Allowing Tibet’s spiritual leader in exile to visit Botswana seems a terribly misguided idea because it could have ruinous economic consequences. However, it turns out that economic diplomacy is the last thing on the minds of the powers that be.
The adage which says - “you are what you eat” carries with it a very important message which has somehow been lost. The phrase simply means it is important to eat good food in order to be healthy and fit. Whilst eating good food might be the ideal, this is clearly not the case in some communities.
Examining Keamogetse Kethaile two days after he suffered what sounds like a bare-knuckle, prison-rules beatdown, a doctor at the Mahalapye Hospital determined that he was in a really bad shape. In terms of established policy and practice, the police were supposed to have taken Kethaile to the hospital for immediate medical attention. That didn’t happen.
The nation marveled at the rare entrepreneurial feat of two young men, Bakang Modise and Kagiso Mongwaketse, when they teamed up to open a Pick n Pay store in Lobatse. Both had studied in South Africa.
In a business deal that the aggrieved parties describe in near shakedown terms, a Botswana Railways subsidiary is said to be hogging the road haulage market at its dry port in Gaborone.
Spar Supermarket has been named as the third party in the matrimonial disharmony that has taken the Molapo Crossing shopping mall and its anchor tenant before the Lobatse High Court.
At this point it is a well-known fact that the Government of Botswana supports the death penalty. In fact, President Ian Khama mentioned the government’s intention to retain the death penalty during his most recent diplomatic briefing. It is not only the ruling party that supports the death penalty either. There are also opposition members who support it.
Since independence Botswana has executed 49 people. The most recent person to be hung was Patrick Gabaakanye in 2016. While Botswana is not the only SADC country that still has the death penalty on its books, it is the only member that continues to carry out executions.
The Chief Executive Officer at Botswana power Corporation insists that what is ongoing at the state owned energy company is reorganization.
He takes thinly veiled offence at media’s continual reference to the process as restructuring.
Early on in our interview, Stefan Schwarzfischer embarks on a long frolic to explain the difference between restructuring and reorganization.
In terms of the Liquor Act that was introduced in 2008, an establishment that sells alcohol is not allowed to trade less than 500 metres away from a major road or a school. Armed with this knowledge, Luc Vandecasteele, the Managing Director of Sphinx Associates, the company that owns Molapo Crossing in Gaborone, queried why two such establishments had been given trading licences.
Tjako Mpulubusi puts the date at “just before the birth of Khama III”, President Ian Khama’s great grandfather. According to Mpulubusi, who is the former Director of the National Museum and Art Gallery, the Bangwato used not to have a fixed physical habitation.
For the umpteenth time, Botswana has been ranked Africa’s best country in a global survey of mining companies.
If you have left linguistic fingerprints and publicised your thoughts all over your workplace, it is certainly not a good idea to have controversial writing published anonymously in the press.
They crowded around us – Joel Konopo, Ntibinyane Ntibinyane and Kaombona Kanani – staring with open hatred. Some covered their faces with balaclavas. Others took cover under a huge truck in a nearby thicket, weapons at the ready, poised to squeeze the trigger. Those who hemmed us in took turns in interrogating us and demanding our identity documents.
The government, notably the Office of the President, hogs the airwaves (and editorial space in the case of one newspaper) very well and in this way retains full control over the message that is filtered out to citizens.
In his politically active days, President Festus Mogae did a terrific job of hustling the falsehood that Botswana’s democracy was rooted in cultural protocols that find their most eloquent expression at the kgotla, the traditional meeting place which also serves as the customary court.
In their visual, verbal and aural manifestation, the letters D, I and S - occurring in that precise order - are guaranteed to send a below-zero chill down the spine of many, if not most, people in today’s Botswana.
The best-case election scenario that the opposition is evidently planning for is one in which it forces the government to abandon its plans to use electronic voting machines (EVMs). In such scenario, the choice of who becomes the next government is left - not to casually-dressed Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) operatives with special iPhones stationed within signal range of EVMs.
Who wears the pants in Ledumang classrooms? The school head teacher Baopedi Othusitse insists that the school dress code assigns skirts for girls and pants for boys.
Life has been mighty kind to President Ian Khama. As the son of the founding president, he grew up in the lap of luxury and was one of the principal occupants at the State House. He would join the army, becoming both deputy commander and the youngest brigadier in the world.