Connect with us

News

Sibanda’s views on FOIA shocking

Published

on

Former Chairperson of Botswana National Youth Council (BNYC), Louis Sibanda says Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) does not want to open floodgates of secrets by passing the Freedom of Information Bill. He was speaking at a panel discussion organised by Botswana Council of Non-Governmental Organisations (BOCONGO), Fredrich Ebert Stifung (FES) and the troubled Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA).

Sibanda was representing BDP, while Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) was represented by Gaborone Central legislator, Dr Phenyo Butale. The panel discussion was held under the theme; Access to Information. “Every country has secrets and must be kept to protect the citizens. I do not want a journalist to rock up in the morning and demand information about me,” he said.

According to Sibanda as a party they agree in principle that Freedom of Information is very important but there has to be a gate somewhere to withhold some information. “Let us protect our data. Let us guard against fraud. Let us make a balance to protect the interests of our citizens,” said Sibanda adding that they want to know what will be required in free access of information.

In 2012 members of the ruling BDP threw away a Bill on Freedom of Information that was tabled in Parliament by former Gaborone Central MP, Dumelang Saleshando. “As a country we cannot open floodgates of information. We are not at a point as a party to publicly issue secrets,” said Sibanda. MISA Director, Modise Maphanyane said it is important for Botswana to have a law on freedom of information. “We have a right to be told the rules that govern us and if they disadvantage us we can challenge them. Or if they affect us unfairly,” said Maphanyane.

Continue Reading
Comments

News

Healthcare system to improve

Published

on

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.

Continue Reading

News

JUST PROPAGANDA

Published

on

Dr Pelonomi Venson-Moitoi has refuted claims that she is under the radar of the Financial Intelligence Agency. Dr Venson-Moitoi who pulled out of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) presidential race at the eleventh hour, was last week reported to have had her accounts frozen because she was being investigated by FIA.

It was alleged that the freezing of the accounts would have a negative bearing on her campaign as she could not access her funds. Responding to enquiries on the issue during a media briefing in Kang Village, Dr Venson-Moitoi said the allegations were far from the truth.

According to the former cabinet minister, all her accounts were clean and she was accessing her funds without any challenge. “The person who was saying all those things was lying. My accounts are clean as we speak. I was never confronted by FIA or anyone. As far as I know I am not under any investigations,” she said.

Linked to that, it had emerged that Dr Venson-Moitoi’s campaign was being funded from outside the country especially by the some rich families in South Africa. Reports then suggested that her source of funding was blocked through the intervention of FIA, and that even her accounts were frozen. She dismissed the reports as propaganda that was perhaps spread to soil her campaign.

“I am clean. This is why I am never mentioned in missing funds from National Petroleum Fund or those of Capital Management Botswana,” said the Serowe South Member of Parliament. Last month Dr Venson-Moitoi had reported to the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) Director General Peter Magosi that she was not happy that she is being followed around the country by security agents.

Magosi dismissed the claims on grounds that his organisation is not the only one that uses private motor vehicles.

Continue Reading

Trending