists are jostling for space because there are so many aspirants trying to get their big break, thus creating stiff competition.

In the music business it’s about talent and positioning. You need to be at the right place at the right time with the right people around you to propel you forward.
Against all odds, Everton Mlalazi has managed to takeover the gospel scene effortlessly.
To him, it’s more than just a breakthrough to stardom, but a passion as well as mission directly appointed by the Lord.

Within a short space of 2 years after having decided to persue a solo career, Mlalazi has already made it into international music scene, with his music receiving considerable play on several gospel television and radio stations in Botswana including other regional stations like Trace Africa, One Gospel, Metro FM in South Africa, Hope FM in Kenya and literally all broadcast stations in Zimbabwe.

It doesn’t only stop there, as the musician has already been nominated 2 times and 2 awards which are Bulawayo Arts Awards (BAA) best Male artists 2022, StarFM listerners Choice Award, Best Newcomer 2021 and ZIMA Best Contemporary Gospel 2022, MLA awards Best Male artist & Best Gospel Artist 2022.

Everton’s inspiration stems from his ultimate passion and desire to lead people into Godly ways and it seems it’s only getting started.
The man is a gospel artist to put on your radar.

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African countries call on WHO to increase funding

2nd February 2023

Minister of Health Dr Edwin Dikoloti says Africa member states call on World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure equitable resource allocation for 2024-2025. Dr Dikoloti was speaking this week at the WHO Executive Board Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

He said countries agreed that there is need to address the budget and funding imbalances by increasing the programme budget share of countries and regions to 75% for the next year.

“The proposed budget for 2024-2025 marks an important milestone as it is the first in Programme Budget in which country offices will be allocated more than half of the total budget for the biennium. We highly welcome this approach which will enable the organization to deliver on its mandate while fulfilling the expectations for transparency, efficiency and accountability.”

The Botswana Health Minister commended member states on the extension of the General Programme of Work (GPD 13) and the Secretariat work to monitor the progress towards the triple billion targets, and the health-related SDGs.

“We welcome the Director’s general proposed five priorities which have crystalized into the “five Ps” that are aligned with the GPW 13 extension. Impact can only be achieved through close coordination with, and support to national health authorities. As such, the strengthening of country offices is instrumental, with particular focus on strengthening national health systems and on promoting more equitable access to health services.”

According to Dr Dikoloti, the majority of countries with UHC index that is below the global median are in the WHO Africa region. “For that, we call on the WHO to enhance capacity at the regional and national levels in order to accelerate progress. Currently, the regional office needs both technical and financial support in order to effectively address and support country needs.”

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