Republic of Botswana (2/4/05)

TAUTONA TIMES no 11 of 2005
The Weekly Electronic Press Circular of the Office of the President (2/4/05)


A. Nations with a Past
B. April Press Schedule
C. The OP Press Weeks That Were
D. H.E. the President's messages to H.E. President Hifikepunye Pohamba of the Republic of Namibia (22/3/05).
E. OP Press Office Forwarding:

1) H.E. the President's meeting with the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth (23/3/05)
2) H.E. the President's calls on Batswana to pray for rain over the Easter Holiday (23/3/05)
3) His Honour the Vice President accepts donations to Sponsor-a-Child Trust to assist Boipelo Malete (23/3/05)
4) His Honour the Vice President assists the Zebras Supporter's Club (23/3/05)
5) Meeting of the Tripartite Commission between the Republic of Botswana, the Republic of Namibia and United Nation High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) on the voluntary repatriation of Namibian refugees from Botswana (29/3/05).
6) The "Amazing Race" comes to Botswana (31/3/05)
7) Additional notes and forwarding

F. Botswana in the Global Media for the month of March 2005

A. Nations with a past

"We were taught, sometimes in a very positive way, to despise ourselves and our ways of life. We were made to believe that we had no past to speak of, no history to boast of. The past, so far as we were concerned, was just a blank and nothing more. Only the present mattered, and we had very little control over it. It should now be our intention to try and retrieve what we can of our past. We should write our own history books, to prove that we did have a past; and that it was a past that was just as worth writing about as any other. We must do this for the simple reason that a nation without a past is a lost nation, and a people without a past are a people without a soul."

The above words, spoken back in 1970 by our late first President Sir Seretse Khama, will be familiar to many Batswana. They have been often quoted (and misquoted) in the decades since. Yet for many they still remain fresh.

Over the last few weeks this Office's schedule has been punctuated by reminders of a shared regional past, which belonged to the present when Seretse uttered his now immortal affirmation of African dignity. One here refers to Southern Africa's common, albeit locally differentiated, struggle against colonialism and apartheid.

First there was the farewell visit by H.E. Sam Nujoma (preceded by that of H.E. Joaquin Chissano). Then there was the premier of H.E. Thabo Mbeki's documentary tribute to the contributions of Batswana in the anti-apartheid struggle, by local filmmaker Billy Kokorwe. The annual BDF Day, with its echoes of the Leshoma martyrs followed.

Last week, the President of Zimbabwe, H.E. Robert Mugabe, again made reference to the "crucial role" played by Former Botswana President, Sir Ketumile Masire, at a dinner honouring H.E. Sam Nujoma [C].

This week, Batswana and South African's joined hands to mourn the late Mr. Ntwaesele Thatayone "Fish" Keitseng, a pioneer local political and labour activist, who also played a significant role in the overthrow of apartheid regime. In particular he is remembered for establishing and coordinating the underground ANC "pipeline" through Botswana during the 1960s, an operation that involved the movement of thousands of people, including Nelson Mandela and Thabo Mbeki.

At this morning's funeral, which was covered by the SABC and local media, messages of condolence were read on behalf of H.E. the President and H.E. President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa, among others.

A self-educated man, in his memoirs the late Mr. Keitseng also acknowledged a certain debt to press:

"This is where I started to catch English properly. Every afternoon I used to go and buy a newspaper from the salesmen. Then I would take it, at home I tried to read it by myself, not using anybody else. I liked the newspaper, the Rand Daily Mail, very much. Nobody was teaching me to read it. I just forced my eyes to find out what these names and words were, and I learned to read that way."

Through such local heroes like the late Comrade Fish the nations of Southern Africa today stand together as a region with a common soul and future destiny.

- Dr. Jeff Ramsay, Press Secretary to the President (2/4/05)

Contacts: Office Telephone: (267) 3975154 & Facsimile: (267) 3902795. Cell: (267) 71318598. E-mail: &

B. April Press Schedule:

As always the events listed below, which represent only those parts of H.E. the President's schedule open in whole or part to press coverage, are subject to change. When possible and necessary, updates will be forwarded. Members of the Press are also encouraged to contact the sponsors of the various events listed below for further programme details and possible updates.

Saturday (9/4/05): During the morning, from 8:00 am, H.E. the President will officially open a number of development projects in the town of Selibi-Phikwe.

Also on the same morning, from 11:00 am, H.H. the Vice President will officially open the new Nitani Lodge facility in the northern Tuli.

Tuesday (12/4/05): During the morning, at 10:00 am, H.E. the President will receive a courtesy call from visiting United States General Charles Wald at the Office of the President. Gen. Wald is the Deputy Commander European Command.

Thursday (14/4/05): It is currently anticipated that there will be an Official Visit by an important international visitor, further details will be communicated.

Saturday (16/4/05): In the evening H.E. the President will attend the 6th National Sports Council Sports Awards Ceremony.

Friday (22/4/05) - Sunday (24/4/05): H.E. the President is currently scheduled to travel to Indonesia to take part in the African/Asia Summit in Jakarta, along with the Commemoration of the golden Jubilee of the 1955 Asian-African Bandung Conference, in Bandung.

Friday (29/4/05): At noon H.E. the President will take part in a Population services International (PSI) "Know Your Status" Promotional Draw, at the Peugeot Show Room in Gaborone. Thereafter, at 16:00, he will officially open the new Metcourt Inn at the Grand Palm Complex.

C. OP Press Coverage Highlights

Sunday (20/3/05): In the afternoon, H.E. the President departed for Windhoek, Namibia to attend the Inauguration  of H.E. Hifikepunye Pohamba as the Second President of the Republic. The occasion coincided with the nation's 15th Independence Anniversary. In the evening President Mogae joined other Heads of State and international dignitaries, in biding a fond farewell to the outgoing Namibian President, H.E. Sam Nujoma.

A highlight of the evening came when H.E. the President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, was invited to give the closing toast. In a heartfelt and good humoured discourse, President Mugabe noted that for almost a half a century Nujoma had been his friend, brother and comrade-in arms in the struggle to liberate the region of the twin evils of colonialism and apartheid. During the course of his remarks he further noted he and Nujoma had agreed in 1980 that Zimbabwe's own hard won freedom created new opportunities to intensify Namibia's liberation struggle.

President Mugabe went on to note that the two next approached our Former President, Sir Ketumile Masire, who joined them in playing "a crucial role" in assisting Swapo to thereafter increase and intensify its armed struggle.

Monday (21/3/05): During the day H.E. the President attended the inauguration of H.E. Hifikepunye Pohamba as the new President of the Republic of Namibia [D]

Tuesday (22/3/05): In the early morning H.E. the President returned from Namibia to begin a normal working day.

Wednesday (23/3/05): In the afternoon H.E. the President met with the Secretary-general of the Commonwealth, the Rt. Hon. Don McKinnon [E 1]. The President also issued a call for Batswana to pray for rain during the holiday period [E 2].

Thursday (31/3/05): In the evening, H.E. the President joined the Hon. Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Affairs and other dignitaries at a dinner sponsored by LionOre Mining to celebrate the company's listing on the Botswana Stock Exchange and the first production of nickel metal in Botswana from its proprietary Activox © processing technology.

At the dinner the International CEO of LionOre, Mr. Colin Steyn, noted that back in 1996, when his company first invested in the Francistown Mining & Exploration Company (FME) which in turn through Tati Nickel owned the Selkirk and Phoenix base metal deposits, "LionOre was just another junior Canadian mining company, with a market capitalisation of US$ 100 million."
He added:  "Today, due in a large part to Tati Nickel, LionOre is now one of the Top Ten western world nickel producers, with a market capitalisation of around 1.5 billion US dollars."

Mr. Steyn further expressed his delight at the growing trend of local investors buying into LionOre, saying they had the opportunity to participate in the next growth phase, which will see company more than double its nickel production worldwide by the end of 2008.

During the evening reference was also made to the Activox® technology, whose application has been pioneered in Botswana. Speakers noted that the technology is unique in is its ability to produce nickel and copper hydrometallurgically at a competitive cost in an environmentally friendly manner, without sulphur dioxide emissions, caused by the conventional pyrometallurgy process used in smelters.

The success with the Activox® process at Tati Nickel, it was further reported, has been beyond all expectations. Last year, Tati produced here in Botswana, the first high grade London Metal Exchange deliverable nickel cathode; a significant milestone because the downstream production was completed for the first time on Botswana soil.  In 2005 LionOre is pledged to progress the technology to a full scale commercial plant.

Friday (1/4/05): In the morning H.E. the President gave an exclusive interview to Dr. Bob Arnot for a forthcoming American television documentary on the work of the Botswana Baylor Centre of Excellence.

Saturday (2/4/05): During the morning H.E. the President gave the keynote address at the 2005 Meeting of the Botswana Democratic Party National Council [Text, in Setswana, distributed to domestic media, available to others on request]. The gathering, which is scheduled to end on Sunday, also received welcoming remarks from H.H. the Vice President.

D. H.E. the President's messages to H.E. President Hifikepunye Pohamba of the Republic of Namibia on the occasion of his inauguration and the 15th Anniversary of Namibian Independence.

Below are H.E. the President's messages to H.E. President Pohamba of the Republic of Namibia congratulating him on 1) his inauguration yesterday and 2) the Government and People of Namibia on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of independence. Both messages were sent this morning prior to H.E. the President's early morning departure from Windhoek. He arrived back in Gaborone at about 10:00 am this morning as scheduled.

D 1) Letter of congratulations and best wishes to President Hifikepunye Pohamba:

Your Excellency,

I am pleased to extend to you my warm congratulations and the best wishes of the Government and people of the Republic of Botswana on your inauguration as President of the Republic of Namibia. The smooth transfer of power from your predecessor, Dr. Sam Nujoma, to you is a clear testimony of the great achievement of your great country in building a strong and democratic culture, which is so important for the economic advancement of our region of Southern Africa.

Let me take this opportunity to reaffirm my commitment to work closely with you and your Government towards the sustainable development of our region and in further strengthening the excellent relations that subsist between our two countries for the mutual benefit of our peoples.

I wish you continued good personal health, and peace and prosperity for the people of the Republic of Namibia.

Please accept, Your Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration and esteem.

Festus G. Mogae, President of the Republic of Botswana

D 2) H.E. the President's message of Goodwill to H.E. the President of Namibia on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of Namibia's independence:

Your Excellency,

It gives me great pleasure, on behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of Botswana and indeed on my own behalf, to extend to you and through you to the Government and the people of the Republic of Namibia, our heartfelt congratulations on the occasion of the 15TH Anniversary of your country's independence.

This day does not only bring joy to the Namibians but all the peoples of our continent because it is a day that brought the end of colonial rule in Africa. We cherish with you the freedom of our continent to determine its destiny and course of development.

It is in this spirit, therefore, Your Excellency, that I extend to you my best wishes for your personal good health and happiness, as well as peace and prosperity for the people of the Republic of Namibia.

Please accept Your Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration.

Festus Gontebanye Mogae, President of the Republic of Botswana

E. OP Press Office Forwarding:

E 1) 23/3/05: H.E. the President's meeting with the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth

This afternoon, H.E. the President met with the Secretary General of the Commonwealth, the Rt. Hon. Don McKinnon, who is on a short visit to Botswana. The Hon. Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Lt. Gen. Mompati Merafhe also attended this afternoon's meeting, which was held at the Office of the President

Among the global issues that were discussed during the meeting were the progress of Doha Development Round of trade negotiations, HIV/AID and Education.

With respect to trade the two leaders agreed that the Commonwealth, as a diverse grouping of 53 countries on all continents could play a unique role in helping to build international consensus for fairer trade, which recognised the concerns of the developing world.

On the topic of HIV/AIDs Mr. McKinnon reported that his organisation was focusing its efforts on promoting the message of positive living among the youth.

During the discussion it was also noted that the Commonwealth, through its linkage with the Commonwealth institute had become more proactive in providing expertise in the area of building capacity at the primary and secondary levels.

Also discussed during the meeting was progress in the planning of the next Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), which will be held later this year in Malta.

NB: It was further confirmed that earlier today the Secretary-General also met with the Executive Secretary of the Southern African Development Community, Dr Prega Ramsamy.

E 2) 23/3/05: H.E. the President's calls on Batswana to pray for rain over the Easter Holiday

This afternoon, H.E. the President made a special call for Batswana of all denominations and faiths to pray for rain over the coming Easter weekend in their homes, churches and other religious establishments. He further encouraged religious leaders to include such prayers during this special time of faith.

Noting that he had received requests from a number of quarters to hold special prayers for rain, the President expressed his own conviction that it would be most appropriate if the nation as a whole prayed in their respective towns and villages as the current drought conditions were afflicting the entire country.

E 3) 23/3/05: His Honour the Vice President accepts donations to Sponsor-a-Child Trust to assist Boipelo Malete
This afternoon His Honour the Vice President was pleased to receive new donations totalling P 125,000 to the Sponsor-a-Child Trust Fund, to be used towards the treatment of Boipelo Malete, who requires a multi-organ transplant. His Honour accepted the cheques in his capacity as the Trust's founding Chairman.

Today's two donations came from the Botswana Development Corporation (BDC), which donated P 25,000 and the Masiela Trust Fund, which donated P 100 thousand. The cheques were delivered by the BDC Managing Director, Kenneth Matambo, and the Masiela Trust Chairperson, Pastor Adrian Mphofu respectively.

H.H. the Vice President thanked both organisations for their compassion and generosity, noting that together they would go a long away towards securing Boipelo's future.

Both of today's donations were a follow up to the appeal made by H.H. the Vice President during last month's Sponsor-a-Child Trust dinner. At the event he confirmed that he would be able to ensure the availability of funding for the basic cost of double organ transplant (kidney & liver) operation for Boipelo Malete, a twelve year old school girl from Kanye.

At the same time His Honour further noted that the child and her family would need much more in the way of financial assistance, urging people to continue to support the ongoing fundraising efforts being carried on Boipelo's behalf by such institutions as Mascom and GabzFM, as well as the Sponsor-a-Child trust.

At the dinner, itself, P 109,500 in additional funding was raised for Boipelo. Pledges at the time were received from the following: Price Waterhouse Coopers, Botswana Telecommunications Corporation, Barclays Bank, Safari Computers, BOMAID, Shell Botswana, Performance Resource, IRB Transport, Botswana Life Insurance, Botswana Housing Corporation, Air Botswana, the British High Commission, Mr. Mike Klink, and the United States Embassy.

E 4) 23/3/05: His Honour the Vice President assists the Zebras Supporter's Club

This afternoon His Honour the Vice President was pleased to be able to sponsor the travel to Kenya of 24 members of the Zebras Supporters Club, along with the "Sports Reporter of the Year" award winner Dikarabo Ramadubu of the Guardian newspaper.

H.H. the Vice President handed out tickets at a short ceremony at the Office of the President, during which he stressed that the fans along with the players would be representing the entire nation. He further noted that he looked forward to seeing them all when he watched the match this weekend on BTV.

E 5) 29/3/05: Meeting of the Tripartite Commission between the Republic of Botswana, the Republic of Namibia and United Nation High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) on the voluntary repatriation of Namibian refugees from Botswana.

With reference to the above below please find below an electronic copy of the Permanent Secretary Political Affairs, Mrs. Tuelonyana Ditlhabi Oliphant's opening remarks which were delivered this morning. The meeting is scheduled for 29-30/3/05.

The Botswana delegation also includes H.E. Mr. N.S. Moleboge, High Commissioner to Namibia, along with other relevant officials.

The Namibian delegation is headed by the Namibian High Commissioner to Botswana, H.E. Mrs.  T. Samaria, and includes the Governor of the Caprivi Region, the Hon. Mr. B. Sibalatani and other relevant officials, while the UNHCR delegation is headed by the resident Head of Mission, Mr. B. Otim.

Opening Remarks by the Permanent Secretary Political Affairs, Mrs. Tuelonyana Ditlhabi Oliphant at today's Meeting of the Tripartite Commission between the Republic of Botswana, the Republic of Namibia and United Nation High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) on the voluntary repatriation of Namibian refugees from Botswana, 29th March 2005 at United Nations Place.

...Ladies and Gentlemen,

1.     It is a great honour for me to have been given this opportunity to officially open this very important Tripartite Commission meeting between the Republic of Botswana, the Republic of Namibia and United Nation High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) on the voluntary repatriation of Namibian refugees from Botswana.

2.     Allow me Chairperson, to avail myself of this opportunity to extend, on behalf of the Government of Botswana and on my own behalf our hearty welcome to the Governor of the Caprivi and his delegation to Botswana, and in particular the City of Gaborone. I am aware that the last meeting of this Commission was held in Gaborone some two years ago. I also believe that you are no strangers to this country as it is and should be your second home. I trust that you will have observed that the country is drier than usual due to the low rainfall that has adversely affected the City of Gaborone, in particular. We hope that the water rationing that is in effect will not inconvenience you unduly. We are, however, hopeful that your visit would bring us some luck and a few rain drops to recharge our dams to advert the impending drought situation in the country.

3.     Chairperson, Ladies and Gentlemen, I must at the outset, apologise on behalf of the Botswana Government for not complying with our obligation to call this meeting within three months following the meeting of the Botswana/Namibia Joint Commission, which was held in Gantsi in July last year. It will be recalled that immediately after Gantsi time moved fast and certain factors, such as preparations for general elections in both countries, which were in October and November respectively, came into play. We are pleased that you have found time to honour this invitation.

4.     Let me briefly recall the situation following the last Tripartite Commission which took place in Gaborone in March 2003. After the successful signing of the Tripartite agreement in march 2002, a total of 1011 Namibian refugees were voluntarily returned to Namibia in august and October 2002. It was expected that the remaining group, totalling nearly 1200 would be afforded the same opportunity to voluntarily return home in 2003 and 2004. however, due to circumstances beyond our control it was not to be. One of the major setbacks was the low registration of refugees who volunteered to go back. The Tripartite Commission in its wisdom proposed ways and means of facilitating and speeding up the process, but this also did not bear positive results. It will be important for the commission to take stock of some of these experiences and use them as lessons for the future.

5.     The Tripartite commission is meeting once again, at the behest of the three parties, the Governments of Botswana and Namibia and the UNHCR, determined to work out a process through which those Namibians who wish to return home can be assisted and facilitated to do so safely, swiftly and in a dignified manner. As signatory of relevant international, regional and national instruments governing refugees, Botswana is aware of its obligations and has always been guided by those principals. Botswana also believes in the fundamental human rights of all peoples and is obligated by both the Botswana Constitution and other international instruments to protect such rights. Refugees are no exception.

6.     Although no large number of Namibian refugees registered for return since the last exercise, a considerable number have been making inquiries both verbally and in writing for return to their home country. Unfortunately most of them had to be advised to wait to be processed under the ambit of the Tripartite Agreement The clearance of the 29 registered Namibians for voluntary repatriation will act as a boost for the exercise as well as the morale of those who have been waiting for a long time to go back home. It is obvious that the Commission will have to find effective measures through which those who wish to be repatriated can be facilitated to do so. It is important to be innovative within the realm of our laws and international obligations to find durable solutions to refugee problems. As it is we have already lost time and some of the refugees have lost patience. Time, therefore, is of the essence.

7.     It will also be imperative for the Tripartite Commission to deliberate on the issue of resettlement of refugees, as it also has an impact on voluntary repatriation as well as on the morale and well being of refugees in general.

8.     Finally, let me take this opportunity to thank the UNHCR for its commitment to this process as well as for its material and morale support. This effort is even more appreciated in the light of the donor fatigue that is facing the refugee phenomenon, especially in Africa. In this regard Botswana joins the rest of the world in calling for a durable and comprehensive solution when dealing with the root causes for refugees and displaced persons. It is the only through which the cycle of deprivation and suffering can be broken.

9.     Chairperson, Ladies and Gentlemen; with these few remarks I have the honour to declare the Tripartite Commission meeting between the Republic of Botswana, the Republic of Namibia and United Nation High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) on the voluntary repatriation of Namibian refugees officially opened. I thank you.

E 6) 31/3/05: The "Amazing Race" comes to Botswana

This Office is informed that Episode 5 of the popular CBS TV "Reality show" the "Amazing Race" (series number 7) was premiered as a two hour prime time special throughout North America on Tuesday night. This week's home viewing audience for the programme on the CBS terrestrial broadcast network is expected to be about 12 million. The show is also aired by a large number of additional terrestrial, cable and satellite networks throughout the world.

Having spent previous episodes of the latest series in Peru, Chile and Argentina the show's competing couples started episode 5 in Soweto, South Africa before moving on to Botswana for the second half of the programme. The couples are expected to leave Botswana in episode 6.

Having emerged over the past six races from a critically acclaimed international cult favourite to one of the world's most popular mass entertainment programmes, with consistent top 20 ratings in its home USA market, the Emmy award winning show has also in recent years been credited by industry analysts with helping to revive global travel and tourism following the post "9/11" slump, more especially to destinations in the developing world.

The filming of the Amazing Race sequences in Botswana took place last year with the cooperation and facilitation of relevant local authorities and a local production company.

The Government of Botswana, of course, bears no responsibility for the actual content of any episode, which is the sole prerogative of the show's producers.

The official CBS website for the Amazing Race number 7 is located at . The programme is also the focus of a large number of additional websites and online discussion by both its fans and critics.

E 7) Additional notices and forwarding for the week ending on 2/4/05:

* 22/3/05: H.E. the President to meet with the Secretary-General of the Commonwealth tomorrow.
* 22/3/05: FW: MOFAIC NOTE on tomorrow's visit by the Rt. Hon. Don McKinnon.
* 29/3/05: BDP 2005 National Council Meeting this Saturday.
* 30/3/05: Further Details on BDP 2005 National Council Meeting.
* 30/3/05: Schedule addition for Thursday afternoon
* 31/3/05: CANCELLED: today's farewell call by the Spanish Ambassador.
* 2/4/05: H.E. the President's opening remarks at the 2005 Botswana Democratic Party National Council (ka Setswana)

F. Botswana in the Global Media for the month of March 2005

F 1) Global on line news reports about Botswana for the month of March 2005.

Note: The numbers below are approximations and do not include all on line news reports, but rather those recent, up to 30 day old, stories that are being listed by major search engines with news categories.

Keywords                    (March '05)
"Botswana" (total)                1846
1) & "AIDS" and/or "HIV                     408
2) & "Miss Stigma Free"                188
2) & "Zimbabwe"                    444
3) & "President Mogae"                     142
4) & "Trade"                    165
5) & "travel/tourism"                233
6) & "Democracy/Good Gov."            142
7) & "Diamonds"                    73
8) & "football/soccer"                152
9) & "SADC"                        89
10) & "Human Development"              94
11) & "Diamonds" & "Dev."             22
12) & "elephants"                 42
13) & "Bushmen"                       16
14) & "McCall Smith" (author)            17
15) & "Survival International            4

F 2) Principal sources of online news reports about Botswana appearing on select major search engines in March 2005:

BOPA                     217
Mmegi                    185            347
SAPA (RSA)                19
SABC (RSA)                17
News 24 (RSA)            21
Sunday Times (RSA)        6
Independent (RSA)            7
Zim Papers (Zimbabwe)        0
Reuters                 5
AFP (Agence France Presse)    13
BBC                      23
IRIN (UN Info Network)          34
Inter Press Service (IPS)    9
Associated Press (AP)        31
Voice of America                4
Xinhua News (China)        9
Bloomberg International        27

Approximately 22% of this past month's surveyed on-line reports mentioning Botswana were sourced directly from either the Botswana Press Agency (BOPA) or Mmegi. In addition, most of the content about Botswana appearing on was reprinted from Mmegi. Another 4% of the stories were from identified regional, SADC, media sources. All other reports were of non-local origin, albeit often authored by either Botswana resident or regionally based journalists. The online editions of the local Botswana Gazette, Midweek Sun and Voice newspapers continue to not appear on the news search engines consulted for purposes of this survey.

F 3) Noted for the record - Heretofore unpublished Letter to the Editor of Mmegi.

The following letter was copied to this Office from our Permanent Mission to the United Nations (Geneva) on 21/3/05:

Dear Sir,

I note in your Mmegi Edition of Friday 18 March 2005, Volume 22 Number 43 under item captioned: "RETENG VOWS TO FIGHT DISCRIMINATORY LAWS" that your reporter, Ryder Gabathuse, quotes me completely out of context.

In response to the question he posed to me, I informed him, as a matter of fact, that: "The Constitutional Amendment Bill is perceived by the likes of RETENG as not providing a satisfactory solution to the problem. The Bill, however, represents Government's sincere efforts to address the problem within the context of the White Paper of the Balopi Commission"

I would be grateful if you could please issue the necessary correction in you next edition. - C.T. Ntwaagae, Ambassador/Permanent Representative

The above referenced edition of Mmegi, had reported that:
"Botswana's permanent representative to the U.N., Charles Ntwaagae told Mmegi yesterday that even with the proposed amendments, the Constitution is still discriminatory in that paramount chiefs from the eight major tribes are ex-officio members of the House of Chiefs."

NB: The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, which is intended to ensure that clause of the Constitution are tribally and gender neutral, is currently before Parliament.