Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) President Biggie Butale and Alliance for Progressive (AP) Secretary General (SG) Dr. Phenyo Butale are adamant that should their parties join Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) as opposition unity talks gain momentum, taking State power from the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) is a much feasible possibility.
According to Biggie Butale, who lost the 2019 national polls to Simon Moabi in Tati West, his belief is anchored on these factors: “It is much realistic because this time around we are recruiting members and this means vote splitting for BDP in its constituencies because we are eating from its base and again, there will not be any vote rigging in 2024. We will have a strong intelligence to gather against any malice from authorities.”
Butale failed to defend the constituency he won in 2014 after managing 1622, with the ultimate winner, Moabi, getting 6236 votes two years ago. But despite being upbeat about opposition cooperation, the founding President of the BPF and his AP counterpart believe that one plus one is not necessarily two in politics.
In fact, they both warn Umbrella Party model supporters that the widely held view that a combination of all opposition parties into UDC will automatically usher a new government could turn out to be a fallacy in politics. “We are positive that surely the opposition combination will bring State power, but that will not be a walk in the park and everyone in the umbrella project will have to work hard towards removing BDP from power,” BPF President explained on Wednesday afternoon.
On the other hand, according to AP SG, this belief that only opposition unity will guarantee them State power is a simplistic and rudimentary view of politics. “Just uniting alone will not give us government we should not leave anything to chance,” he said.
“Every opposition party ought to work very hard and consolidate our bases and recruit members from BDP to weaken them as well as non- aligned Batswana because Batswana want regime change.” Opposition parties’ unity is viewed as panacea to regime change by most. Post 2014 elections a positive air punctuated by fanfare was the order of the day when Botswana Congress Party (BCP) and UDC agreed to work together for 2019 elections.
Still opposition could not jostle BDP from State power despite a school of thought that BCP and Botswana National Front (BNF) combined can take BDP head on-it proved to be fallacious. As of current, BPF is the busiest opposition party, recruiting members across the country in a bid to strengthen and consolidate its support base.
BPF leader is on record saying their recruitment is purposeful and specific. “I want the party to grow and recruit new members especially of a certain calibre. Those that are trustworthy and hardworking,” he told this publication. This recruitment policy is viewed to be aimed at assisting the party to ensure that the members can sweat enough to push the BDP out.
The party has already snatched former assistant minister of Basic Education, Moiseraela Master Goya, with legion of other former cabinet ministers anticipated to join. The recruitment according to observers will also back BPF to bargain for a much better stake in opposition unity discussions expected to be closed this year.
UDC is currently negotiating with both BPF and AP to join the coalition in efforts to wrestle Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) out of power in 2024. The negotiations are still at infant stage but they are expected to be closed within a short period of time.
The negotiations will be the fourth one since the initial ones in 2011, another in 2012 and the last ones in 2017. Before then there were others in 2003 and 2005/06 which never took off. With the opposition cooperation negotiations billed to be put to bed this year which will also decide on constituency allocation to each party should they agree, BPF intends to field their candidates in all 57 constituency if possible.
“We intend to contest in the 57 constituencies in 2024, that is our intention but remember we are still talking with our partners and the allocations will be finalized there,” said Biggie Butale. Last weekend, Goya, who was MP for Palapye before losing to the incumbent, Onneetse Ramogapi in 2019, has declared his intention to contest the area again in 2024, and as far as Butale is concerned “there is nothing wrong with that declaration.”
Ramogapi won the 2019 parliamentary elections after garnering 5,582 votes followed by Goya of the BDP with 5,252 votes. BPF represented by Dr. Kolaatamo Malefho got 1,806 votes whilst 1,306 people voted Gape Motswaledi of the Alliance for Progressives. Independent candidate Boniface Mankanku got only 52 votes.
UDC is currently negotiating with both BPF and AP to join the coalition in efforts to wrestle Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) out of power in 2024. The negotiations are still at infant stage but they are expected to be closed later this year or next year.
The negotiations will be the fourth one since the initial ones in 2011, another in 2012 and the last ones in 2017. Before then there were others in 2003 and 2005/06 which never took off. The trio’s negotiations have already agreed on working together on five impending by-elections. With AP proposing unity in the by-elections and BPF suggesting unity in both by-elections and general elections, sources say.
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.
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.
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.