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BDP’s vetting process begins for opposition-held constituencies

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Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Central Committee is this Friday scheduled to conduct final vetting for members contesting for elections in opposition-held constituencies. BDP will be conducting its primary elections (Bulela-Ditswe) in 19 opposition-held constituencies on October 21 this year. Controversy has always rocked Bulela Ditswe with most people not happy with outcomes going on to contest as independent candidates.

Party Secretary General Mpho Balopi has confirmed this. Vetting is done at branch (constituency) level by the 18 elected members of the branch committee. Ex-officio members – Councillors or MPs – do not participate in the process. The branch committee then writes recommendations to the Central Committee on individual candidates stating whether in their opinion such a candidate can stand for elections or not.

Balopi stated that the central committee would then have a final say as to who should contest and those that are being disqualified. The secretary general indicated that as soon as the central committee is done with vetting, they would announce the names of the people who have qualified to contest.

He explained that to qualify a candidate has to comply with the Electoral Act, which is used by Independent Electoral Commission, being a BDP member in good standing, and abide by the party constitution and guidelines. He stated that names of candidates were received from constituencies last week.

“Our target is that come 2019 if not all, we should win most of the opposition-held constituencies. We are currently the only united party and we are prepared to continue to be in power post 2019,” he said. The party has stated that it has put mechanisms in place to ensure that the party’s controversial Bulela-Ditswe runs smoothly. Bulela-Ditswe has since inception in 2003 been a headache for the party. The party has on several occasions tried to reform the system but it continued to work negatively for the BDP.

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BMC secures beef market in Seychelles

Dikarabo Ramadubu

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Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) will soon start to sell its beef to the Island of Seychelles. Not only will they sell frozen raw meat, but will also send corned beef for trial in the Island.

All this is thanks to last week’s visit by President Mokgweetsi Masisi who included in his delegation executive management of the BMC, led by Chief Executive Officer, Dr Akolang Tombale.
The agreement signed between BMC and two leading Seychelles companies, will see BMC exporting at least 48 tonnes of raw beef to the island possibly from October. The names of the two companies that BMC signed an agreement with are Seychelles Trading Company which is a quasi-government organisation, and Rosebelle Company which is privately owned.

Although both have agreed to trade with each other, BMC cannot start immediately, as they have to wait for the green light from Seychelles companies who still have to apply for import permits in accordance with the law of their republic.

Speaking to The Midweek Sun, Tombale expressed gratitude that they managed to get good business in Seychelles through the assistance of President Masisi. “We are ready to export any time from now. As you know Seychelles is an island surrounded by mountains and cannot produce much if not anything. “They therefore depend much on imports even from as far as Brazil and Europe. Their economy is driven by tourism and they do not differ much with the European market in terms of the demand for beef as most tourists come from Europe and United States.”

Dr. Tombale said they agreed with the two companies that since “we are not sure about the logistics we will start by selling 24tonnes to each company per month, meaning we will be supplying the Island with a total of 48 tonnes per month. The idea is to start small and grow bigger as the people get used to our beef.” BMC has also negotiated to sell small stock meat to Seychelles and successfully negotiated for local chicken farmers to start selling their range chicken to Seychelles as well.

According to Tombale, he negotiated the deal after being approached by local chicken farmers amongst them Kgosi Mosadi Seboko of Balete, who requested that “we should try to find a market for chicken farmers as we go around the world searching for the beef market.” Tombale revealed that for a start both range chickens and small stock will not be supplied in tonnes or large quantities as they will be sold on a trial basis.

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G-west community reunion-walk a resounding success

Keletso Thobega

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Multitudes turned up for the Mosengwaketsi community walk and braai session this past Saturday in Gaborone West. The walk was held in the morning and was preceded by football games and a braai session that went on until late in the evening.

According to the event director Tshenolo Palai, the aim of the community day event was to revive community spirit and address crime and social ills. “The Mosengwaketsi community reunion will be held not only to create a platform to build unity but also address the social ill of passion killings,” he said.

Palai said that they had also invited health stakeholders for a wellness segment because they had realised that there are many health related conditions that affect the quality of people’s lives hence they had joined forces with religious organisations, the business community, neighbourhood outreach policing and other stakeholders in the area to encourage a culture of unity and create dialogue between all the parties.

He noted that they had wanted to create a relaxed environment conducive for different people to engage and strengthen their networks. He said they were also concerned with the high rate of crimes of passion in Botswana and also wanted to create a platform for both men and women to open up on issues that affect them because most people tend to be more relaxed in a social setting.

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