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Councils demand autonomy from Central Government

MP Eric Molale

Council heads are unanimous on the idea of confronting Minister of Local Government and Rural Development (MLGRD), Eric Molale, to give them absolute powers in running the local governments.

The matter has been discussed in the past which makes it an old song, but the recent brigade of leaders of the District Council wants it to be treated as a matter of urgency. Should they be independent, the leaders say there will be great developmental improvement on the districts which are currently hindered by a centralised government policy.

Decentralised policy is implemented to varying degrees in a majority of developing and developed countries and has profound implications due to its complex and systemic nature.  It is accepted by many proponents that decentralisation process impact the lives of citizens positively, from the nature and the quality of governance to national wealth and economic growth and, more broadly, to citizen well-being.

Kweneng District Council (KDC) Chairperson Motlhophi Leo is one of the members who support this. “Of course we want to be independent as councils and that should start from constitutional review. Currently we are not recognised by the supreme law. In our neighbouring countries, councils are independent and are able to push their own agenda same thing that we would appreciate,” he said.

If council are autonomous they will be able to accelerate developmental agenda and make sure service delivery reach the people. “For example if police officers charge someone in my district, then that money comes directly to the council coffers and they will decide what to do with that money at the end of the year,” Leo added.

Under the current arrangement, councils get their funding from central government through Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development, and their hands are sometimes tied because the decisions are mostly centralised.

WeekendPost is reliably informed that in the Southern District, there is tension between the district council members and Minister Molale who wants to use his powers to build a primary school in his constituency while the council has agreed that it be erected in Kanye.

Kgalagadi District Chairperson, Hendricks Jacobs in a brief interview also concurred with his counterparts: “I am one of the chairmen who are steadfast that councils should be given autonomy.”
The matter of councils being autonomous is said to be on the desk before Minister Molale but it seems it is not given the necessary attention it deserves, say councillors.

Southern District Head, Thami Chabalala believes that by being independent they will assist in service delivery to the people. “This is about efficiency of service delivery to the people and that can only be done by the council because they are close to the people and they know what can be prioritized and the independence of the councils cannot be downplayed.”

Botswana Association of Local Authorities (BALA) is expected to meet with the relevant authorities to deal with the matter, which is crucial as far as councillors are concerned. The councillors are frustrated by the bureaucratic process of consulting with the minister instead of taking decisions promptly.

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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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