If there are any rules about what makes a real social activist, Talita Monnakgotla ticks all the important boxes. The eccentric “&T” in the husband and wife AT&T Monnakgotla business empire may not be your placard waving, slogan chanting ruble-rouser, but she is a significant force in the fight against abasement, poverty and illiteracy among Bakgalagadi.
By any Global South standard, the Botswana Congress Party (BCP) is a very progressive party with a policy platform that compares favourably with some of the best on the continent. However, some of its mid-level leaders don’t always do good cultural relations and their missteps have attracted extremely bad press.
Distrustful of the villainous “Bantu”, a member of the British House of Lords didn’t think it was a good idea to give Botswana independence before extracting cast-iron guarantees from the country’s future leaders about the welfare of the downtrodden Bushmen.
Granted, the Botswana Federation of Public Sector Unions’ Democracy and Constitutional Reform Conference at Oasis Motel was not Australia’s Festival of Dangerous Ideas at the Sydney Opera House.
It’s a long way from when chairmen presided over meetings, firemen attended to burning buildings, policemen enforced the law, and the average citizen all politicians claimed to be concerned about was the man in the street.
Increasingly nowadays, patients at government health facilities are having to buy their own medication because it is not available at such facilities.
A week after Sunday Standard’s revelations that the Botswana Police Service is literally gearing itself up for possible election violence in the 2019 general election, it has emerged that the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) is, likewise, not leaving anything to chance.
A tall, bouncy grey-haired old man with a strikingly high bout of self-confidence walks to meet us as our car pulls off.
He has been waiting for a while. And his impatience shows as he takes me by the hand.
“Let’s go and sit that side monna Spencer,” he says even before we can exchange any pleasantries. The scene is a pizzeria outlet by the corner of the mall.
With as much energy as President Festus Mogae spent fighting HIV/AIDS, as much money as the United States pours into HIV/AIDS programmes and as much airtime as that single HIV-free-generation advert gets on Btv, Botswana should be doing very well in the fight against this disease. It is not. A US State Department report shows that Botswana is not doing as well as two of its neighbours.
When I sit down to ask the Vice chancellor of BIUST what the institution has so far achieved towards becoming a key player in the country’s overall economy, my host chooses without any second thoughts to take me by the hand along what in the end manifests as the overarching strategy of the university.
Two weeks later, when tempers and heads have supposedly cooled, it is worth reflecting on what Kgosi Malope of the Bangwaketse and one of his subordinate traditional leaders were really fighting about.
In becoming a republic on September 30, 1966, Botswana accorded equal rights to all its citizens. In exercising such rights on September 2, 2017, Kgosi Kebinatshwene Mosielele of the Bahurutshe was ceremonially garbed in a leopard skin at a ceremony in Manyana. Only there was one thing wrong with this ceremony.
What does it say about the legal profession when someone without formal university training can practice as a lawyer?
A Botswana Democratic Party councillor in the Central District Council will tomorrow go toe to toe with a former Director of the National Museum and Art Gallery over contents of a letter that the latter wrote to the Council Secretary.
The upside is that the new Tribal Land Act will make land in rural areas more valuable than it currently is. That upside will be a downside for the government which will have to pay much more than it currently does in order to acquire land for infrastructural development projects.
In a Botswana so badly evolved that it now provides its fair share of bad news from Africa, a regional Amnesty International conference in Pretoria has just heard deeply disturbing news: that the practice of hunting down, slaughtering albinos and harvesting their body parts for muti may also be occurring in the country.
With a bill that both adjusts their salaries by 4 per cent, aligns salaries with the salary structure of the public service and adjusts their constituency allowance by 40 per cent, MPs will now be paid the same as directors. This elevation puts MPs in the E1 salary scale. Going back two years, MPs have been happily hopscotching from one 1 scale to the next.
MPs had a lot to complain about when contributing to a bill that will see their pay packages skyrocket to a new high. Being the longest-serving MP, the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Slumber Tsogwane, holds the position of “Father of the House” and he likes to think that his length of service has been educational.
While Francistown South MP, Wynter Mmolotsi, may have raised a very valid point about compliance with the law, the broader context of the issue he raised lacks a solid foundation in rationality.
Mmolotsi asked the Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs, Edwin Batshu, to explain the citizenship of the Deputy Treasurer of the Botswana Democratic Party, Natwarl Jagdish.
Francistown High Court including the Court of Appeal have since intervened and ordered the government to respect the rights of asylum seekers and transport them to Dukwi Refugee Camp before being repatriated to their countries of choice. The asylum seekers whose asylum applications were declined by government claim to have been exposed to appalling and dehumanizing living conditions at the cen