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Khaman gents, this country is bigger than bruised egos

Joe Brown

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Dear Sisiboy

Heela, kana in my letter to you last week I forgot to tell you something. I was carried away by my concerns on the wasteful tendencies of your government where millions of pula continue to be splashed on those luxury BMWs when a little less could be spent on utility Fortuners.

I hope however, that you understood my logic. Especially given that even with the BMWs you buy for the ministers, you still have to provide alternative vehicles when they travel to rough and generally unfavourable terrains. As I said, the Fortuner will go anywhere and you won’t need to spend on complementary modes of transport.

And besides, your political party funder, from whom you buy these BMWs, will have no reason to worry as he is the same guy who also sells the Fortuners anyway. You don’t have to worry about hurting him when you withdraw the use of those German vehicles. Gape ene tota he is supplying you and the government with everything under the sun. I mean anything you can think of.
Where government needs loads of eggs for various purposes, he delivers. Menoto, mala le melala ya dikoko, he is in that business too. Stationery, he delivers. Offices for government to rent, with him you are covered. Almost every car model, he sells. So you don’t have to worry that the guy will withdraw his party funding. He will always be there to supply government with anything, including even water!

Kana these are guys who own this land. I hear he sold one of his luxury cars to that flamboyant advocate-cum-politician for a song – tsaatanki! He has done that too, for your BDP at election time – providing a car for each constituency. Guys with money papa. And make no mistake, they worked hard for it. If only I were a lelope like you, I would have targeted this man a long time ago and I would be a multi-millionaire by now. Which brings me to what I should have shared with you last week.

Heela tlhe rra! Kana you once bragged gore wena o lelope. Let me tell you, o ngwana mo bolopeng morena! There are plentiful out there better than you. Have they shown you the video shared by Ian Khama on Facebook showing Prince a mo lopela? I tell you when Khama shared that video he had wanted to prove something – that ene o na le more and more malata le malope aa ipokang mo Kgotleng tsatsi le penne.

Aaah, Prince ene o worse. That man, I tell you, if he was my friend or brother I would have disowned him. Kana in his short-sightedness he doesn’t realise gore he is burrying any chance you would return him to cabinet after he wins the elections next year. I mean, even Khama himself wouldn’t appoint him to cabinet after that pointless trumpeting.
I tell you Khama must have had fun watching Prince speak like that and even thought: nte ke ba bontshe ba mo utlwe. Kana much of his Vote of Thanks speech at that gathering Khama occasioned to share some soup and bread with elders in GooMoremi, was dedicated to selling his soul to the former head of state – the same one still holding on to the throne despite his sell-by date of March 31 earlier this year.

I tell you the PrinceyBoy was in his element – going on and on about siding with the former, obviously against you. Could it be that he is still angry you dropped him from cabinet after that dustbin money scandal? Kana it was embarrassing to hear a man of his stature speak like that. And this is the same guy who had given Khama about P250 000 as a farewell gift earlier this year. Whatever Khama has made him drink must be very strong.

I hear the guy is working very hard to ensure Khama’s anti-SisiBoy movement stands on its feet. Why the guy allows himself to be used this way beats me. You must have long seen this weakness about him, hence your decision to drop him from cabinet. If it is bitterness he was displaying then it was at another level. It only scares me that he might have kissed goodbye, any chance he had of returning to cabinet. But he claims he doesn’t care anyway. As reckless as his trumpeting was, I wonder if he hasn’t sat down after that to review his words and realise he was an embarrassment even to himself. He even embarrassed Khama, the very object of his exaggerated praise. What will he do and where will he go should Khama come to his senses and finally decide to retire from the leadership position of the party and the nation?

Kana misplaced excitement can sometimes be dangerous. What if you decide to spite him and arrange to have a kgotla meeting in GooMoremi tomorrow? Will he change tune at seeing you or will he continue to say the things he said? I bet his master will advise him to boycott the kgotla meeting the way he himself did when you were in Serowe. These people I tell you, must grow up. This thing they do, even as they say you betrayed them, is a disgrace, and why they don’t see it that way amazes me. People are busy behaving like a jilted lover when they should be proving that their lives do not depend on government positions. I mean, do they not have any other lives to concentrate on and move on?

Batshu has moved on and he holds no grudges. Because he has a life outside political or government office. Botsalo has moved on. DK has moved on. Mogae has long moved on and any headline about him is on helping rebuild South Sudan or about consolidating his position in the Choppies Group. Why can’t these chaps do the same and leave you to govern the country so that we judge you squarely on failures of your own – if at all their aim is to make us see you as a failure?

Right now the nation is divided, more than ever before, and I tell you we are a nation on the verge of a civil war. And all this for what? Greed? A desire to cling on to power? Or perhaps a need to ensure people avoid possible prosecution and to safeguard their inappropriately gathered riches? As I have always been saying over the past weeks and months, I have no qualms that you lied your way up to the presidency – every politician is a liar – I worry more about the civil strife we are facing should this childish bickering be left to blossom. If you lied to become president, fine. We are used to being lied to by politicians. And life goes on. Why should this specific political lie be glorified to a level of polarising the nation?

You say this today, the next day he says something else. The private media writes this today, the next day the fighting president counters it. Kante rraetsho ga se ene a neng a re ene he never reads anything written by private media? And that ene he will never trust the private media? To the extent of even stopping the private media’s lifeblood – advertising. Waitse politicians and their lies! See what I mean? Le wena SisiBoy a ko o itshupe gore you had nothing to do with this private media advertising ban. You have reneged from a number of things you say you did not really believe in. Since the infamous ban persists, does it mean you wholeheartedly endorsed it?

Or now that the man who masterminded the ban is receiving wide unprecedented private media coverage – that even undermines your authority – you have decided to hit back and maintain the ban? I bet you must be shocked too, that the same media is now feeding the mouth that bit them to paralysis. But then again, life has to go on. The media accepted the situation, and the scribes hold no grudges. That’s what these other guys should learn. Jaanong o tle o utlwe – gatwe ba tla ka New Jerusalem to spite you. But I tell you it’s the nation that will feel the brunt. Common knowledge is that the city of Jerusalem has for time immemorial been a hub of conflict and a flashpoint for global tensions.

That place has never known peace and to learn that these chaps are coming up with a new Jerusalem in Botswana must scare us all. War is certainly coming our way. The Scottish battle as captured in Macbeth by William Shakespeare was branded “another Golgotha” (New Golgotha) and there was a good reason for that – the bloodshed as similarly alluded to in the Biblical Golgotha where Jesus and others were crucified.

Incidentally, this place is in Jerusalem, and the Scottish battle that took place long after the epic deaths would later be labelled ‘New Golgotha.’ I shudder to think what might become of us with this ‘New Jerusalem’ upon us. I tell you, we will never know peace in this country. Just like in Jerusalem. What soothes me is hearing that stalwarts in your party are refusing to be a part of this new dispensation. And I hope as you promised while in GaNgwaketse some days ago, you will deal with these national security threats once and for all.

And I also hope their blinded fanatics will make time to introspect, and realise that this country is bigger than bruised egos. Re solofeditse banyana ba le bantsi magodimo, and while they were at the height of blissful expectation, we dumped them for other women. We remain alive because the ladies moved on and did not waste their precious time and dignity by fighting back. O ntumedisetse MmaAtsile foo, ngwana wa ko garona ko GooMadisa.

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BATTLE FOR MMADIKOLO

The MidweekSun Admin

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University of Botswana students are bracing themselves for the Student Representative Council (SRC) elections. Contenders are fighting tooth and nail to appease the electorate. Three camps are in contention to fill the 13 council positions.

Umbrella for Democratic Change’s (UDC) Moono-wa-Baithuti has the onerous task of defending all the 13 seats which they hauled at the last elections of 2018. “As Moono wa Baithuti, we have lots of achievements. We are on the verge of getting the student bar open, so we need to go back and fix what we started,” said UDC’s Tumelo Legase who is vying for the position of Vice President.

He said they have advocated for student empowerment policies and are also proposing a third arm of student representation. “We have the SRC and the Judiciary, what we need is the student Parliament so that we have a large number of leaders who can independently attend to problems across the university.” The dark horse in this race is the University of Botswana’s Alliance for Progressive (AP) which will take another leap of faith despite their loss in the previous election.

They are rejuvenated and redefined. Candidate for Vice President Karabo Bokwe said central to their mandate is making the welfare of the student community a priority. “We want to help eradicate school policies that border on oppression, and through new polices call for initiatives that come with enterprenuership benefits to students.”

AP candidate for Information and Publicity, a first year Criminal Justice student Gracious Selelo said they are more united than other parties even at national level. “We don’t have internal squabbles within our party, we are more focused and can deliver our mandate easily,” she noted.

However the ruling party’s BDP GS-26 will come with all guns blazing after an embarrassing defeat in the previous elections. Preparations have been made and the GS-26 is looking to take the elections by storm.

According to their Presidential Candidate Boniface Seane, they come with the message of hope that addresses the current status quo at the University.“The university is not functioning so we drew three policies that embrace inclusiveness. We want to lead collectively with the students, through the student body meetings which the previous SRCs have failed to do. “We will consult with the students with no discrimination.”

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Healthcare system to improve

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The Health ministry has developed a seven-point programme to guide the country in improving the healthcare system, says Minister of Health and Wellness, Dr Alfred Rabashemi Madigele.

“The seven priority areas will serve as a roadmap and a guardian angel towards improving the overall healthcare system and increasing access to health care while fighting the burden of disease that confronts us,” said Madigele at Masa Square Hotel on Tuesday.

The focal areas include decentralisation; Universal Health Coverage, Tertiary Care, Strategic leveraging on the Private sector; Supply Chain; Research as well as Staff welfare and accountability.
Point-one of the seven priority areas according to Dr Madigele is about empowering the District Health Management Teams (DHMTs) and transforming them into fully fledged Regional Health Authorities.

“In this case, they will be rationalised from 27 to 18 and have the authority to hire A and B Scales, promote up to C1 and manage micro procurement,” he said. Point two is about improving the quality of healthcare services. “The main causes of mortality and their risk factors in Botswana are Primary Health Care issues,” Dr Madigele said.

He added that “Our efforts for the attainment of Universal Health Coverage should thus focus on: Prevention; Comprehensive screening; Early treatment; and Surveillance at the community.”
This he said, would require revamped grassroots efforts in which adequate numbers of community health workers through partnerships with the non-governmental sector will be deployed as necessary.

According to Dr Madigele, the top five causes of death in Botswana in 2017 were HIV/AIDS, Ischemic heart disease, stroke, lower respiratory infections and Diabetes. He said compared to 2007, NCDs among these had increased in burden by an average of 34%. The top five risk factors related to these causes of mortality were unsafe sex; poor diet; high blood pressure; alcohol abuse and tobacco use.

Improving the quality of care, Madigele said will also include the safety and security of patients; attitudes of staff as experienced by patients; time taken in queues either before seeing a health worker or receiving medication and the availability of drugs.

Meanwhile, the health minister revealed that the commissioning of Sir Ketumile Masire Teaching Hospital (SKMTH) is ongoing with the facility scheduled for opening on April 24th. “This will be a phased approach commencing with some services including paediatric oncology, internal medicine, rheumatology and endocrinology, diagnostic radiology, laboratory services and pharmacy”.

A phased commissioning of SKMTH will reduce overdependence on South Africa for referrals, reduce costs and also institutionalise provision of super specialist services within Botswana.

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