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Morwaeng breaks down P2.5 billion presidency budget

The Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng has revealed how he intends to apportion the P2.5 billion budget allocated to his ministry, with the DIS and broadcasting services getting a better share.

According to Morwaeng, the lion’s share of the budget will go towards strengthening and capacitating the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS).  A total P203,5 million is being requested for various undertakings including communications, Infrastructure, and security related projects for implementation during the 2022/2023 Financial Year, Morwaeng said, when talking about strengthening of the DIS capabilities.

With the aim to boost the creative industry and also curb high unemployment rates among the young graduates the government, OP will channel more funds at the Mass Media complex. A total amount of P193,2 million is requested for continuation of various broadcasting activities which include facilitation of the creative industry; upgrading of television and radio studios, acquisition of equipment and content, as well as installation of renewable energy system at the Mass Media Complex.

Morwaeng also added: “As for strengthening the DCEC capabilities, I request the budget of P4.4 million to be allocated to the DCEC for two projects namely, upgrading of CMS at an amount of P1.2 million to purchase secondary server; and the balance of P3.2 million is requested for the DCEC investigations.”

A sum of P3, 24 million is required in the invigorating of the Auditor General to complete the procurement of additional Teammate (automated audit management software) and Integrated Data Extraction and Analysis software for the Office of the Auditor General.

In addition to this, an amount of P147 million is being requested to continue with the ‘SmartBots’ project of Village Connectivity and for the development of E-Cabinet system in MOPAGPA. “MOPAGPA’s infrastructure development in request of P40.5 million is required to cover various infrastructural development projects as follows: refurbishment of Office of the President (OP) 2, OP Office Facility, and refurbishment of office accommodation at District Commissioner’s Offices, as well as the refurbishment of State House 1 and 2,” Minister Morwaeng said.

P27.5 million is also requested for various refurbishment projects and continuation of E-learning project at the Botswana Public Service College. A total budget of P56.1 million is requested for Social Protection and Preparedness Programme. Funds are to be distributed among the following projects as follows: P50 000 000 for packaging and capacitation of beneficiaries, the continued profiling of beneficiaries, monitoring of beneficiaries’ projects as well as remuneration for Programme staff; the sum of P2 153 385 to implement the first phase of the National Disaster Emergency Operations Centre. The remaining balance will be used to cover cost of conducting the Risk and Vulnerability Study as well as the Disability Economic Empowerment Programme.

As for NAHPA Programmes, P255.9 million is requested for the HIV/AIDS activities funded under different sources as follows: Domestic Development Fund at P75 000 000; President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) at P72.9 million and Global Fund at P111 million.

“Strengthening of Counter Terrorism Analysis and Fusion Agency (CTAFA) for counter terrorism activities, I request an amount of P21 087 680 acquire and deploy specialized ICT infrastructure and communication equipment to enable the Agency to carry out its mandate. I therefore request the sum of P1 578 505 130 for the Recurrent Budget and P997 215 109 stand part of the estimates for the 2022/23 financial year,” Morwaeng said.

Morwaeng said that an amount of P41 991 616 in request for implementation of various consultancies which include; the National Transformation Strategy, Cluster Development initiative, National Monitoring and Evaluation System (NMES), the continuation of the Development of the Assessment Centre, Project Management consultancies, Public Service Human Resource Policy Database, DPSM Network and ICT infrastructure upgrade, the consultancies on Legislative Review on Governance and Investigative Research on Good Governance.

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People with Disabilities Face Barriers to Political Participation in Botswana

23rd February 2024

Individuals challenged by disabilities encounter formidable obstacles when endeavoring to partake in political processes within the context of Botswana. Political involvement, a cornerstone of democratic governance, empowers citizens to shape the legislative landscape that impacts their daily existence. Despite Botswana’s reputation for upholding democratic ideals, recent insights unveil a troubling reality – those with disabilities find themselves marginalized in the realm of politics, contending with substantial barriers obstructing the exercise of their democratic liberties.

A recent inquiry in Botswana unveiled a panorama where individuals with disabilities confront hurdles in navigating the political arena, their involvement often restricted to the basic act of voting. Voices emerged from the study, underscoring the critical necessity of fostering environments that are accessible and welcoming, affording individuals with disabilities the active engagement they rightfully deserve in political processes. Noteworthy was the account of a participant grappling with physical impairments, shedding light on the glaring absence of ramps at polling stations and the urgent call for enhanced support mechanisms to ensure an equitable electoral participation.

The echoes reverberating from these narratives serve as poignant reminders of the entrenched obstacles impeding the full integration of individuals with disabilities into the democratic tapestry. The inaccessibility of polling stations and the glaring absence of provisions tailored to the needs of persons with disabilities loom large as formidable barricades to their political engagement. Particularly pronounced is the plight of those grappling with severe impairments and intellectual challenges, who face even steeper hurdles in seizing political participation opportunities, often grappling with feelings of isolation and exclusion from the political discourse.

Calls for decisive action cascade forth, urging the establishment of more inclusive and accessible political ecosystems that embrace individuals with disabilities in Botswana. Government bodies and concerned stakeholders are urged to prioritize the enactment of laws and policies designed to safeguard the political rights of individuals with disabilities. Furthermore, initiatives geared towards enhancing awareness and education on political processes and rights for this segment of society must be spearheaded, alongside the adoption of inclusive measures within political institutions and party structures.

By dismantling these barriers and nurturing a political landscape that is truly inclusive, Botswana can earnestly uphold its democratic ethos and afford every citizen, including those with disabilities, a substantive opportunity to partake in the political fabric of the nation.

 

 

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Neo Kirchway- Defying the odds

23rd February 2024

In the heartwarming tale of Neo Kirchway, a beacon of inspiration emerges, shining brightly amid life’s adversities.

Defying the constraints of destiny, Neo Kirchway, a resilient Motswana soul now thriving in the United States, stands tall despite the absence of her lower limbs. With unwavering determination, she tends to her cherished family – a loving husband and four children – engaging in the daily symphony of household tasks with remarkable grace.

Neo’s indomitable spirit traces back to the fateful year of 1994, a time when medical intervention called for the amputation of her curled legs. Embracing this pivotal juncture with unwavering courage and the blessing of her mother, she ventured forth into a world adorned with prosthetic legs, eager to script a tale of triumph.

Venturing beyond borders, Neo’s journey led her to the embrace of the United States, where serendipity intertwined her fate with that of her soulmate, Garrett Kirchway. Together, this harmonious duo navigates the ebbs and flows of life, their bond fortified by unwavering love and unyielding support.

In a bid to illuminate paths and embolden hearts, Neo leverages the digital realm, crafting a sanctuary of empowerment on her YouTube channel. Brimming with authenticity and raw emotion, her videos chronicle the tapestry of her daily life, serving as a testament to resilience and the unwavering human spirit.

Amidst the digital cosmos, Neo, affectionately known as “KirchBaby,” reigns supreme, a luminary in the hearts of 658,000 enraptured subscribers. Through her captivating content, she not only navigates the mundane tasks of cooking, cleaning, and childcare but also dances with celestial grace, a testament to her boundless spirit and unyielding zest for life.

In the cathedral of Neo Kirchway’s narrative, resilience reigns supreme, echoing a universal truth – that amidst life’s gales, the human spirit, when kindled by hope and fortitude, emerges as a beacon of light, illuminating even the darkest of paths.

 

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Inequalities Faced by Individuals with Disabilities

22nd February 2024

The government’s efforts to integrate individuals with disabilities in Botswana society are being hampered by budgetary constraints. Those with disabilities face inequalities in budgetary allocations in the health and education sectors. For instance, it is reported that the government allocates higher budgetary funds to the general health sector, while marginal allocations are proposed for the development and implementation of the National Primary Health Care guidelines and Standards for those with Disabilities. This shows that in terms of budgetary solutions, the government’s proposed initiatives in improving the health and well-being of those with disabilities remain futile as there is not enough money going towards disability-specific health programs. On the other hand, limited budgetary allocations to the Special Education Unit also are a primary contributor to the inequalities faced by children with disabilities. The government only provides for the employment of 15 teachers with qualifications in special education despite the large numbers of children with intellectual disabilities that are in need of special education throughout Botswana. Such disproportional allocation of resources inhibits the capacity to provide affordable and accessible assisted technology and residential support services for those with disabilities. Given the fact that a different amount of resources have been availed to the education and health sectors, the general understanding is that the government is not doing enough to ensure that adequate resources are distributed to disability-specific programs and facilities such as barrier-free environments, residential homes, and special education schools for children with disabilities.

 

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