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BCP youth call Keorapetse to order

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Botswana Congress Party Youth League (BCPYL) has fired a salvo at the Publicity Secretary of the party, Dithapelo Keorapetse for attacking its leader, Tumiso Rakgare.  

This comes after Rakgare was quoted in the media saying “the party is broke.” Keorapetse responded that, “Rakgare’s personal views may have drastic implications on the mandate given to the BCP leaders by the majority of its members in Kanye at a regional consultation on opposition cooperation. Rakgare should have reasonably foreseen this possibility. We regret his error.”

The Youth League said the attack on Rakgare is an attack on them and that Keorapetse should respect the office he (Rakgare) holds. “Cde Keorapestse should have behaved in a way befitting his status.

All he has done is neither constructive nor unifying. As much as he points wrongs against Cde Rakgare, his approach to the whole matter is disappointing and equally wrong,” said Youth League Publicity Secretary, Pako Madigele.

He added, “We wish to inform Cde Keorapetse to desist from his divisive tendencies. He should know better that there is a laid down procedure to call members to order in a case of wrongdoing.” In an interview with Weekend Post newspaper, Rakgare praised Masisi saying he is a threat to the opposition. “Masisi is a nice man. He is bit cleaner in as far as corruption is involved. He has a very strong character. We need somebody who can match him,” Rakgare was quoted saying by the newspaper.

In response Keorapetse said, “We see Masisi as a childish leader. He is proud, conceited and has an inflated self image and views himself as incredibly powerful, influential and smart.”

The Youth League warned Keorapetse to keep calm. “So, Hon Keorapetse, hold your horses and keep calm. We are all BCP, we are all human, bound to err, including yourself . We regret that you continue to compromise the integrity of both offices you hold in the party and nationally,” wrote Madigele.

Rakgare refused to comment on Keorapetse’s response when contacted. Asked about whether he would apologise for what he said in the newspaper, he said: “I will not apologise because I have said nothing wrong about my party.” Madigele also said the language that was used against Rakgare was unpalatable hence they responded to Keorapetse’s letter before seeking answers from the party leadership.

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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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JUST PROPAGANDA

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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.

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