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Tshekedi vs Rakgare




The 12th Parliament is slowly coming to life as Members of Parliament fire hard-hitting questions at Ministers.

Last week, Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture, Tumiso ‘Chillyboy’ Rakgare found himself in the firing line, facing a barrage of questions, including from his predecessor, Tshekedi Khama.

The debate was initiated by a query from the MP for Mahalapye West, David Tshere who asked Rakgare to state: (i) when he is planning to build a sports complex with facilities for all sporting codes in the Mahalapye Sub-District and (ii) what his plan is regarding the youth of Mahalapye Sub-District on issues of sports.

RAKGARE: Mr Speaker, I wish to point out that there are no plans by government to construct a sport complex any time soon in Mahalapye Sub-District, especially one for all sports codes as there are many of them.

Financial constraints remain a major factor that prevents resuscitation of construction of sport complexes. So, development of a sport complex for Mahalapye Sub-District will be considered alongside other districts, when the government financial situation improves.

Mr Speaker, my Ministry has an office in Mahalapye that caters for Mahalapye Sub-District and there are programme officers who facilitate youth in the sub district in terms of sport and other programming areas.

Currently, the sport programmes that cater for youth in sport are the constituency sport tournament and athletics competitions that consist of the following sport codes: football, netball, volleyball and athletics. In addition, there are institutional facilities that youth can utilize in the sub-district.

There are also local teams that youth are encouraged to join to stay active in sport, even to compete at the elite level. Thank you very much.

DR GOBOTSWANG (MP for Sefhare/Ramokgonami): Ke a leboga Mr Speaker, ke a leboga Motlotlegi Tona.

Ke botse gore sentlentle fa le aba ditlhabololo tse di tshwanang le tsone tse jaaka re bua gompieno ka stadium, le dirisa eng fela? What objective criteria are you using?

Ke lebeletse gore kgaolo e re buang ka yone kana e na le four constituencies; dipapola tsa constituencies tse di nang le clubs le metshameko e e farologaneng, tse di alositseng batsamaisi ba metshameko ba o ka ba akanyang jaaka ke ne ke bua maloba, codes tsa lefatshe le national team players. Sentlentle lo…

MR SPEAKER: Can we get to the question, we are running out of time.

DR GOBOTSWANG: Sentlentle le dirisa eng motlotlegi?

RAKGARE: Motlotlegi Mopalamente wa Sefhare–Ramokgonami, kana tota jaaka ke setse ke tlhalositse kgantele, kgwetlho e tona ya Puso ke madi.

Fa madi a ne a le teng, tota re ka bo re aga facilities mo constituency, district le sub-district nngwe le nngwe ka gore mabala a botlhokwa thata gore banana ba kgone go itshidila.

Letlhoko la madi ke lone le le re itsang gore re bo re ka phatlalatsa ditlhabololo tsa metshameko lefatshe lotlhe.

Sengwe gape se re tshwanetseng go se itse ke gore mo gongwe e nna kgang ya gore motse kana sub–district e go buiwang ka yone jaaka re bua gompieno, proximity gongwe le mafelo a a mabapi go ntse jang. Ke raya gore fa o lebelela go na le mafelo gongwe a a bapileng, a a setseng a na le facilities tsa mofuta one oo. Ke a leboga.

KHAMA (MP for Serowe West) I would like to ask the Minister to advise on the following: learning now from Mahalapye, there are three stadia which I believe are in a state of disrepair, which I am sure he is aware of.

In view of the fact that there are no plans by government to develop anything in Mahalapye, could the Minister tell us about these three stadia which are in a state of disrepair, what are they going to do and when because the youth do not have access to them as well?

The second aspect is that Government is short of money and the budget for sport was reduced.

Would they not consider a tier system to enable the sporting codes that do develop to progress further, to be a more professional type or discipline?

Thirdly, the other thing that I would like to know is, the Botswana National Sport Commission (BNSC) has requested the ministry to hand back stadia because they could not maintain them.

So, when we are talking about developing sporting facilities for the youth, irrespective of whether it is Mahalapye, I am referring to the whole country, what is the Ministry doing?

What position had they taken regarding taking back those stadia, or making funds available to have those stadia operate in the way they should? Thank you.

RAKGARE: I am actually quite surprised that Honourable Tshekedi Khama, whom I inherited this ministry from, is asking these kind of questions. I expect him…

MYSEC MINISTER: Tumiso Rakgare

KHAMA: Point of order. Mr Speaker, if the Minister does not know the answer, he must just say, ga a itse, a ye go botsa ba ba itseng, a bo a tla go araba gone fa.

He must not go into history. He is a Minister now, he must take responsibility. Thank you.

MR SPEAKER: I am sure the Minister is aware of that.

RAKGARE: I wish you could allow me to answer him because he has asked a question. Now, let me respond to your question Khama.

You are saying the government has no plans to build; I think santlha fela ke kgang ya go reetsa.

I never said there are no plans, I spoke about financial constraints. When the government says ga re ise re nne le madi, we are not saying ga re ka ke ra aga.

Plans are there to build facilities across the country, jaanong se se leng teng ke gore gompieno ga re ise re nne le madi. Tier systems, I think that is your suggestion Honourable Member, we will consider it.

BNSC, kgang ya maintenance, I answered it very well maabane. Unfortunately, you miss Parliament, fa o ne o le teng maabane, o ka bo o ne o utlwile. I thank you.


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Elephant mortality in Okavango rises to 110, Anthrax ruled out



Wildlife and National Parks department has ruled out Anthrax as a killer disease for elephants along some villages in the Okavango delta.

As of Friday last week, at least 110 dead elephants were discovered in areas of Seronga, Gunotsoga and Eretsha in the past three weeks and were suspected to have died from Anthrax.

However the Anthrax laboratory tests have come back negative, leaving the government departments searching for more answers. 

“Laboratory results have ruled out Anthrax and we are awaiting more results,” explained regional Wildlife coordinator in Maun, Dimakatso Ntshebe.

Ntshebe said his department through the help of veterinary department services are still conducting further tests to find out whether or not this mysterious disease is not a result of poisoning.

The disease according to Ntshebe causes the giant’s front legs to weaken and therefore the unwell animal walks in uncoordinated manner and ultimately drops to its death.

“We don’t know what could be the cause of this disease but we are working around the clock to find out and hopefully work on the cure,” added Ntshebe.

Some samples are to be sent to South Africa for further testing. “We could have taken other samples to the neighbouring Zimbabwe, but because of COVID-19 that brought everything to almost a standstill, we could not send them,” Ntshebe explained before adding that, “before coronavirus outbreak, Botswana and Zimbabwe were in talks and have entered into some agreements including exportation and importation of certain medications, but we have not yet concluded the matter regarding samples, that is why we have not been able to send samples to Zimbabwe.”

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SADC Executive Secretary disturbed by obstacles in movement of goods



The Executive Secretary of SADC, Dr Stegomena Lawrence Tax, has cautioned member states that any lack of cooperation among then during the COVID19 era has potential to reverse the gains made in the last decades.

Addressing a virtual SADC Council of Ministers meeting this week, Lawrence Tax said that the regional ministers approved Guidelines on Harmonization and Facilitation of Movement of Essential Goods and Services across borders early April. 

She said that whilst the guidelines have played a critical role in facilitation of movement of essential goods, there are notable obstacles that have been noted by the Secretariat.

The obstacles include non-compliance/non recognition of regional legal frameworks; uncoordinated operations at the port of entry among border agencies; lack of harmonization and synchronization of policies and procedures among, and between member states; unilateral decisions outside agreed framework; as well as different approaches to deal with epidemiological challenges,” she said. 

She added that; “all these are resulting in increased cost of doing business, and negatively affecting the implementation of national and regional programmes”.

She advised that there is need to have measures, and coordinated approach in place since the region is in a post lockdown period since the transportation of non-essential goods and services will be resuming.

Lawrence Tax added that COVID19 is a global pandemic and that the SADC regional approach should expand to COMESA-EAC-SADC tripartite and eventually to other continental blocs.

“The Secretariat is already working with COMESA and EAC, specifically, in terms of harmonizing and synchronizing regulations and procedures for movement of goods and services under the Tripartite arrangement. We need to move in unison and avoid unilateral decisions, specifically with regards to cross border movement of goods and services,” she said.

According to the Executive Secretary, the regional office has already conducted a socio-economic impact analysis of COVID19 on the region and the results have shown that the pandemic will impact negatively across many socio and economic sectors.

“The decline in the global economy is projected to lead to a decline in commodity prices, increase in debt and significant contraction of the SADC economies in 2020. This will reverse the gains on industrial development and trade that the region has made in the last couple of years,” Lawrence Tax said.

On the flip side,  the region’s International Cooperating Partners have made pledges to mitigate the impact of COVID19 pandemic on its economy. 

“To date, the Secretariat has secured Euro 7.3 million from the German Government; Euro3.6million from European Union, Euro 190,000.00 under the GIZ/Africa Union Commission, whereas the African Development Bank (AfDB)  has considered a support UA 7 million. Engagements with the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) are also at an advanced stage,” the Executive Secretary said.

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