While the Botswana Council for Women (BCW), Miss Botswana pageant licence-holder seems caught in internal battles, the company engaged to restructure the controversial pageant, Development Advanced Institute (DAI) is adamant that the pageant will continue as scheduled on September 21 at Masa Square Hotel.
In a recent press release, BCW urged all stakeholders and members of the public to ignore and disregard a statement issued by one of their former executive members purporting to represent the interest of BCW.
“We would like to inform everyone that the work of DAI was sanctioned by BCW. From our June 2017 Annual General Assembly we appointed DAI represented by Benjamin Raletsatsi to help us with the process of restructuring BCW and Miss Botswana. On September 1, at the general meeting of the BCW we resolved and further endorsed the decision on the Miss Botswana pageant to being coordinated by DAI,” read the press release.
BCW apologised for what she termed instances where they have neglected their duties to act in the best interest of the young girls and women of this country. “Now we do make a commitment and promise to correct past wrongs,” stated the release. In an interview with Arts & Culture, Basadi Masimolole from DAI said after the controversy with the last pageants, they have decided at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Maun last weekend to continue re-branding Miss Botswana,
“We have been doing a lot of work behind the scenes. We have organised with Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development to pay the previous winners before the pageant on September,” she said. Masimolole said anyone in last year’s top 12 contestants, excluding the queen is eligible to take part in the pageant as long as they fall within the stimulated age range.
“Some from last year no longer fall under the 18 – 26 age range, so they can’t participate. The issue is not the number at the moment, we want a proper succession so that the winner can represent us at China in December,” she said.
Masimolole further told Arts & Culture that DAI have signed a five-year contract to restructure BCW, but they will keep on renewing their annual contract with Miss World every year.
Masimolole further stated that former BCW treasure, Dorcus Thobega is no longer part of the committee. Gossip had it that Thobega allegedly sourced illicit funds from BCW to pay herself a salary amounting to P80,000 per month.
“Our new treasurer is Dorcus Gosibotsile,” Masimolole said.