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Masisi is 2nd world leader to visit Mao Zedong’s museum in Mt. Kushan

Ernest Moloi

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PIONEERING AFRICAN: President Masisi is welcomed by his Number 2

President Mokgweetsi Masisi goes into history books as the first African and second world leader to visit the renowned mountain resort known as Mount Kushan in China.

Mount Kushan started off as a missionary outpost of the British and was later taken over by the Chinese and used by the nationalists as they fought the war with Kuomintang and finally taken over by Mao Zedong as a retreat area for his Communist Party.

Masisi told a press briefing Saturday on his return from China at SSKA VIP Lounge that this was one of the “highlights” of his visit to China. Here he saw the Museum that was originally the house that Mao Zedong – the founding father of the People’s Republic of China and Chairman of the Communist Party of China – lived in with his wife.

The first world leader to visit the place, Masisi, said, was the Vietnamese President and the second was “thy truly and the first African, so we have one up” he enthused. Masisi says he toured the Museum and saw the bed that Mao slept in including the linen and walked around the premises, sat on the chairs that Chairman Mao sat on as he wrote his poetry and some of his ideologies that have since come to be known as Maoism.

Chairman Mao died in 1976. During the state visit and the Forum on China Africa Cooperation summit, Masisi extracted concessions from China that include a grant of P340 million and a debt cancellation for P80 million. He also used the visit to reaffirm Botswana’s commitment to One-China Policy as well as to deepen the diplomatic ties between the two nations.

Overall, Masisi and his entourage that included ministers, senior government officials and the private business leaders hailed the visit as a “resounding success.”

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Sheila Tlou: I am ready to serve under Masisi

Keletso Thobega

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NOT HAPPY: Sheila Tlou says she gets embarrassed having to continue telling the international community that Botswana is a country of peace while its leaders hackle each other in public

Young people, particularly girl children who want to advance in their careers and participate in governance and leadership should forget about boys and focus on their personal development.

This was said by Sheila Tlou in an interview with The Midweek Sun this week. Tlou was recently listed among the 100 most Influential African women by Avance Media.She was recognised in the Diplomacy category.

Tlou, who is currently the co-chair of the Global HIV Prevention Coalition initiated by UNAIDS and UNFPA, and the co-chair of the Nursing Now Global campaign, has an impressive and well-documented legacy in the health sector that includes a tenure as Minister of Health in Botswana and a stint as chairperson of the African Union ministers of health.
Tlou expressed hope that this award would serve as inspiration for many Batswana who are committed to serving their country diligently in any capacity to persevere and remain steadfast in their chosen fields.

She was positive that more Batswana women would be included in the coming years because “she is not the only one” pointing out that there are many Batswana who are doing great work in development.

Meanwhile, Tlou said she would not turn down President Mokgweetsi Masisi if he were to summon her to take up any role in his administration. “I have a lot of respect for Masisi. I can identify with him as someone who grew up in a rural village and has worked his way to the top,” she said.

She said Masisi could elevate the lives of young people and help them tap into the arts industry, which is a minefield with potential to grow the economy. “He has a background in acting and therefore has an understanding and appreciation for the arts and the contribution they make to not only character building but also economic opportunities,” she said.

She however noted that she had Batswana’s interests at heart and would support anyone voted to be president. She did not want to be drawn into the feud between Masisi and former President Ian Khama as well as the infightings that have seen the BDP dealing with yet another breakaway party and mass resignations but pointed out that like all other Batswana, her hope is that the two individuals would resolve their issues and bury the hatchet.

“As a Motswana who travels across the world, I spread the message of how our country is a land of peace and tranquillity. What is happening obviously does not sit well with me especially as civil developments are not taking place.

“We need to focus on the needs of people rather than the needs of individuals. That said, I look forward to elections and working on the national mandate to improve the lives of Batswana. I hope that whoever loses will hold their horses and support the elected President of our country.”

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‘Come back home,’ Masisi to Khama

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COME BACK BOSS: Masisi wants Khama back at BDP

President Mokgweetsi Masisi is gravely worried about his predecessor Ian Khama finding a new home in the opposition block.

Khama ditched Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) early this year indicating that the party has lost focus and was no longer welcoming. He left the BDP following his protracted standoff with Masisi after the latter assumed state presidency.

Masisi told a BDP gathering this past Saturday in Goodhope when launching Parliamentary candidate for the constituency Eric Molale and his councillors that he feels sorry for Khama. According to Masisi, the opposition especially Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC), is abusing and using the former president for their gain in the coming general elections. Khama, who is founding Patron of Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF) has revealed that his party will work with the UDC to ensure that the BDP loses the election.

Khama has explained that they have no problems with some of the BDP candidates that they are targeting, but rather their leader.While some BDP members now feel that Khama is better-placed with the opposition rank given his unwavering attacks on the ruling party, Masisi wants him back ‘home.’ “It is heartbreaking to see how the opposition is treating him. Those people do not love him. If there are people who love him, it is us at the BDP.

“They are abusing him. You have to pray for him to come back home where he belongs. Churches and diviners have to do something about the situation so that he would see the light and return home,” said Masisi.

The president feared that the opposition is using Khama for political mileage and would dump him after the general elections. He called on Batswana to give his party another chance at the polls so that he could execute his mandate of uplifting the lives of Batswana. According to Masisi only the BDP has the interests of the country and its citizens at heart.

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