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BOPA News on 14 September 2004

Three officers win Vision 2016 awareness essay contest
14 September, 2004

GABORONE - The Commissioner of Police, Edwin Batshu, has awarded certificates to three officers who won the Vision 2016 awareness essay competition.

According to a Botswana Police Service press release, the three officers are constable Blondie Letoane of Woodhall police station, constable Sesupo Gokatweng of the Criminal Records Bureau at Police Headquaters and constable Messiah Makola of Sowa Town police.

It states that the first prize winner, Letoane went away with P500 and a trophy while his runner-up Gokatweng won P300. The three winners were also awarded certificates for participating in the competition.

The competition was organised by the Botswana Police Service as part of the organisation's participation in the Vision 2016 awareness month and was open to all police officers of the rank of constable.

It adds that the competitors were to write an essay on what they understood about the Botswana Police Service Vision 2016, in particular, the pillar of a safe and secure nation.

Participants were required to demonstrate a profound understanding of the activities that the Botswana Police Service has embarked upon to ensure that safety and security is attained by the year 2016, the release says.

The release says they were also required to refer to the different strategic documents produced by the Botswana Police Service and how they related to the Botswana Police Service pillar in the National Vision. BOPA  

Official urges youth to fulfil V2016
14 September, 2004

MOCHUDI - A Botswana National Productivity Centre (BNPC) senior official has implored the youth to spearhead the fulfilment of Vision 2016 pillars.

Speaking at the Vision 2016 awareness launch at Artesia last week, Nthusang Dibe said the youth were the ones who could lead the nation to the realisation of the long term vision.

Dibe said the pillars were noble and plausible and should be practised as stated, especially by the youth," otherwise Vision 2016 is destined to remain a distant dream".

He advised attendants to also use some of the BNPC principles of Botho, Botlhaga, Botswerere and Bofefo in their effort to accomplish the country's long term vision.

Another speaker, Leshibitse headman Albert Moitoi, was alarmed that crime in Kgatleng was on the increase.

He said the district was inundated with stock theft cases, among others. He regretted that what was even worse about such cases was that the elderly, aged from 40 years and above, were deeply involved in rustling. BOPA  

Productivity: We can't afford to remain spectators, says Masunga
14 September, 2004

FRANCISTOWN - Kgosi Christopher Masunga says globalisation dictates that Botswana cannot afford to remain a spectator in the face of the fierce global competition.

In his closing remarks at the 2004 Productivity Week at the Francistown Civic Centre last week, Masunga urged Batswana to consciously raise the level of leadership in their respective organisations.

"The way we lead our employees has great impact on what they produce, how they produce it and the quantities involved," he said.

Masunga said that even though there were organisations doing a commendable job, there were still others who offered shoddy services.

He said that activities such as the Productivity Week should encourage organisations to learn from one another.

"In this era of privatisation and re-structuring, only organisations that have well groomed leaders who keep their focus on clients will survive," he said.

Masunga also advised leaders to explore the strategy of benchmarking their performance against the best.

"We do not have to reinvent the wheel," he said, adding that if there were certain practices and systems that had been tried and tested elsewhere, there was a need to develop them. " The exercise ensures that we avoid mistakes that have been learnt elsewhere." He said the greatest handicap to success was fear, adding that people should not be afraid to fail because failure was part of success. Masunga said national wealth creation could only be generated through productivity.

Masunga added that the equitable distribution of wealth through such schemes as gain sharing would improve organisation's productivity levels.

He cautioned against assumptions that these commemorations in themselves meant "productivity." He said productivity should be measured by the quality of service that customers received on a daily basis.

Msunga said there was a need to encourage and teach small entrepreneurs to be productive, adding that if assisted, they could become an important alternative to mining revenue.

The BNPC closing ceremony also honoured individuals and companies who contributed to the Joint Forum Productivity Awareness. BOPA  

NBB extends GBC broadcasting licence
14 September, 2004

GABORONE ­The National Broadcasting Board (NBB), which is responsible for regulating the Broadcasting Industry in Botswana, has extended the broadcast licence for Gaborone Broadcasting Company, operating as GBC TV, for another 12 months.

A news release from NBB says the license is effective from August 31 to September 30 2005.

GBC was first licensed in August 2002 following its application for a licence in accordance with the Broadcasting Act of 1999.

According to the press release, the extension of the licence followed an evaluation of the performance of the company in meeting some of the licence conditions which included substantial ownership by citizens, local content production as well as adherence to set technical standards.

The NBB was satisfied with the broadcaster's efforts to meet crucial licence conditions, especially in the area of citizen ownership, says the press release.

The board, however, felt that the broadcaster should be given another year to finalise efforts to meet conditions pertaining to local content, production as well as change of broadcast frequency from UHF to VHF.

On other issues, the NBB decided to revoke the right of GBC to broadcast in Selebi-Phikwe and Francistown because the broadcaster has not been able to transmit in those areas.

Meanwhile, the NBB will soon launch a public education campaign on community broadcasting in preparation for licensing community-broadcasting services.

The campaign will be in the form of media appearances as well as public appearances in specific areas as well as information packages. BOPA  

BSA in cash crisis
14 September, 2004

GABORONE - If Botswana Softball Association (BSA) president Marumo Morule had his way, Botswana would not participate in this year's Zone VI softball championship slated for South Africa later this month.

"If I were to make a decision without involving other people, I would say no because we do not have money at the moment," said Morule. He was responding to BOPA enquiriesas to whether BSA would send teams to this year's Zone VI annual softball championships in Mmabatho, South Africa, in two weeks' time.

However, Morule said the ball was now in the BSA court for affiliates to decide whether to participate in the event as long as they made a commitment that they would pay from their pockets. "Otherwise, who is going to bail us out if we decide to go there and compete?" he asked.

Morule conceded that there was virtually nothing in the BSA coffers, noting that the little they had was only enough to "keep us surviving" by being able to pay for utilities.

Botswana are the men's reigning Zone VI champions, while the ladies team are the runners-up to South Africa. The last event was hosted by Botswana, while this year Namibia were supposed to be the hosts.

However, Namibia, who were supposed to be hosts last April but had indicated that they were not ready. There had been, for sometime, uncertainty as to whether the event would materialise.

Morule said no country was prepared to host this year's event,. He said it was an agreement between an interim committee and the North-West softball committee. There is a high possibility that the event might fail if last year's experience is anything to go by.

Last year, only three countries participated after only South Africa and Namibia turned up for the Botswana event, while Lesotho, who had confirmed their participation, withdrew at the eleventh hour citing unforeseen circumstances. Zambia and Zimbabwe did not even bother. BOPA  

Media freedom not gateway to abuse - Sebetela
14 September, 2004

FRANCISTOWN - Communications, Science and Technology minister Boyce Sebetela says media freedom is not an opportunity or a gateway for those involved in the media to abuse, but is rather meant for them to use holistically.

Addressing a kgotla meeting in Bobonong on September 10, he explained his ministry function, which he said was to oversee the operational aspect of government media to ensure things were done according to government policy.

Sebetela dismissed as untrue, allegations that the government media was being oppressed, saying such misleading information was based on the fact that certain programmes like a 15 minutes phone-in-programme on Masaasele were cancelled as some people used abusive language.

He said government came up with a decision to establish communication, science and technology ministry in 1992 with the aim to further develop the media in the country so that it kept pace with the changing technology.

He noted that this includes the improvement of communication skills within the media through enforcement of computerisation by connecting media personnel to e-mails and Internet for a speedy and free flow of information.

He said it was government intention to see to it that the Radio Botswana, Daily News, Kutlwano magazine and BTV were accessible to every village in the country, but this was currently not possible due to financial constraints as most funds were diverted to fight the HIV/AIDS pandemic.

He called on Bobonong residents to be patients as government cannot afford to avail all resources to every village at the same time, asking them to effectively use resources availed to them to the maximum.

He said government had shown commitment by providing quality service products to compete with the private press as the current Daily News has been improved to colour and the number of pages increased.

However, on the Daily News publications which is mostly in English, Sebetela said he was still negotiating for more pages to be written in Setswana as the "paper belongs to Batswana" readers who were in the majority.

He also said a more effective and efficient way to speedily delivery the Daily News to the people had been sourced. Individuals have been contracted to deliver it to villages around Gaborone and also sent to distant areas by train, bus and Air Botswana flights so that a copy of the day reached people in the districts the same day.

He said lately, the United Nations millennium development programme report on telecommunications put Botswana a step ahead as 33 out of 100 people have cell-phones while eight out of 100 people have telephones at their homes, saying this was in line with the government envisaged plan and wish to have a closely united nation by 2016.

He noted that through Nteletsa programmes, government intends to engage BTA to look at the possibility of linking people living along South African and Namibia borders if they can be connected to their respective signals at affordable prices. BOPA  

Kombani criticises Batswana for not utilising govt schemes
14 September, 2004

GABORONE - The Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Trade and Industry, Gaylard Kombani, has condemned Batswana for their reluctance to fully utilise government schemes and help create wealth for the nation.

Officiating at the annual general meeting for Motswedi Savings and Credit Co-operative Society, Kombani emphasised that "Batswana should take advantage of the government support programmes and services and use them to create wealth for themselves".

"Those of us who are still reluctant to use co-operatives as a vehicle for successfully pursuing boipelego (self reliance) even when government remains fully committed to the development of co-operatives, have no one but ourselves to blame,'" he said.

Kombani could not hide his appreciation for the society saying: "It is pleasing to witness a group of so many Batswana having come together with happiness and pride like the shareholders of any big business entity." He added that their success in running the society was proof that where there "is a will, self belief, dedication to work, commitment and determination" success was guaranteed.

The efforts of the society, Kombani said, were fully in line with the nation's Vision 2016 pillar of building a prosperous and innovative nation.

Given the professional operational standards at Motswedi, Kombani said even establishing a bank would not be a far-fetched dream.

"It is all in our hands to consider the possible avenues at our disposal to at least become the biggest credit and savings society." Meanwhile, Motswedi records indicate that in the financial year 2001/02 the society's savings grew from P4.5 million to P6.3 million with credit similarly increasing from P4.5 million to P6.1 million, all figures having been realised in the 2000/01 financial year.

The capital reserves of the society stand at P3.1 million out of which P1.2 million has been invested in Bank of Botswana (BoB) certificates.

The society's net surplus grew from P765 620 realised in 2001/02 to P864 782 in 2001/02. Komboni said these figures proved that co-operative societies were a viable strategy for complementing other government policy initiatives such as the citizen economic empowerment aimed at helping Batswana to improve their living standards. BOPA  

Court jails Makgophana man to three years for indecent assault
14 September, 2004

MOCHUDI ­ A 33-year-old man of Makgophana ward in Mochudi has been sentenced to three years imprisonment, wholly suspended for two years and four strokes for indecent assault.

The three years have been suspended on the condition that Sabona Jankie does not commit a similar offence within two years.

Passing judgement, Mochudi senior magistrate Dlamini Ng'andu said the accused was a first offender and therefore, it was upon the court to spare him a custodian sentence.

Jankie was found guilty of indecently assaulting a 13-year-old girl. Ng'andu said the fact that on the day of the incident, Jankie acted under the influence of liquor, was not an excuse.

She said Jankie abused his position of knowing the teenager's custodians, especially her grandmother who was his lover.

The magistrate further advised Jankie to conduct himself like a sensible adult who must respect women and children.

The facts of the case were that on December 15, 2003 midnight, Jankie went to the girl's bedroom and removed her underwear and touched her private parts.

The court heard that the girl felt something heavy on top her while asleep and felt her thighs wet. She immediately alerted her grandmother who was in another bedroom.

The court rejected the accused person's claim that he tripped and fell on top of the girl, while looking for a beer in her bedroom.

Asked why the sperms were found on the girl's thighs, the accused said he had just finished making love to his lover (the complainant's grandmother) whose room is adjacent to the girl's.

In mitigation, Jankie who was employed as a cook at Deborah Retief Memorial Hospital in Mochudi, pleaded with the court to be lenient with him as he was the sole breadwinner taking care of his nephews, grandmother and siblings. BOPA  

HIV contraction no longer death sentence - Seboko
14 September, 2004

LOBATSE - Balete paramount chief Kgosi Mosadi Seboko says gone are the days when the positive HIV status was an automatic death sentence.

"The availability of anti-retroviral drugs for those infected means that lives can be prolonged and the country's human resource investment safeguarded," Seboko said when officially opening Lobatse Tebelopele Voluntary Testing Centre on September 8.

She observed that for this to be possible, the infected have to be enrolled on the anti-retroviral (ARV) programme, a situation that is only possible if their status is known and as such, the importance of getting tested cannot be overemphasised.

She added that those on the program would be able to take part in productive activities and contribute to their communities' welfare.

Seboko said there was need to change attitudes towards HIV/AIDS and those affected or infected. She explained that through going for HIV testing, people will not only give themselves the opportunity to look after themselves, but those who are found to have been infected will give themselves a chance to help through the many programmes and services that government and NGOs have put in place.

She explained that since Tebelopele Counselling and Testing Centers opened in June 2000, over 150 000 people had tested, 6000 of whom did so in Lobatse alone.

"Though this may sound like a large number to us, for a population of 1 727 000, in my mind, there is room for improvement," she encouraged Batswana.

Kgosi Seboko lamented the lack of testing, the stigma and discrimination associated with HIV/AIDS, to continue its grip on the country. BOPA  

Top boxer returns!
14 September, 2004

GABORONE - Boxer Gilbert Khunwane returned to the ring after a six-month layoff and proved his mettle when he outclassed Abel Kandela of Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) during an inter-club boxing tournament at University of Botswana (UB) hall Saturday.

Khunwane sustained an injury at the Africa Championships in Gaborone last March, which sidelined him for about six months. He showed his 'recovery' in the ring by using both his strength and speed to contain his opponent in a four- round contest.

Khunwane dominated his opponent in every round and stopped at nothing to beat Kandela by points to win the bout. His coach, France Mabiletsa, said: "Gilbert was laid off last March and this was his first fight since then but the way he fought today showed some recovery. Otherwise his full recovery will be gauged during tough training as he is preparing for the championship." In one of the major upsets, Mmoloki Nogeng of BDVC, scored a rare victory over Lesley Sekotswe of UB after a four-round nail-biting encounter. The duo fought like headless chickens through to the end of round four where Nogeng emerged victorious.

Another exciting bout was between Kebonyethebe Ramaboana of Thebephathswa (TAB) and Tshepo Oabile of BMC. Ramaboana won through a technical knockout over Oabile, tagging the latter with terrific punches that brought a two-eight count by referee Thabo Nnanaakoko who stopped the fight in the second round. Dintwa Sloca of BDVC also made a great comeback in the ring when annihilated Onalenna Rasesa of Francistown (FT).

Sloca was sluggish in the opening rounds but gained momentum in the third and fourth to finish on a high note.France Motlotlegi of TAB suffered a great disappointment when he lost to Warona Motshaba of UB who pulled off a surprise to win the bout with only 30 seconds remaining.

Motshaba landed a clean right uppercut across Motlotlegi's face to give his opponent a nosebleed. Referee George Noge examined him before he allowed the fight to continue. Motshaba capitalised on Motlotlegi's nose and succeeded in making the bleeding even more forcing the referee to call off the fight.

Another interesting winner of the tournament was Binda Seroba of BDVC, a young and up-coming boxer in the development programme. Seroba combined strength and wit to corner Thabo Thebe of BMC with stinging punches.

Moabi Mothibi of BDVC also used the development programme to his advantage to outclass David Kemoitsholetse of UB.

Samodimo Rabatho of UB beat Tshidiso Santagane of BMC on points. Beaten on points also was Gabaorome Disele of TAB by Obakeng Makabe of UB.

Mosokotso Elija of TAB beat Itumeleng Bonewamang of BMC, Gomotsang Gaaitse of FT beat Gaolatlhe Mpotsang of Selebi- Phikwe (SPKWE) and Mothusi Taele, also from SPKWE lost to Thabo Monametsi of TAB, while Kholani Ntshupetsan (SPKWE) beat Lesedi Kwelokwelo of Glen Valley (GVB).

Dirang Thipe of GVB "unconvincingly" defeated his arch-rival Moses "Rocket machine" Kamera by points in a rather rough match that was dominated by excessive aggression.

Herbert Nkabiti was declared the winner after a walkover on Mothusi Kenosi who failed to pitch up. BOPA  

Sankwasa commends councillors, staff
14 September, 2004

MAUN - North West District Council chairman Luckson Sankwasa has commended both councillors and staff for their co-operation over the past three years.

Speaking during the official opening of the last full council meeting recently, Sankwasa said they had been democratic and accountable, which was inline with the objectives of national Vision 2016. He said that he learnt a lot from them in his three years at the helm.

Sankwasa also reminded all council candidates in the 2004 general election to mount disciplined campaigns.

Meanwhile, the council chairman encouraged farmers to continue to sell their livestock while they were still in prime condition to fetch better prices.

He also said that the there was a shortage of funding for the development projects in NDP9/DDP6, adding that most projects planned for this year had not received any funding.

He added that it was becoming evident that issues pertaining to road construction needed more efforts to overcome hiccups, which result in the district suffering in terms of development. BOPA  

Give BDP another mandate, says Nkate
14 September, 2004

GUAMRE - BDP vice secretary general Jacob Nkate has appealed to Batswana to give his party another mandate in next month's general election.

Addressing political rallies in Xaxa and Qangwa villages at the week, Nkate said the mandate would enable the party to accomplish its mission of further developing the country.

Nkate, who is also a BDP parliamentary candidate for Ngami constituency, said his party was going to beat opposition parties in the coming general election because "it is the only party with vision and the capacity to lead the country". He however said people must vote for the BDP in large numbers to give it a convincing victory.

He said the party would devote itself to uplifting the standard of living of Batswana and ensure that the country developed in peace, adding that "like Jesus Christ, the BDP is only hated for being good leaders because it is the only party with vision and the capacity to lead" the nation.

He warned his constituents not to experiment by voting for opposition parties because they have failed to address real issues. Instead they are campaigning about disaster issues such as the cattle lung and foot and mouth diseases to create hatred between the BDP government and the nation.

"When I campaigned in the 1999 general election, I said to the Ngami electorate that 'if you want effective representative, you will find it in me' and now that I and my councillors have proven our worth, there is no reason why you should not vote for us." Nkate, who is also Trade and Industry minister, said some of his achievements included the construction of the rural administration centre in Gumare, the improvement of water at Kareng, Toteng, Sehitwa, Bothatogo and Bodibeng as well as a water treatment plant at Gumare, the connection of electricity, the construction of more classrooms, traders' houses, clinics and nurses' houses. BOPA  

"Musik ye Aferika" sets Mochudi alive
14 September, 2004

GABORONE ­ Mochudi was alive with Chimurenga sounds when Zimbabwean born Louis Mhlanga and his "Musik ye Aferika" band performed at the Jazz Brew joint in the village.

Sam Mataure, on drums, Jimi Indi, on bass guitar, and Louis Mhlanga himself were all impressive to watch at the music extravaganza which left music lovers breathless with delight.

The three music maestros were the only performers at the event, which did not have any other performers except the Zimbabwean icons.

The performers, indeed, showed that you can take somebody from their motherland but it would be difficult to take their culture and roots out of their system.

They live in South Africa but their music still has the Zimbabwean roots and every time they touch their instruments to make their melodies, there is no question about that.

The band played with passion and this tended to draw the audience closer to the band and they danced to every song, as their music is easy to dance to.

The highlight of the show was when Sam Mataure called some ladies who were dancing well on stage to showcase their talent when the band played International Rhumba.

Revelers seemed to be having a good time until members of the police force came over to stop the show as it appeared to have gone beyond the agreed time.

The band has released an album titled United We Stand from which they played a number of songs, including Serina.

One of the songs that the revelers seemed to enjoy was Akuna Mari, which simply means that "there is no money" for some of the basic domestic necessities.

Show promoter Soares Katumbela said the event was not well attended but that it was just the beginning and that the situation would improve with time.

The band indeed played well and at some stage Jimi Indi and Louis Mhlanga appeared like boys playing with their favourite toys as they jumped about strumming their instruments on stage. BOPA  

It's policy to compensate deserving persons
14 September, 2004

LOBATSE ­ Minister of Lands and Housing Margaret Nasha says it is government policy to compensate anyone whose property is affected by national development projects.

Addressing a kgotla meeting at Lekgolobotlo in the Southern District on Thursday, Nasha informed the residents that valuation was carried out by experts to compensate owners.

She explained some of contributing factors, which the valuers take into account when determining the amount of compensation such as the type of materials used and the value of property affected.

Nasha was responding to complaints raised by residents of Lekgolobotlo in a previous kgotla meeting addressed by their MP Maitlhoko Mooka.

Residents complained that the compensations they received after their ploughing fields were affected by a water pipe connecting Tlhogobane and Ntlhantlhe were below the value of their properties.

They added that they were not properly consulted before the project was undertaken. However, Minister Nasha explained that the water pipe would not disturb their ploughing because it was two metres under ground.

She, however, appealed to them to report any leakage from the pipeline that could be caused by ploughing activities.

She instructed Moshupa Sub land board to investigate allegations that one resident, Boitshepo Godisamang, was not compensated after she allocated a piece of land to a construction company to drill a borehole.

Other residents said that vibrations from heavy machinery used in the ongoing construction of Mogobane/Ranaka road caused cracks in some of the houses.

They told the minister that the Department of Roads and the contractor refused to take responsibility for the damages.

Moshupa sub landboard secretary Seganeleng Ramatlapeng said her office had sent 12 names of affected people to the assessment committee at the main land board.

She explained that there was a delay in addressing the residents' concerns because initially they reported the matter to the Roads Department instead of the land board. BOPA  

Masunga to host World Tourism Day celebrations
14 September, 2004

GABORONE - The Department of Tourism and its district offices will be organising various events to foster awareness of the importance of the tourism industry in Botswana's economy towards the end of this month.

The national celebrations will be held in Masunga on September 25 while Kasane, Maun and Tsabong will celebrate on September 27.

The World Tourism Day, instituted in 1979 by a decision of the General Assembly of Tourism Organisation, is intended to heighten public awareness of tourism's economic, cultural and social contribution.

According to a press release from the Department of Tourism, the celebrations are done through a series of suitable events organised by member countries of the World Tourism Organisation (WTO).

The celebrations in Masunga will have cultural games and sports festival on September 25 and a half marathon the following day.

The theme for this year's World Tourism Day is: "Sports and Tourism: two living forces for mutual understanding, culture and the development of societies".

The release states that Sport and Tourism share common goals - building bridges of understanding between different cultures, lifestyles and traditions, promoting peace and goodwill among nations.

The other goals are motivating and inspiring young people and providing entertainment and enjoyment to relieve the pressures of daily life to large sections of the population. The World Tourism Day message will be broadcast on the radio on September 27.

The Department of Tourism is working closely with HATAB and the private sector to organise the events. BOPA  

Buffalos hit by anthrax
14 September, 2004

KASANE - An outbreak of anthrax in the Kasane area is threatening to reduce the buffalo population in the Chobe National Park. According to Department of Wildlife and National Parks officials, since 8 September, 19 carcasses had been found and tests indicated that the animals died from the disease.

Kasane-based district wildlife coordinator Molothanyi Othomile said more animals were likely to die and that they had started burying the carcasses so scavengers such as vultures did not feed on the meat.

However, he said there was no sign that predators like lion, jackal and hyena were interested in the carcasses.

Othomile appealed to the public to stay away from the carcasses and report any sightings of dead animals in and outside Chobe National Park.

This is the first outbreak to hit the park. According to the Internet, "anthrax is an acute infectious disease caused by the spore forming bacterium".

It mainly occurs in wild and domestic animals such as sheep goats and cattle but can also occur in humans when exposed to infected animals or tissue from infected animals.

Symptoms include skin infection that develops into an ulcer and at times swelling of lymph glands, breathing problems, vomiting, fever and ultimately death if it not treated.

Meanwhile, a senior Agricultural Resources Board officer, Lekitane Mhaladi, said that the veld fire, which has destroyed vast areas of land in the Kasane Forest Reserve, had displaced many wild animals.

Mhaladi said that large numbers of wildlife in the Chobe District would now travel long distances to the river to drink without any thing to feed on.

Since the outbreak, the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) the police, wildlife officials and the general public have been battling the blaze. BOPA  

NATO-Russia Council to tighten security against terrorism
14 September, 2004

GABORONE - The member states of the NATO-Russia Council remain determined to strengthen and intensify their common efforts against terrorism through developing an Action Plan specifying practical measures to fight the scourge of terrorism.

In a news release, the member states of the NATO-Russia Council (NRC) say they stand united in their categorical rejection of terrorism in all its manifestations, and their resolve that those responsible for these atrocities must be brought to justice.

The release further says that the council's extraordinary ambassadorial session, condemned in the strongest terms the outrageous terrorist attacks perpetrated against the people of the Russian Federation in late August and early September.

It says the atrocities, include attacks on civilian aircraft, a suicide bombing aimed at a crowded metro station in Moscow and the brutal hostage taking and murder of innocent school children and other civilians in Beslan, North Ossetia.

These acts underscore the barbaric and insidious nature of the terrorist threat the world faces today, says the release.

It adds that these acts of terrorism pose a direct challenge to the NRC's common security and shared democratic values and to basic human rights and freedoms.

The release states that there is no cause which can justify these acts, stating that the challenge of terrorism necessitates urgent and wide mobilisation of all nations in combating the scourge.

The release further says that terrorism has once more demonstrated that it has neither boundaries, nor religious or moral rules emphasising that the NRC's common cause is based on it's joint resolve to win the struggle against terrorism.

The NRC says it extends its sincere condolences and deepest sympathy for the suffering inflicted upon the families of the hundreds of victims of the terrorist attacks.

The NRC stands in solidarity with the people of the Russian Federation, and with all who have suffered at the hands of terrorist violence. BOPA  

We were not properly consulted about productivity week ­ teachers
14 September, 2004

KANYE ­ Some primary school teachers in Kanye say they were not properly consulted about the Productivity Week exhibitions in their area.

Speaking to BOPA, the teachers said they learnt about the exhibitions a day before they started, adding that the activity was not publicised enough, hence the poor attendance by the public.

Some teachers who came to the exhibition said they were surprised to learn that the exhibition was a Productivity Week activity, while others said they did not know anything about the arrival of the Vision 2016 torch in Kanye on Tuesday.

Some of them said they were attracted to the venue by the exhibition tents. However, some departments such as BOCODOL, BNYC, Department of Industrial Affairs and BOGWA mounted some attractive displays.

Bame Molefi, an enquiries assistant at BOCODOL in Gaborone, said the location of the exhibition also contributed to the low turnout by members of the public.

An official from the Department of Teacher Training and Development, Benson Rauwe, said the school holidays could have contributed to the short notice to teachers. BOPA  

Mystery surrounds disappearance of Maphanyane lands man
14 September, 2004

PALAPYE - Mystery surrounds the disappearance of a 24-year-old unemployed man of Maphanyane lands in the Tswapong North constituency.

The man has been missing since August 31 after a misunderstanding with family members at Maphanyane lands near Lecheng village.

According to Palapye Station Officer Superintendent Boy Balo, the man had the day before his disappearance threatened to kill his mother, demanding an explanation about the death of his father. The father was buried recently.

Realising that her son was resolute on his threat, the mother sought intervention from the neighbours who attempted to talk to the him out of the idea. The family went to bed thinking that the man had relented only to find that he had disappeared.

At the time of his disappearance the man was thought to have been wearing a blue T-shirt, green jacket, maroon pair of jeans and black and white snickers.

The police are appealing to members of the public with information that might help trace the man to contact the nearest police station. BOPA  

Letshabo urges BNF candidates to follow party policies
14 September, 2004

MAHALAPYE ­ Botswana National Front (BNF) deputy-secretary general Kathleen Letshabo has appealed to party candidates not to divert from party policies once they are elected to Parliament or local governments.

Launching Mahalapye East parliamentary candidate Wame Boitumelo and the party's council candidates in Mhalapye over the weekend, Dr Letshabo said they could only propound party policies if they could acquaint themselves with the content of their party manifestos and other related documents.

Letshabo also appealed to BNF functionaries not to attack other politicians at freedom squares, as criticising other politicians would not help Batswana in anyway.

She said the main problems that Batswana were facing were poverty, unemployment and other social ills that needed their attention. She advised BNF members to discuss issues they do not understand with other party members instead of discussing them in public, adding that Batswana believe in consultation.

On other issues, Letshabo said the party was concerned that some people in Botswana still lived in poverty. She added that once given power, the BNF would change things for the better.

She also said that the BNF believed that for a country to compete with others in human capital, education must be free and compulsory. She said the BNF was against the re-introduction of school fees planned by the BDP government for early next year.

The BNF, she added, shared the sentiments of the universal declaration of human rights and the SADC protocol that education was an essential human service and as such it should be free and compulsory.

Meanwhile, the BNF national chairperson Klass Motshidisi told the rally that by forming a pact with BAM and BPP, the BNF was heeding the advice from the public that opposition parties needed to contest the general election as a group to make headway.

Motshidisi said he rejected the privatisation policy because once parastatals go into private hands, many Batswana would lose jobs.

He even criticised the introduction of VAT stating that it has negative effects on the disadvantaged groups.

Motshidisi criticised the government's way of handling industrial disputes, saying workers were disadvantaged because even when they strike were over legitimate issues, their strikes were always declared illegal.

He added that the laws in Botswana favour the employers over employees. BOPA  

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