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Counting of votes continues in Botswana
24 October 2019, 2:53 PM

Botswana’s Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) says it has completed counting of council votes and has now started with parliamentary votes. There seems to be a tight contest between Botswana Democratic Party and the Umbrella for Democratic Change in the council votes.

Botswana Chief Justice Terence Rannowane will announce the President-elect once one of the contesting parties reaches a threshold of 29 seats, with the overall results expected on Friday.

Botswana IEC Spokesperson, Osupile Maroba says they are waiting in anticipation.

“We wait in anticipation. We hope by the end of today, we should be having quite a number of them. If at all, they started at the same time yesterday. Some constituencies are very small, some constituencies are very big and they experienced very high turnout and those are the constituencies that would probably take us to maybe even tomorrow morning because counting itself is very slow. It’s manual,” explains Maroba.

Tumi Healy
BDP will do everything to retain power in Botswana
21 October 2019, 8:10 AM

Botswana’s ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) says it will leave nothing to chance to retain power in the upcoming elections.

The BDP which has governed the country since its independence in 1966, has faced fierce challenges from the opposition this year, after breaking ranks with its former leader Ian Khama.

During the 2014 election the opposition Umbrella For Democratic Change (UDC) won 20 seats in the 57 seat parliament, a first for Botswana politics.

The BDP’s Tumisang Healy said diversification of the economy and the amendment of the Land Tenure Act, are some of the party’s key priorities.

Healy says, “The land tenure laws have been very strict – but now they have been loosened up a lot. Now you can use up to 50% of your ploughing fields for different purposes without necessarily having to go through the tedious processes of changing land use and all that.”

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Botswana’s sluggish economy a concern ahead of election: Analyst
19 October 2019, 7:45 PM

Political analyst at the University of Botswana Gladys Mokhawa says Batswana want developments, job creation and economic growth.

This as Batswana prepare to go to the polls next Wednesday.

Mokhawa says the rate of unemployment caused by lack of skills and the sluggish economy, among others, is a cause for concern for the country.

According to the Trading Economics website, unemployment in Botswana increased from 17.6% in 2017 to 17.9% in 2018, meaning over 400 000 people remain jobless.

Mokhawa explains, “There are a couple of issues. I mean if you look at unemployment, I think, basically all of the political parties are in unison in terms of agreeing that it’s a major problem for this country. But I think more importantly what is also interesting is even the BDP is talking about the fact that unemployment is an issue. And they are not necessarily trying to justify whether it is the case. They are aware that it’s a major issue. But I think beyond unemployment, there are a couple of issues, undiversified economy, which has been a bit sluggish. There’s also an issue of corruption, and governance issues.”

11 000 women raped annually in platinum belt: Doctors Without Borders
18 September 2019, 8:19 AM

Doctors Without Borders says an estimated 11 000 women in the platinum belt in the North West are raped annually.

According to a survey conducted by the humanitarian organisation, 1 in 5 women has experienced a rape incident in her lifetime.

Doctors Without Borders’ Cecilia Lamola-Larufi says, “We have 11 000 women and girls who are raped in a year. And out of that, there were issues that were relating to the Gender-Based Violence part, where we found that 49% of them have experienced intimate partner violence.

“Some also have experienced physical violence and emotional violence,” adds Lamola-Larufi.

 

ANC salutes Botswana for SA’s liberation
27 August 2017, 7:48 AM

African National Congress (ANC) Secretary General Gwede Mantashe says it is important for liberation movements to stick together through trying times.

Speaking at the 55th anniversary of the Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) in Serowe, Botswana, Mantashe thanked the Botswana
ruling party for their role in South Africa’s liberation.

Botswana gave the ANC refuge to hold its first conference in exile in 1962, after it was banned by the Apartheid regime.

The formation of the BDP coincided with the first conference of the ANC in exile following its banning by the apartheid regime.

The ANC used this landlocked country during those dark days in the history of South Africa, to cross to other countries where its
cadres would receive military training.

Mantashe says that solidarity is still significant today.

“No party grows and survives on its own. Every party in its lifetime gets under siege, and when it is under siege, it needs support of sister parties. We are talking from experience. If it was not for international solidarity, we would have never had our freedom.”

Botswana president Ian Khama says his country’s contribution to the struggle against oppressive regimes, was not only limited to South Africa.

“We also welcomed others from the region, including Samora Machel from Mozambique, president Geingob and president Nujoma from Namibia, and of course president Robert Mugabe. Botswana played important role in the liberation struggle of your country and other countries in the region, because we found ourselves right in the middle.”

The day was again a way for renewed appreciation.

A party supporter says, “I feel so proud that this party has taken us a long way.”

“It’s so nice today, to see something happening like this, “says another supporter.

“Us being here, it’s a very important day.”

Another supporter adds, “It’s a privilege and really an honour, travelling from Johannesburg, Gauteng, all the way, and we want to once again, thank you BDP.”

Both political parties are said to face stiff contest from opposition parties in the 2019 general elections.

Sunday 27 August 2017 07:48

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Itumeleng Kgajane

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