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CABI tackles invasive species in Africa

The MidweekSun Admin

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Invasive species threaten both natural biological riches of the earth and the wellbeing of people

The spread of invasive species is now recognised as one of the greatest threats to the wellbeing of the continent and the delivery of Sustainable Development Goals.

Minister of Agricultural Development and Food Security, Patrick Ralotsia said this Wednesday at Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI)’s African Regional Consultation and Invasive Policy summit held under the theme; ‘Working in Partnership for a sustainable future. The summit ends tomorrow (Thursday) at Cresta Lodge.

Different African members of CABI met to discuss issues related to improving Agriculture in Africa. Ralotsia said the issue of invasive species is creating complex and far-reaching challenges that threaten both natural biological riches of the earth and the wellbeing of the people. “Direct and indirect health effects are seriously increasing and the damage to native biodiversity is often irreversible,” he said. The effects may also be exacerbated by climate change.

“It is expected that CABI will do the good work of assisting member states to formulate policies and research initiatives that are meant to minimise losses to Agricultural production thereby realising and attaining food security,” said Ralotsia.

He said by 2050, Agriculture will need to produce almost 50 percent more food, feed and biofuel than it did in 2012 just to meet demand. Head of Division, Agriculture and Food Security Division at African Union Commission (AUC), Dr Simplice Nouala Fonkou, also said that the rapid growth of African population will suddenly lead to food demand in the future therefore a lot has to be done.

“Africa is facing a rapidly growing population. It is projected that Africa’s present population of about 1.3 billion will increase to about 2.5 billion by 2050. This development will in turn lead to a rapid escalation of food demand,” said Dr Fonkou.

He said that Africa would then have to increase its food production by 70 percent by 2050 to be able to feed its population. “Because invasive species are transboundary in nature, there is need to strengthen partnership and regional coordination and collaboration in order for the effective management and control of invasive species,” said Dr Fonkou.

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BDP to crack whip on dissidents

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Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) is poised to crack the whip on members that attended last month’s “illegal” Serowe meeting that was allegedly called by the Central Region party elders.

The meeting was to discuss what transpired during the regional congress where President Dr Mokgweetsi Masisi was endorsed as the preferred candidate to lead the party against the recommended name of Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi.

The party has since scheduled disciplinary hearings for the affected members following a complaint letter from Steady Sethaba – Chairman of Serowe West Branch dated March 1st 2019.
About 28 people have been listed in the complaint letter as some of the attendants. Dr Khama and Dr Venson-Moitoi have not been listed in the complaint letter, although they were present as well as Member of Parliament for Tati East Samson Moyo Guma who is also vying for the party’s Secretary General position.

BDP National Disciplinary Committee Vice Chairman Yame Tshepo Kebabonye has since written to the affected BDP members that the hearings are scheduled for the 16th, 17th, 18th, and 19 of April 2019 in the morning at party head office. Through the letter dated 6th March 2019 Kebabonye has called on those appearing to have availed their statements of defence within 14 days of receipt of the summons. In the complaint letter Sethaba had indicated that the meeting was in violation of the party constitution because it was not called by an established organ of the party.

“The speakers also deliberately misled and incited the meeting attendants by speaking in a way that was aimed at leaving them believing that the regional congress led the delegates to do what was unconstitutional. “Of late there has been an emergence of unruly behaviour by some members of Serowe constituencies which necessitate for appropriate remedial action before it gets out of control,” Sethaba said in the complaint letter.

The Serowe “illegal”meeting was held on the 24th of February 2019 and was attended by among others former President Dr Ian Khama, Dr Venson-Moitoi, Member of Parliament for Tati East Samson Moyo Guma and Roseline Panzirah-Matshome who is vying for Deputy Secretary General post ahead of the party’s elective congress in July this year. Also, in attendance were most of Central District BDP councillors. Following this meeting party Secretary General Mpho Balopi revealed that disciplinary action would be taken against those members who attended the ‘illegal meeting.’

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I BUY NO POWERS

Yvonne Mooka

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Many will remember Apostle Joel Keitumele as Ntsoro the comedian who would leave people in stitches with his rib-cracking jokes.

Now an apostle who leads Heavenly International Soul church with his wife Amo Keitumele, he confided in The Midweek Sun that he has never bought powers to make himself and his church powerful as it is often alleged by members of the public.

Two years ago, there were allegations that he had lost his mind after he failed to honour an agreement with a seller of powers in Ghana. “They were saying I was mentally disturbed and that I was being tormented by a snake because I dishonoured an agreement from a seller of powers in Ghana. I have never been to Ghana and the rumours were baseless,” he said, adding that someone even lied that his aunt works at Sbrana Psychiatric Hospital and had seen Keitumele at the hospital.

He also recalled the time he was invited at Btv with now born again Shumba Ratshega. He was wearing two rings. “One was my wedding ring and the other on my right hand was a Versace. A caller asked why I was wearing the other one and there were talks that it’s for powers.” He said he took it off and gave it to the presenter to wear and that nothing happened to him.

Lately, there are allegations that he wears an eagle belt, known in street lingo as ‘Prophetic belt’and purpoted to have powers to increase miracles in church and to attract more people. It is won by several other pastors and prophets among them, Shepherd Bushiri, Alph Lukau, Passion Java and Eubert Angel. He confirmed that he has it. He however said there is nothing like a prophetic belt or prophetic shoes.

“Of recent, God released a cloud of young prophets and these like their older mentors or spiritual fathers are stylish and they like fashion. “We have tapped into that. So most of us have Versace shoes, Eagle belts because we like looking good. People refer to them as ‘Prophetic this and that’ but there is nothing prophetic about them.

It’s just that we like them but we don’t need them for powers,” he said. Keitumele confirmed that he sells the trending shoes and belts at his store in Gaborone. “We just like our belts. Nothing more. The power is in the price. Monna ke monna ka setlhako le lebante,” he said.

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