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BPF wars deepen as NEC turns into circus

Tantrums, incongruities on the agenda by the most senior National Executive Committee (NEC) members and exchange of blows and kicks were the order of the day at the Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) NEC meeting this past Monday.

And for the second time in a row, acting President Caroline Lesang and Secretary General Tshekedi Khama clashed again. The meeting was set to discuss serious party issues ahead of its National Elective Congress billed for October at Tati-Siding. We were looking at the state of the party, among other issues discussed were different activities that we would be having as a party and briefing on the status of Butale and few others, Party Spokesperson Lawrence Ookeditse told this publication.

However,WeekendPosthas it in good authority that the Monday meeting was off to a fiery start as both Lesang and Khama locked horns over the two agenda items on the tables. Impeccable sources have toldWeekendPostthat Lesang lashed at Tshekedi for his failure to communicate with other NEC members as the SG but rather deciding to engage the lower structures, something which the acting President found inappropriate.

But then they managed to reach a consensus, which was a telephonic conversation in which TK apologized for his non-communication. He then agreed with acting President Lesang to go ahead and file her agenda item, said a source.

All hell then broke loose when some NEC members sympathizing with the Presidential candidate Moiseraela Goya and TK disrupted the meeting after Lesang rejected TKs agenda to discuss the membership status of BPF Youth League President Fox Segwai.The faction allegedly led by Dr. Malefo and Deputy Secretary General Vuyo Notha argued that Segwai has long resigned from the party many months back and as a result not a BPFYL President let alone a member.

Thats where everything started as Dr. Malefo and Notha started disrupting the meeting and Lesang threatened to chase them out, and they continued with the harassment. Ford Moiteela then also started to threaten to lift Malefo out of the room, and all turned into a ring of blows and kicks, some members climbing tables to kick others. The meeting was adjourned for an hour to let tempers cool down, a highly placed source said.

As is, the BPF NEC is said to be deeply divided with other faction anchored by TK/Goya while the other one is led by Guma. The two axis are currently at war over some critical decisions taken last month, which includes the co-opting of Baemedi Kudumane as the party Chairman.It is said the TK/Goya faction wanted the Jwaneng-Mabutsane MP Reggie Reatile to take the position.

Ookeditse, on the other hand, told this publication that the Monday meeting was very cordial. I wouldnt say there is any disunity between the SG and acting President, the meeting went well, it was very cordial, and I think the NEC was in agreement with a lot of things that were there.

As for the altercation between the NEC members at the meeting I dont know what that would mean, at every meeting there will be disagreements and agreements, we will speak loudly when we have strong positions and speak softly when we dont, so there was nothing out of the ordinary, it was just a meeting.

The differences between TK, SG and the acting President Lesang are colossal. In a letter dated the 23rd of June 2022, TK reminded structures to stay vigilant and jealously guard their partyand added that; We note with concern that the party letter head has found its way into the wrong hands, hence the need to abide by the constitution and channel all party communication through the Secretary General office, he highlighted.

TK has typed and slapped the acting President Caroline Lesang with another letter nullifying the decision and resolution from the meeting. Madam Acting President, it is my hope that we will do everything in our power to uphold our party constitution and abide by it, and you as a party spokesperson will lead in that endeavour.


Local tennis team upbeat ahead of Billie Jean King cup

29th May 2023

With almost two weeks until the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup, which will be staged in Kenya from June 12-17, 2023, the Botswana Tennis Association (BTA) ladies’ team coach, Ernest Seleke, is optimistic about reaching greater heights.

Billie Jean King Cup, or the BJK Cup, is a premier international team competition in women’s tennis, launched as the Federation Cup to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the International Tennis Federation (ITF). The BJK Cup is the world’s largest annual women’s international team sports competition in terms of the number of nations that compete.

The finals will feature 12 teams (Botswana, Burundi, Ghana, Kenya, Seychelles, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Tunisia, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, and the Democratic Republic of Congo) competing in the four round-robin groups of three. The four group winners will qualify for the semifinals, and the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup will be crowned after the completion of the knockout phase.

Closer to home, the BW Tennis team is comprised of Thato Madikwe, Leungo Monnayoo, Chelsea Chakanyuka, and Kelebogile Monnayoo. However, according to Seleke, they have not assembled the team yet as some of the players are still engaged.

“At the moment, we are depending on the players and their respective coaches in terms of training. However, I will meet up with Botswana-based players in the coming week, while the United States of America (USA) based player Madikwe will probably meet us in Kenya. Furthermore, Ekua Youri and Naledi Raguin, who are based in Spain and France respectively, will not be joining us as they will be writing their examinations,” said Seleke.

Seleke further highlighted the significance of this competition and how competitive it is. “It is a massive platform for our players to showcase their talent in tennis, and it is very competitive as countries target to get promoted to the world categories where they get to face big nations such as Spain, France, USA, and Italy. Though we are going to this tournament as underdogs because it is our second time participating, I’m confident that the girls will put in a good showing and emerge with results despite the odds,” highlighted Seleke.

Quizzed about their debut performance at the BJK Cup, he said, “I think our performance was fair considering the fact that we were newbies. We came third in our group after losing to North Macedonia and South Africa. We went on to beat Uganda, then Kenya in the playoffs. Unfortunately, we couldn’t play Burundi due to heavy rainfall and settled for the position 9/10,” he said.

For her part, team representative Leungo Monnayoo said they are working hard as they aim to do well at the tourney. “The preparations for the tourney have long begun because we practice each and every day. We want to do well, hence we need to be motivated. Furthermore, I believe in my team as we have set ourselves a big target of coming home with the trophy,” she said.

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Pep Stores donates sanitary towels to Popagano JSS

26th May 2023

The Guidance and Counseling unit at Popagano Junior Secondary School received a donation of 790 sanitary towels from Pep stores on Thursday.

When presenting the donation, Mareledi Thebeng, the Dinokaneng Area Manager, highlighted their belief in giving back to the community, as their existence depends on the communities they serve. Thebeng pointed out that research indicates one in four girls miss school every day due to the lack of basic necessities like sanitary towels. Therefore, as a company, they strive to assist in alleviating this situation. She expressed hope that this donation would help ensure uninterrupted learning for girls.

Upon receiving the donation on behalf of the students, Charity Sambire, the President of the Student Representative Council, expressed her gratitude. Sambire specifically thanked Pep Store for their generous gift, speaking on behalf of the students, especially the girl child.

She conveyed their sincere appreciation for Pep Store’s compassion and quoted the adage, “Blessed is the hand that gives.” Sambire expressed the students’ hope for Pep Stores’ prosperity, enabling them to continue supporting the students. As a gesture of gratitude, the students pledged to excel academically.

During her speech, Motlalepula Madome, the Senior Teacher in Guidance and Counseling, highlighted that many students at the school come from disadvantaged backgrounds where parents struggle to provide basic necessities. Consequently, some students miss school when they experience menstruation due to this lack.
Madome emphasized the significance of the donation in preventing the girl child from missing lessons and its potential to improve the school’s overall results. She expressed the school’s gratitude and expressed a desire for continued support from Pep Stores.

Popagano Junior Secondary School, situated in the Okavango District, holds the second position academically in the North West region. Despite its location, the school has been dedicated to achieving excellence since 2017

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Botswana misses out critical PAP committee meeting

23rd May 2023

The Pan African Parliament (PAP) committee on gender, family, youth and people with disability in its sitting considered, adopted and recommended to the plenary session the preliminary report on the framework for the model law on gender equality.

According to the last week’s media release from PAP which is sitting with its various committees until June 2nd,  the committee is following up the PAP initiative to draw up a model law on gender equality to enable national governments to harmonize, modernize and standardize their legislations to address local needs is set to be discussed in Plenary.

However, what is concerning is the fact that Botswana which is a member state missed the deliberations. Kgosi Mosadi Seboko who sat in the committee representing Botswana has since been ejected by parliament and this is a huge blow for a nation that is still battling equity and gender balance.

“Although PAP has no legislative powers it makes model laws for member states to adopt. PAP also develops protocols to be ratified by countries. The input of countries at Committee state is extremely critical. It now means the voice of Botswana is missing the discussions leading up to development of protocols or model laws,” said one of Botswana’s representative at PAP Dr. Kesitegile Gobotswang who is attending the current session.

While Botswana is missing, the committee meeting took place on the sidelines of the Sixth PAP second ordinary Session being held under the African Union Theme of the Year for 2023, “The Year of AfCFTA: Accelerating the Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area” in Midrand, South Africa and will run up to 2 June 2023. Chairperson of the Committee, Hon Mariam Dao-Gabala expressed satisfaction with preliminary processes undertaken so far towards the formulation of the Model Law,” a release from the PAP website reads.

“The law should be suitable to all countries whatever the predominant culture or religion is. The aim is to give an opportunity to women to participate in the economic, political and social development of the continent. Women are not well positioned and face a lot of obstacles. We are introducing the idea of equity in the Law because we cannot talk about equality without equity,” said Hon Mariam Dao-Gabala in the press statement.

The release has stated that among issues to be covered by the Model Law is the migratory movements of women. The Committee proffered that this has to be addressed at the continental level to ensure that migrant women enjoy all their rights and live with dignity in their destination country. The members of the Gender Committee undertook consultations to consolidate the contributions of the various stakeholders that will be the logical framework format for the Model Law.




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