The shortage of medical drugs in hospitals has led to the youth of the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) crossing swords with Botswana National Front Youth League (BNFYL).

This follows a leaked audio between Health Minister Dr. Edwin Dikoloti and MP for Mahalapye West David Tshere, who is also Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Health and HIV and AIDS.

In the leaked conversation, both men were discussing the shortage of medical supplies with the minister denying any such shortage but instead arguing that the problem could be that the District Health Management Teams (DHMTs) might not be doing their job as expected. The audio was allegedly recorded by Tshere and leaked to the media.

Following the leaked audio, the BDP National Youth Executive Committee (NYEC) launched an onslaught on the MP, accusing him of "cheap political antics" which they said speak to his character and should question his fitness for office. According to the NYEC, Tshere has successfully managed to rid himself of any modicum of dignity and respect that made the public view him as honourable.

“The sheer guts of one senior government official to record and leak a private phone conversation between him and another senior government official discussing a critical issue is shocking and criminal.

“To have a leader such as Hon. David Tshere, in his position, unashamedly share and authenticate such privileged dialogue is unprincipled, deceitful and a threat to national security.

“These petty gimmicks of propaganda should be shunned and rejected vehemently, especially from those bestowed with the power and authority of a public office,” the NYEC led by Councillor Collen Mochotlhi, said.

NYEC has therefore called upon the leadership to review the decision to have Tshere as Chairperson of the Parliamentary Committee on Health and HIV. Mochotlhi said Tshere’s perpetuating of conduct that is unbecoming of a leader and that undermines the integrity of government and parliament warrants such disciplinary action and more.

“The Minister together with Ministry officials held a press conference on the 16th January 2023 to give a full report on the state of medical supplies in our country. As the nation grapples with the shortage of medicine, the minister gave hope and assured the nation that a number of consignments are making their way into Botswana to mitigate this crisis, with the first batch already received and some expected end of January 2023. A commendable feat that will breed many more.”

On the other hand, the BNFYL President Resego Kgosidintsi said Batswana should ignore the stunt by the BDP youth as it changes nothing on the ground. She indicated that they support what the Mahalapye legislator did as it has exposed the corrupt regime.

“The BDP National Youth Executive must not waste our time with those nonsense pieces. Some of the committee members are the reason why the health sector is collapsing. An additional member of the committee owns a company which sold masks to government at P600 a piece during the Covid-19 Pandemic and they have the guts to call people out on morality?

“Hon Tshere must leak all the conversations that expose incompetence. Our parents are told to wait for their deaths at home because there is no medicine and specialists and you want to waste our time with nonsense pieces at the comfort of Tsholetsa offices with aircons financed by our parents' taxes?" Kgosidintsi lashed.

Last year Minister Dikoloti told Parliament that the shortage of medicines was being attended to, but instead the situation has gone from bad to worse as hospitals and clinics continue to experience shortage of medicines.