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Saleshando sues Parliament, Speaker



The President of Botswana Congress Party (BCP) Dumelang Saleshando is suing Parliament and its Speaker, Gladys Kokorwe for his nomination as specially elected Member of Parliament.

The BCP leader has launched legal proceedings against the Speaker of the National Assembly, Kokorwe, the National Assembly and the Attorney General for accepting his name as one of the nominees for the special elected MP without his consent.

Saleshando was nominated for the specially elected MP seat early last month, alongside Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) Secretary General Botsalo Ntuane and the Speaker. At the time, the Speaker of the National Assembly declined to reveal the names of the MPs who nominated them.

In his notice for intention to sue submitted through his lawyer Martin Dingake, Saleshando argues that he never intended to be nominated for consideration or election as specially elected MP. He says he never authorised anyone to nominate him, neither had he even consented to the nomination.

Saleshando now wants the Speaker to be ordered to disclose the name of the person who nominated him. The former MP for Gaborone Central also wants the decision by Kokorwe to accept his name as a nominee contrary to Parliament Standing Orders and other relevant legislation, to be declared unlawful and set aside.

He also wants an order to declare as null and void the decision by Parliament to endorse Kokorwe’s decision to accept his nomination and that the decision should be reviewed. The respondents have been given 30 days to respond from last week Thursday, which is the date they were served.

Kokorwe told Parliament on the day of election for the Specially Elected MP that the law was silent on whether a person nominated from the floor of Parliament should have consented to the nomination and whether the person who made the nomination should be disclosed.

Following this the opposition MPs abstained from participating in the election that saw Eric Molale who was nominated by President Ian Khama, returning to Parliament as Specially Elected MP beating Saleshando, Ntuane and Shampoo Matshediso who was nominated by Francistown South MP Wynter Mmolotsi.

Later that day Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi released a press statement stating that an opposition MP had nominated Ntuane with the aim of trying to sow discord in the BDP.

This rubbed the opposition MPs the wrong way as they have for weeks now demanded that they be told how Masisi knew about this development since the Speaker of the National Assembly had previously declined to disclose the names of the MPs who nominated Ntuane and Saleshando.

Deputy Speaker, Kagiso Molatlhegi promised the MPs that he would investigate the issue and update Parliament in due course.

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The MidweekSun Admin



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



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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