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BOPA News on 17 March 2011

Defence lawyers close case

17 March, 2011
GABORONE - The trial of four soldiers accused of killing Mr John Kalafatis in May 2009 is close to winding up as lawyers are expected to make their oral submissions on April 15.

The defence closed its case this week after submitting two convictions where Mr Kalafatis was found guilty of unlawful possession of firearms.

Sergeant Dzikamani Mothobi, Corporal Boitshoko Maifala, Lance Corporal Ronny Matako and Lance Corporal Gotshosamang Sechele of Botswana Defence Force (BDF) are said to have deliberately shot Kalafatis, an accusation they dispute.

On Monday, a BDF armourer who received the weapons and ammunitions left after the shooting of Mr Kalafatis, told the High Court that they did not record guns and ammunitions in their register if a soldier used them in their line of duty.

Corporal Teedzani Masankela said Monday when explaining the BDF armoury procedure that when a soldier returned less ammunition than he was given, the soldier would write a statement explaining the whereabouts of the ammunition and the armourer should write a statement confirming the number of bullets he had given the soldier.

After that, he said, the armourer should hand the statements to the supervisor of the said soldier who then would analyse the statements to take appropriate action.

Cpl Masankela said in the Kalafatis incident, he did not write or demand statements from the soldiers who shot him as they told him that they had used their ammunition in their line of duty, adding that the same was said by their supervisor.

When asked about the number of bullets the team brought back, he said Matako returned 18, Sechele 15 and Maifala 10.

Justice David Newman presides over the case while the state is represented by senior lawyers Kabo Leinaeng, Ambrose Mubika and Mpho Letsoalo while attorney Thabiso Tafila defends the accused. BOPA  

Dirang go le gontsi ka bonnye Kereteletswe

17 March, 2011
MOCHUDI - Katlego e ka kgonega mo seemong sa itsholelo se lefatshe leno le sa ntseng le inoga mo go sone.

E rile molomaganyi wa mananeo a go tokafatsa bodiredi jwa puso, Dr Omponye Kereteletswe a rola molaetsa kwa moletlong wa phenyo wa khansele ya Kgatleng ka Labotlhano, a otlelela mosola wa go tlhama dilo tse disha le go tsisa diphetogo bogolo jang fa meamuso e tlhaelang teng.

Dr Kereteletswe o boletse gore go fetola dilo go akaretsa maano a go fenya dikgwetlho mme go kgonege go kgotsofatsa setshaba ka ditirelo.

Ka jalo o ne a akgolela khansele ya kgaolo ya Kgatleng go bo e ne ya reetsa kopo ya gore go dirwe go le gontsi ka bonnye jo bo leng teng, ka nako ya kwelotlase ya itsholelo ya mafatshe.

O ne a kgothatsa khansele go tshegetsa le go tokafatsa tirisano ya bone le batlhophi, ka go tlaa tlhomamisa katlego ya bone mo go iseng ditlamelo kwa setshabeng.

Dr Kereteletswe a re go a solofetsa go bo khansele e dule mo mananeong a magologolo mme jaanong e remeletse mo bathong go isa ditlamelo. Ka jalo o ne a ba kgothatsa go tswelela ba tshegeditse tsamaiso eo ya bone. O ne a akgolela khansele go nna sekai mo diphetogong tse ba di tsisang tsa maemo a a kwa godimo go balelwa mo go tsa botsogo jwa setshaba.

Le fa go ntse jalo, o ne a ba tlhagisa gore ba se tloge ba kgoba kgetse, mme ba ba gaisanang le bone ba tloga ba phamola maemo a ntlha mo go bone.

O ne a ba kgothatsa go tswelela ba ithuta thata lenaneo la bolesome la ditlhabololo tsa setshaba, go tlhomamisa gore ba tswelela ba nna le seabe se se bonalang jaaka ba ntse ba dira mo dingwageng tse di fetileng.

Mothusa tona wa dikgaolo Rre Kentse Rammidi, o bile a akgolela khansele eo go ikitaya sehuba ga yone le ntswa e tlhaelelwa ke madi.

A re madi a dikhansele di a abelwang a ngotlega ka monokela, mme fela a ba kgothatsa go amogela dikgwetlho tsotlhe, ba tsweledise katlego ya bone.

O ne a otlelela gore ga go na tsela e e motlhofo ya katlego, ka jalo a kgothatsa dikhansele gore ka dinako tsotlhe di ikaelele go atlega fa go leng thata teng.

Rre Rammidi o ne a akgolela lekgotla la badiri ba dikhansele ba Botswana seabe sa lone. Fa a ntsha la gagwe, modulasetilo wa khansele ya kgaolo ya Legare Rre Lesego Raditanka, o ne a re dikhansele tse di saenetseng tumalano ya kwa Lephephe, tsa kgaolo ya Legare, Kweneng, Borwa Botlhaba, Kgatleng le Gaborone di ka boelwa fa di tlhakanela meamuso, di adimana madi le go tshwaraganela dikago tsa metsana e e fa gare ga dikgaolo tsa tsone.

Tumalano ya Lephephe e ne ya dirwa ka 2009 go rotloetsa mowa wa tirisano, go tlhakanela katlego, merero le dikgwetlho tsa dikgaolo tse tlhano tseo.

Go tlhomagane dingwaga tse pedi khansele ya Kgatleng e tlhophiwa go nna e e di gaisitseng tsotlhe tse di lesome le borataro mo lefatsheng leno. BOPA  

Rollers on course to 11 league glory

17 March, 2011
JWANENG - With only six games left to complete 2010/11 be Mobile premiere league season, Township Rollers find themselves in a pole position with an almost unassailable margin at its disposal.

Currently Rollers are leading the pack with an enviable 60 points followed by Mochudi Centre Chiefs with 51 points, Ecco City Greens perched at position three with 46 points and Gaborone United occupying position four with 42 points.

As the premiere league season cruises to a climax, there is a general belief that Township Rollers is good at defending a championship and does not look back and does not put its foot on a wrong pedestal when in this envious position at this crucial time of the league.

Township Rollers is a team that was formed back in 1961 in Gaborone by a group of men and women who worked for the Public Works Department(PWD), a unit of government under the then Bechuanaland Protectorate.

The team boasts an illustrious career having won the elite league championship in 1979, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1995, 2005 and 2010.

Even though its history includes a stained chapter of being relegated to the first division from which it returned in vengeance to attain a double entailing the league and the Coca Cola Cup the same year.

They won the Gilbeys Cup in 1991, 1992 and 1994.

They also clinched the Coca Cola Cup in 1993, 1994, 1996, 2005 and 2010.

However many soccer followers around the country are waiting with bated breath to see if the current be Mobile and Coca Cola champions will break the trend set by the local clubs of failing to defend the league title.

For Centre Chiefs to topple POPA and win the championship, they need to win all their remaining six games and Rollers must loose three games and in that way both teams will be tied at 69 points with the goal aggregate favouring the Kgatleng giants.

To wear the crown, the Rollers campaign must first climb the hurdle ahead to conquer BMC, Extension Gunners, Black Peril, Motlakase, Tafic and Nico.

Centre Chiefs also have to tackle Santos, Extension Gunners, Black Peril, Motlakase, Tafic and Nico.

Conversely on a random interview, some soccer followers are of the view that it is almost impossible for Rollers to loose a grip at this stage and finish on second position given the range of teams lined up against them.

Karabo George, a Mochudi Centre Chiefs supporter said the writing is on the wall that Rollers have already wrapped the 2010/11 league.

He said judging the team by their current performance there is no way they can loose three of their remaining games.

The only team that can stop Rollers is Rollers itself and if I was Setete Phuthego I will give them the trophy during their next game.

Gaborone United supporter, Masego Phuthego said as it is now there is nothing that can stop Popa from clinching the championship.

She said other teams should start preparing for the next season as this season is taken up.

I know we have been saying if Ecco and Gunners can beat Rollers then the league will still be wide open but after Eccos loss I have given up on my hopes.

Masego said Rollers never stumble when it comes to the title particularly when they find themselves at the summit of the log in the second round. She said there is no doubt that the team will clinch the championship for the 11th time.

Another soccer enthusiast said there is no doubt that Rollers has already won the championship even before the league officially ends.

Moabi Sampisi said there is nothing that can stand on their path given their pace and level of dedication.

He said all the remaining games for the defending champions will be a walk in the park.

He said Centre Chiefs should not falter but fight for position two lest Ecco might end up eclipsing them.

Sampisi concurred with Masego that if he was the be Mobile league manager he was going to hand the trophy to Township Rollers after their game with BMC.

Township Rollers supporter, Lolo Mmolai said the writing is on the wall and the trophy belongs to Mma-Masire boys.

She said her team has proved that they have what it takes and a winning mentality and a pedigree to do what other teams have failed to do by successfully defending the championship. BOPA  

Letlhoko le kgoreletsa tiro ya baoki

17 March, 2011
SHAKAWE - Go bolelwa fa letlhoko la dipampitshana tse di dirisiwang go tlhatlhoba madi a balwetse ba sukiri le kgoreletsa tiro ya baoki kwa dikokelwaneng dingwe tsa kgaolo potlana ya Okavango.

Seo se boletswe ke monni mongwe wa Shakawe, Rre Court Motsumi mo phuthegong ya kgotla ya ga tona wa Botsogo, Dr John Seakgosing kwa Shakawe.

Rre Motsumi, yo o boletseng fa e le molwetse wa sukiri, a re ka ntlha ya tlhaelo ya dipampitshana tseo, balwetse ba sukiri ba tsaya lobaka lo lo leele go bona maduo a madi a bone f a go tlhatlhobelwa mogare wa HIV, mme morago madi a romelwe kwa kokelong ya Gumare kwa le gone a tsayang lobaka lwa kgwedi kgotsa go feta.

A re se se kgobang marapo ke gore fa gongwe maduo a a nyelela teng kwa kokelong ya Gumare mme ba patelesege go a tsewa gape, selo se a rileng o belaela fa se kgoreletsa botsogo jwa bone.

O tsweletse ka go tlhalosa gore e atle e re maduo a bone a diegile, bangwe ba latele bongaka kwa kokelong ya Gumare, dikhilomithara tse 125 go tswa kwa Shakawe, go ya go tsewa madi sesha mme ba tshwarwe ke tlala ka ba sa letlelelwe go ja sepe pele ga go tsewa madi.

A re ka tshwanelo, ba ka bo ba tsewa madi kgwedi le kgwedi, mme ka ntlha ya bothata joo ga go kgonagale ka gore bangwe ba palelwa ke go ipega go latela motshine o o berekang kwa Gumare.

O ne a kopa tona go tsibogela ntlha eo, e seng jalo botsogo jwa batho bo tlaa nna mo diphatseng.

Mo go tse dingwe, banni ba Shakawe ba ngongoregetse tlhaelo ya mashi a a neelwang bana ka lenaneo la thibelo mogare go tswa kwa go mmangwana go ya kwa loseeng, ba re fa gongwe ngwana o felela a fiwa dithini tse pedi ntswa a tshwanelwa ke go tsaya go simologa mo go tse thataro go ya go tse di lesome, selo se se belaetsang gore bommangwana ba felela ba amusa ka lebele.

Banni ba ngongoregetse gape tlhaelo ya dikoloi kwa kokelwaneng ya bone ba re di sale di isitswe kwa CTO mme nako kgolo ke eno, ba bo ba tswa ka mogopolo wa gore dikoloi tsa lephata la botsogo di batlelwe kwa di ka baakanngwang teng di le nosi go fefosa tiro ka gore di dira tiro ya tshoganetso ka dinako tsotlhe.

Modulasetilo wa komiti ya ditlhabololo tsa motse, Rre Tony Haedongo a re kgang ya tlhaelo ya dikoloi e a tshwenya ka gore e lotlhanya baoki le setshaba.

E ne e rile tona Seakgosing a tsibogela ntlha ya letlhoko la dipampitshana tse di dirisiwang go tlhatlhoba madi, a tlhalosa fa bothata jo bo ama dikokelwana lefatshe ka bophara a bo a ba kopa go nama ba dirisa kokelo ya Gumare go fitlhelela seemo sa itsholelo se tokafala.

Mabapi le go baakanngwa ga dikoloi kwa lefelong le le rileng, Rre Seakgosing a re bothata ke gore ba mabaakanyetso a dikoloi ba ba ikemetseng ba di baakanya ka ditlhwatlhwa tse di kwa godimo go menagane fela ka gore ke dikoloi tsa puso, mme seo se imele puso. BOPA  

MVA Fund covers all road victims

17 March, 2011
GABORONE - In terms of the MVA Fund Act of 2007, the scope of cover for road crash victims has been expanded to include all victims regardless of fault or wrong doing on anyones part.

Assistant Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Mr Charles Tibone, said as of August 2008 when the act was promulgated, provision had been made for all victims of road crashes.

Mr Tibone said accordingly finances of the fund were re-organised to meet projected increase cost of such provision going forward.

The fund anticipated that its current focus on road safety and accident and injury prevention would lead to affordability of expanded coverage due to reduced costs, he said.

Mr Tibone said since the new act repealed the previous one, the fund could not import claims which occurred before August 2008 into coverage of the current act which he observed might threaten the viability of the fund.

He noted that under the previous act many road crash victims were not compensated because drivers were not at fault and the act provided cover only where the driver was found to have caused loss due to his/ her negligence.

He was responding to a question from Shoshong MP, Mr Phillip Makgalemele who wanted to know whether the MVA Fund would consider supporting or assisting accident victims who were not covered before the MVA Act was amended some two years back, given that the affected people had a need which warranted their support. BOPA  

BR spent over P150 000 to haul coaches

17 March, 2011
GABORONE - Botswana Railways spent P150 266 to haul coaches that Mozambique bought to Plumtreee in Zimbabwe.

The coaches were hauled at the request of the Mozambican Ports and Railways Authority (CMF), revealed Minister of Transport and Communication, Mr Frank Ramsden, Monday.

Answering a question, Mr Ramsden said the authority contracted National Railways of Zimbabwe for onward haulage of the coaches from Plumtree to Mozambique.

Furthermore, he said CMF engineering team spent more than a month in Botswana to bring the coaches to a relatively safe condition to be railed to Mozambique.

He said CMF confirmed that upon arrival from Plumtree it took them more than a month for further repairs of the coaches in their workshop before they could be released to service. The coaches are being used in Mozambique.

Mr Ramsden added that the bid price CMF offered for the 38 coaches was over P12 million.

He revealed that Botswana Railways was currently going through a turnaround programme at the end of which a decision on the passenger train would be made Gaborone South MP, Mr Kagiso Molatlhegi, had asked the minister how many passenger coaches Botswana Railways sold were transported from Mahalapye to Mozambique.

He also wanted to know how much revenue was realised from the sale of the coaches.

Mr Molatlhegi also asked the minister when Botswana Railways intended to reintroduce the passenger train and whether it was true that the said coaches were repaired within two weeks upon arrival in Mozambique and were currently being used in passenger trains. BOPA  

LEA adopts new target strategy

17 March, 2011
SELEBI PHIKWE - Local Enterprise Authority (LEA) has adopted a new target sector strategy after its 2009 client portfolio indicated that 51 per cent of customers are in agriculture, nine per cent in tourism, 20 per cent in manufacturing and 20 per cent in services.

Speaking during a LEA breakfast seminar in Selebi Phikwe recently, LEA senior manager-north, Mr Anthony Mokobi said the new strategic position targets agricultural sectors because Batswana are mainly into dairy, horticulture, piggery and leather.

Mr Mokobi noted that the new strategic position will build competencies around the agricultural sub-sectors on quality and efficiency through targeted sub-sector development interventions.

He explained that LEA promotes domestic and international linkages especially between SMMEs, government, large business as well as encouraging exploitation of government and large firm procurement opportunities.

We want to promote and facilitate entrepreneurship and small, medium and micro enterprises (SMME) development through targeted interventions in pursuit of economic diversification, he said, adding that LEA intends to be the centre of excellence for entrepreneurship and sustainable SMME growth in Botswana.

He said the piggery sub-sector has grown in the past decade and shows potential for growth on the basis of market opportunities, adding that Botswana is heavily reliant on the imports of pork products.

The annual national demand for pork products was calculated to be 2 418 tons valued at P41 million mainly on pork ribs, he said.

Mr Mokobi also noted that there is annual supply of 1 758 tons valued at P11 million with a supply gap of 630 tons being experienced.

He said institutions reported 75 per cent dependency on imports.

Local demand for pork is expected to increase in the future. BOPA  

Can Ma14 stop Mapalastina?

17 March, 2011
GABORONE - Uniao Flamingo Santos hope of reclaiming the Coca Cola Cup they lifted two seasons ago will be tested when they face Township Rollers at the UB Stadium on Saturday.

Rollers had an easy walk to the quarter finals after scoring five goals against hapless Ecco City Greens in Gaborone on Tuesday night.

A brace from the silky speedy striker, Sekhana Koko, a clinical free kick from left back, Edwin Olerile, a looping header from Onalethata Tshekiso and an injury time long range effort from substitute, Mohamed Chawila were enough to send the Francistown side to the cleaners.

The visiting side scored first through a spectacular strike from lanky Zimbabwean forward, Mandlaenkosi Sibanda after a neat exchange of passes from the left. Against Santos, Mapalastina face a side they would love to hate.

Despite denying them an opportunity to pluck their livewire and undoubtedly the teams star player, Mogakolodi Tsotso Ngele in the just ended transfer window, Santos would like to redeem their pride and avenge the embarrassing 6-2 drubbing handed them by Rollers in their last league meeting.

Ma 14 will need a polished performance to be able to stop and outclass the rampant Gaborone giants who may be on the brink of reclaiming the double feat they achieved last year.

Of late, Tsotso is seemingly reliving his past performance and against Rollers he is undoubtedly relishing the opportunity to tear apart a team that he almost joined at the beginning of the season.

With the help of his elder brother and the teams skipper, Godfrey Ngele, Tsotso is capable of repeating his killer appetite and fineness in finding the tightest of angles past the mercurial Kabelo Dambe within the Rollers goal posts.

In other exciting quarter final fixtures, fireworks are expected on Friday afternoon at the New Lobatse Sport complex when Notwane come face to face with Extension Gunners.

In a cup, game history often counts for nothing and a big mistake that the visitors can make is to bask on the past glory achieved against the inaugural coke champions.

Notwane recorded back to back victories against Gunners in the premier league this season while Mapantsula will like to maintain the track record of never losing an evening encounter at the newly opened sport complex.

On Saturday, Daniel Nares new charges, BMC square off against Motlakase in a rather tricky encounter while Mochudi Centre Chiefs have a date with past coke finalists, BDF XI in Molepolole on Sunday.

BDF XI vice secretary, Oarabile Setlhare said they were going to attack Centre Chiefs with everything at their disposal saying that they already know how the team plays so they are going to employ the strategy that is going to work for them to ensure they win the game.

He also stressed that it will not be the first time they play Chiefs noting that the two met two to three times since the competition was introduced. BOPA  

Electronic faults inundate CPU

17 March, 2011
GABORONE - The majority of cases that the Consumer Protection Unit (CPU) handles are those involving faulty electronics (mainly radios and cell phones) and also vehicles, says CPU chief commercial officer.

Ms Grace Olweny said such cases are complex to deal with within the set complaint turnaround period of 30 days as they require expert involvement and more time to further investigate.

In an interview with BOPA she said investigations are difficult to conduct due to unclear areas that lead to the crux of the problem thus demanding more time for probing. To fulfill the mandate, Ms Olweny said they refer cases to other departments for testing and assessment of the products.

Ms Olweny said financial issues such as insurance and funeral policies have also become a matter of concern and that some financial entities deprive rip off the consumers of their hard earned cash.

She said approximately 75 per cent of the complaints they receive are too complex to resolve timeously.

She said the Gaborone office receives an average of 10 complaints per day while for Francistown the complaints range from 10 and 12.

To curb the problem, she said CPU is working in collaboration with some financial institutions and vehicle experts to sensitize the public on money related issues.

To satisfy both the consumer and the service provider, she said both parties are being listened to before the case is disposed off as necessary.

She advised consumers to form consumer groups to scan the market for effectiveness.

Banking adjudicator, Mr Gabriel Maotwanyane called for community outreach programmes which he described as a key element in the empowerment of the consumers. BOPA  

Hub plans to diversify economy

17 March, 2011
FRANCISTOWN - Acting Coordinator of the Innovation Hub, Dr Budzanani Tacheba says the hub is on a mission to diversify the economy by attracting foreign investors to Botswana.

Speaking at a mining sector seminar recently, Dr Tacheba said the plan is for Botswana to be an attractive location for technology driven and knowledge intensive businesses that could help the country to compete in the global market.

He said, through the hub, investors will be assisted with registration and co-location as well as being given special incentives that will include a 15 per cent tax rate, which will be assessed and approved separately by the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.

He said another special incentive, would be the labour dispensation as management, professional and technical employees of companies registered to operate in the innovative hub would be exempted from applying for work and residents permits.

Dr Tacheba said the countrys labour laws were being reviewed to make them more investor friendly.

He said the hub registered companies will access a training grant for a period of five years as startup operations are expected to employ and train local staff.BOPA  

Desist from dependency on government

17 March, 2011
RAMOTSWA - Business owners should devise some avenues that will sustain their businesses after government assistance ends.

Speaking during a meeting with the business community in Ramotswa, Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Maxwell Motowane advised entrepreneurs against dependence on the government.

Mr Motowane said government should not be seen to be running businesses, but to provide enabling environment for businesses to prosper through policies and regulations.

The assistant minister warned against tax evasion and also urged traders to pay tax for the continued provision of services to Batswana.

On other issues, Mr Motowane said his ministry is drafting guidelines that will enable informal sector like backyard businesses to compete for tenders like other enterprises.

He said it is from the cottage businesses that mega companies might be born.

The assistant minister discouraged wholesalers from a direct competition with retailers.

He pointed out that wholesalers should sell in bulk to allow retailers and general dealers to sell in singles.

Mr Motowane was responding to the complaints by the business community that wholesalers are disregarding their trading regulations and as such suffocating the retailers.

The entrepreneurs also complained about shortage of inspecting staff in the South East District Council. They also appealed for loosening of what they termed stringent regulations especially when inspecting business premises.BOPA  

Banana ba tshwanetse go lwantsha segajaja

17 March, 2011
TSABONG - Banana ba kopilwe go tsaya kgato ka segajaja sa bolwetse jwa AIDS go babalela matshelo a bone ka e le bone babusi ba lefatshe leno ka moso.

Seno se builwe ke monana, Rre Lucky Tities mo segopotsong sa letsatsi la banana kgatlhanong le mogare wa HIV se se neng se tshwaretswe kwa Tsabong ka mafelo a beke.

Rre Tities, yo gape e leng mo-na-le-bogole yo o opelang mmino wa sedumedi, o gakolotse banana gore ba tswe mo ditirong tse di fapogileng, ba tsene mekgatlho e e farologaneng gore e ba tshegetse, e ba kgontshe go tshela botshelo jo bo eletsegang e bile gape e le tsela ya go fema go amiwa ke mogare wa HIV.

A re fa banana ba lefatshe leno ba ka iteseletsa mme e le bone go beilweng bokamoso mo go bone, e tlaa re mo isagong banana ba fetoga bakopi kwa mafatsheng a sele, lefatshe la bone le nyeleditswe ke go tlhoka go tsaya kgato ga batsadi ba bone ba e leng banana gompieno.

A re puso gompieno e phutholotse letsogo, mananeo ke matsorotsoro, ka jalo banana ba eme ka dinao ba dirise mananeo ao go ikagela bokamoso jo e ka tsogang e le boswa jwa bana ba bone le go tlhabolola lefatshe la Botswana.

Rre Tities a re go lwantsha segajaja ke boikarabelo jwa mongwe le mongwe mme segolo bogolo a rotloetsa banana go fetola boitsholo gore go se nne le mogare ope wa HIV o o ka tlholang o tlhagoga.

A re ba tshwanetse go nna sekao mo setshabeng sa lefatshe leno.

E rile Kgosi David Toto wa Tsabong a bula tiro eo, a re botsadi bo na le tlhobaelo mabapi le mogare wa HIV ka gore nako le nako banana ba tsena dithuto mme boimana le mogare di golela pele, a re se se dira gore ba belaele gore banana ga ba tseye dithuto tse ka tlhoafalo.

Kgosi Toto o ne a kopa banana le batsadi go tsaya dithuto tsotlhe tse di farologaneng tsa puso ka tlhoafalo go kgontsha lefatshe leno go ngoka baeng le go lwantsha bolwetse jwa AIDS ba le seoposengwe.

E re dikgang di eme jalo, mogolwane wa mokgatlho wa banana kwa kerekeng ya Jordan kwa Tsabong, Rre Kaone Mantswe, a re banana go le gantsi ga ba sa tlhole ba bonala mo dikerekeng, ba gapilwe ke mafelo a marekisetso a bojalwa.

A re e bile ba nwa phetelela le nako e ba angwang ke mogare wa HIV ga ba na go itse.

A re mme ke bone go beilweng gore ba tsoga e le baruti mo diphuthegong ka go farologana, ba gasa lefoko la Modimo.

Rre Mantswe a re e le banana ba kereke, ba tsere tshwetso ya go gwanta mo mebileng go leka go tsosolosa Sekeresete mo bananeng ba ba itlhokomolositseng matshelo a bone, ka gongwe ba ka itharabologelwa, ba itse fa kwa dikerekeng le gone e le botshabelo jwa segajaja le go hema go nwa majalwa. BOPA  

Minister unaware of people awaiting allocation

17 March, 2011
Ministry of Lands and Housing is not aware of anybody waiting to be allocated residential plots at Kgomodiatshaba. Answering a question, Minister of Lands and Housing, Mr Nonofo Molefhi, said Artesia sub land board had never stopped allocating residential plots in Komodiatshaba. Kgatleng West MP, Mr Gilbert Mangole, had asked the minister whether it was true that the last land board allocations for tribal residential plots in Kgomodiatshaba was in 2007. If so, he wanted the minister to provide the number of people waiting to be allocated plots since 2008. He further asked the reasons advanced for freezing such allocations to deserving residents and how soon Kgomodiatshaba residents could expect resumption of plot allocations.

 

Consumers financially illiterate

17 March, 2011
GABORONE - Research has shown that most local consumers are not financially literate hence impulsive buying.

Speaking at Consumer Rights Day commemoration on Tuesday, Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Maxwell Motowane encouraged service providers to avoid taking advantage of consumers ignorance.

Mr Motowane stressed the need for understanding and agreement between consumers and service providers, adding that consumers have been made to pay alarming interests.

He said this years theme: Consumers for Fair Financial Services, calls for the sensitisation of consumers on the problems they experience in the financial markets.

The aim of the campaign is to help consumers to make informed decisions when engaging in financial transactions.

Mr Motowane said Consumers International, of which Botswana is a member, advocates for consumers to have basic knowledge and education on matters relating to their finance.

Consumer education is a basic consumer right, which can assist consumers to make informed decisions on their scarce financial resources.

In this regard, he said there should be a collective effort by all stakeholders towards educating the public and raising awareness on the subject.

Since 2007 to December 2010, 634 complaints have been registered at consumer protection unit under the finance sector.

This, he said, is not a true reflection of what is happening on the ground since many consumers do not seek help or report their complaints.

Mr Nelson Letshwene, a financial consultant, said research has shown that majority of Batswana are financially illiterate and their buying trends are controlled by impulse.

He said Batswana need to be financially sensitised at family level, adding that it took decades for financial consultants to venture into the market to educate the public.

If you do not have the seven basic skills it would be hard for one to survive, stressed Mr Letshwene.

He cited creation of value as one of the most crucial basic skills. Mr Letshwene said this is where an individual evaluates how money has been used.

Protection, which could also be termed insurance is important for consumers as they are exposed to different challenges that demand protection. BOPA  

Khumanego ya bomme ke kgwetlho

17 March, 2011
PALAPYE - Botlhoki e ntse ke kgwetlho e tona kwa kgaolong potlana ya Palapye jaaka bomme ba le bantsi go feta borre ba humanegile.

Modulasetilo wa khansele potlana ya kgaolo Rre Onneetse Ramogapi o boletse beke eno gore mo batlhoking ba ba 1507 ba ba kwadisitsweng, ba ba 1062 ke bomme fa borre ba le palo potlana.

A re se se swabisang ke gore ba ba thusiwang ka lenaneo le ga ba kgatlhegele mananeo a go ba thusa go itshetsa. Batho bano ba santse ba ikaegile thata ka mephako ya mmuso mo ba sa dumeleng go ipopa ditlhopha kgotsa ka bonosi ba inaakanya le ditiro tsa go ba nonotsha mo itsholelong, a tlhalosa.

Rre Ramogapi le gale a re khansele e tsweletse ka go rutuntsha le go batlisisa tse di tlhokwang ke batho ba, le go lwantsha kgwetlho eo.

O bile a lela ka tlhaelo ya madi a tlhokomelo ya dikhutsana le lenaneo la tlhokomelelo mo lwapeng le a reng, le ntswa le na le palo e ntsi ya dikhutsana tse di kwadisitsweng ya 2390, le direla mo tlhaelo ya madi ya boleng jo bo fetang P5 million.

Khansele potlana eo e setse e phuthile ditlhopha tse some tse di tlaa tsenang mo mananeong a go tsosolosiwa a go solofetsweng a tlaa thusa batho ba le 15.

Rre Ramogapi o boletse gore mananeo a a akaretsa madirelo a le mabedi a borotho kwa Malaka le Lecheng a a rekisetsang dikole tse dipotlana mo metseng ya bone.

O boletse gore ditiro tse di busa dipoelo tsa kgwedi tsa selekanyo se se fa gare ga P1200 le P1600, tse mo go tsone beng ba duelwang P300 mongwe le mongwe.

Fa godimo ga moo modulasetilo wa khansele potlana eo a re thuo ya dipodi kwa Mokungwane le yone e busa maduo, ka jaana mongwe wa barui o setse a rekisitse tse tlhano ka P500 nngwe le nngwe fa babangwe ba babedi ba santse ba tlaa rekisa.

Le fa go ntse jalo a re ditiro tsedingwe tse pedi ga di ise di dire dipoelo mo kgaolong eo ka di santse di le disha thata.

Tsa go loga, thuo ya dinotsi le masingwana a ka fa segotlong ga di ise di ntshe maduo a a bonalang ka di sale disha, a tlhalosa.

Rre Ramogapi o bile a re go na le thulaganyo ya go dira dinnkgwana e e fatlhogang kwa Palapye, e maloko a yone ba tlaa rutuntshiwang kwa Gabane Pottery pele ga bokhutlo ja ngwaga ono wa madi.

Fa godimo ga moo, a re go na le ditiro tse supa tse di tlaa nshediwang madi mo ngwageng o o tlang wa madi tse di akaretsang kapei ya borotho kwa Mokgware, Topisi, Matlhakola, Mogapinyana le Tamasane.

Tsedingwe di akaretsa go loga le go roka kwa Lerala le Palapye. BOPA  

Five organisations involved in Unigem venture

17 March, 2011
GABORONE - Only five public service employee organisations are involved in the Unigem (Pty) Ltd venture because government has outsourced the administration of Government Employees Motor Vehicle and Residential Property Guaranteed Advanced Scheme (GEMVAS) to the company.

Answering a question from Gaborone Central MP, Mr Dumelang Saleshando, Assistant Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Mr Charles Tibone, said in that regard, Unigem was receiving a management fee for the service.

Mr Tibone said it should be noted that government was not making a financial gain from the relationship except efficient administration of the scheme through ensuring that employees were processed timeously.

The other thing is that inspection of houses is done regularly and more importantly the company opened offices in major towns and villages to bring services nearer to civil servants with the objective to reduce the cost of travelling hundreds of kilometers to apply for a loan.

Mr Tibone also said that there was no profit sharing because the agreement between government and Unigem was limited to administration of GEMVAS. He noted that for that reason, Unigem was receiving a management fee directly from the Guarantee Loan Insurance Fund (GLIF), which provided insurance cover for employees residential and motor vehicle loans. However, Mr Tibone said he was not privy to sharing of profits by trade unions.

He said all the trade unions that approached his ministry were considered and subsequently formed a company which submitted a tender which was evaluated and accepted.

Minister Tibone said, therefore, they were not able to account for those unions who never approached the ministry as they did not know reasons why they did not do so.

He also explained that not all members of those employee organisations were eligible for GEMVAS because assessment of the organisations was not based on membership but on capability, ability and the fact that their members were citizens.

Mr Saleshando had asked the minister whether he was aware that only five public service employee organisations were involved in the UNIGEM venture that provided management and administration services for public officers vehicle and housing loans.

Mr Saleshando also wanted the minister to state the number and names of eligible employees, and if any, which were excluded from the Unigem venture but used the services of the scheme. He also wanted the minister to state the profit sharing formula on the venture.

Mr Saleshando also wanted the minister to say how and whether the exclusion of some eligible organisations from Unigem venture was justified and whether all employee organisations which were currently involved had members who used the services of the scheme. BOPA  

Insufficient dairy products affect supermarkets

17 March, 2011
MOLEPOLOLE - The recent outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease in South Africa has left many shops without dairy products leading to a loss in profits by some supermarkets.

Speaking in an interview, Choppies Superstores training manager, Ms Kaone Kebinatau, said shortage of dairy products that started on February 23 was exacerbated by the FMD outbreak and has greatly impacted on their sales.

She said due to the fact that dairy products produced locally are not enough, they import most of their dairy products in South Africa, and this has badly affected business and service to their customers.

She said they have tried talking to their suppliers but that they too import dairy products from South Africa.

Ms Kebinatau, however, explained that at the moment they are getting some milk from a dairy farm in Lobatse, adding that it was still difficult for them to maintain supply to customers as it was the only farm providing all the shops.

Mr Baboloki Motlhobogwa, a perishable controller at Shoprite Supermarket shared the same sentiments with Ms Kebinatau, saying that lack of dairy products has seriously affected their business since they are not able to produce bakery products of which milk is the major ingredient.

A small trader, Mr Mabeso Mosetlheng explained that the problem has not only affected big businesses since he uses those supermarkets as his suppliers.

I found nothing on the shelves every time I want to buy milk, and this affect me a lot as my profits have decreased because milk is bought more than other products, he said. BOPA  

Parameters determine RASA eligibility

17 March, 2011
Eligibility for Remote Area Service Allowance (RASA) is determined based on a set of parameters and score weightings that classify areas into four categories of remotest, remote, least remote and non remote. Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Mr Mokgweetsi Masisi, enumerated nine parameters namely, accessibility to roads, public transport, shops, social recreational facilities, prices, health facilities, distance from major supply centre, educational facilities and postal services. He said each parameter was rated on a scale of one to three - one being the highest and three being the lowest. The minister said the score weightings were then aggregated and areas classified as 0-10 non remote, 11-13 least remote, 14-20 remote and 21-27 remotest. He was responding to a question from Serowe North East MP, Mr Dikgakgamatso Seretse, who asked him to state the current criteria for determining eligibility of a remote area for RASA.

 

Over dependence on imports weaken food security

17 March, 2011
GABORONE - Botswanas failure to produce enough food coupled with over-dependence on food imports compromises its food security.

Speaking at National Food Technology Research Centre (NFTRC) pre-open day seminar, Dr Charity Kerapeletswe-Kruger noted that Botswanas food imports accounted to 80 per cent of agricultural imports.

She said the development of food manufacturing industry will reverse the present situation where the country import lot of manufactured and processed food products.

It was not suprising, she said, that Botswana was struggling with unemployment and poverty because where production and processing take place, jobs are created and poverty is kept at bay.

According to Dr Kerapeletswe-Kruger, NFRTC aims at minimizing Batswanas dependence on government and unlocking the potential of food processing in the country.

While grappling with poverty and unemployment, Dr Kerapeletswe-Kruger said society is also battling with nutrition related situations such as obesity, which is linked to cardio-vascular diseases, hypertension, and other non-communicable diseases.

She said NFTRC was spearheading a project on food consumption patterns of Batswana so as to provide the nation with valuable information on good diet.

Dr Kerapeletswe-Kruger explained that NFTRC functional foods programme aims at availing information on foods with health promoting attributes such as mabele with high fibre content, and veld products for their medicinal attributes.

Their main aim, she said, is to generate food technologies that enhance economic diversification, food security and support the food manufacturing sector. BOPA  

Govt spends over P5m on BIAC transformation

17 March, 2011
Government has spent over P5 million in the transformation of Botswana Institute of Administration and Commerce (BIAC). Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Mr Mokgweetsi Masisi, said the expenditure was reasonable and justified because there was need for the services and proper tendering procedures were adhered to when engaging the consultancies. Mr Masisi said 10 consultancies, in human resource and infrastructure, were carried out for the transformation of BIAC in 2007 and 2009. Of the 10 engaged, Civil Service College (CSC), Singapore got the largest share of P3.5 million. He said transformation of BIAC was modelled against CSC, adding that CSC conducted needs assessment for Botswana public service, development of transformation strategy map and capacity building for BIAC staff. Gaborone Central MP, Mr Dumelang Saleshando, had wanted to know the number of consultancies carried out for the transformation of BIAC into a public service college since 2005. Mr Saleshando also wanted the names of companies/institutions and directors involved, amount paid to each company, total expenditure in the transformation process and whether the expenditure was justified and reasonable.

 

UNIGEM bids for admin services provision

17 March, 2011
GABORONE - Unigem, which is a company formed by various trade unions, bid for the provision of management and administration services for Government Employee Motor Vehicle and Residential Property Advances Guarantee, Scheme (GEMVAS) under tender number PR3/1/1/8-5.

Assistant Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Mr Charles Tibone, revealed on Monday, saying the unions concerned were BOPEU, BTU, BOSETU, BLLAWU AND NALCGPWU.

Mr Tibone said the unions expressed interest to administer the scheme, but were asked to come up with a proposal on how they would administer it.He noted that the ministry found some merit in the proposal put forward to them as GEMVAS was for government employees who were mostly members of these unions hence the move would promote citizen empowerment by directly empowering employees.

The tender bid, according to Mr Tibone, was floated through the single outsourcing method which the Public Procurement and Asset Disposal Board approved.

He stated that the evaluation and the award of the tender were based on both the financial and technical proposals submitted by Unigem (Pty) Ltd which were compliant with the terms of the invitation to tender.

Gaborone Central MP, Mr Dumelang Saleshando, had asked the minister to state the number and names of companies which bid for GEMVAS.

Mr Saleshando also wanted the minister to state the evaluation rankings of all companies which lost the tender and whether the tender was awarded on normal grounds of financial capacity of bidders. BOPA  

Primary health services relocation priority

17 March, 2011
GABORONE Relocation of primary health care services from local to central government continues to be top priority, argued Minister of Health, Dr John Seakgosing on Tuesday.

Earlier on, in their debate on the proposed P3.6 billion health ministry budget for the next financial year which they consequently approved, MPs raised a collective concern about the relocation, arguing that the minister should revisit the transition and consider reversing the status quo. However, responding to specific issues members raised, Dr Seakgosing noted that time that was allocated for the transition was grossly underestimated.

Thus, despite challenges the health ministry continued to work to its best ability to ensure that intended goals were realised.

To date, he said, key personnel had been assigned to operationalise district health management structures while efforts to make district health management teams (DHMTs) fully operational were continuing.

From this temporary arrangement the districts have started working on the development of their district plans. These plans will serve as the basis for resource recruitment and allocation for the improvement of service delivery in the respective districts across the different levels of service delivery, he said.

MPs also alluded to overcrowding in hospitals, which the minister said could be best dealt with by utilising health infrastructure, especially clinics, more efficiently.

Dr Seakgosing noted that following the relocation of primary health care services the ministry had been engaged in relocating major outpatient services out of hospitals to address the state of affairs.

He said the initiative had produced good results in hospitals such as Palapye and Selebi-Phikwe, thus the most cost effective way of relieving congestion in hospitals.

MPs had also alluded to shortage of doctors and other health professionals in public health facilities and to that Dr Seakgosing said his ministry continued to aggressively explore ways of attracting skilled health professionals from the global market.

Furthermore, he was convinced that increasing enrolment as a result of upgrading of institutes of health sciences, the medical school as well as faculty of health sciences at the University of Botswana would go a long way in addressing the shortage.

On the issue of scarce skills allowance for the nursing cadre, the minister explained that a submission which was made to the Directorate of Public Service Management (DPSM) was consequently rejected.

As a retention strategy, he said, nurses continued to receive 30 per cent overtime allowance, adding that the ministry was currently looking forward to implementing the retention and attraction strategy once approved, to retain health professional.

On the establishment of an organ bank, the minister said such required infrastructure and skilled personnel that would not only handle donated organs, but be able to have them transplanted locally.

Such an arrangement, he said, was not yet feasible under the current state of the medical system.

Dr Seakgosing noted that they expected that development of the medical teaching system would bring the ministry closer to achieving the goal, adding, however, that the ministry continued to assist those citizens who had made private arrangements with donors on a case by case basis.

On other issues, the minister agreed that portions of Sekgoma Memorial Hospital cater for a clinic, saying the ministry had recently undertaken an exercise to assess all old facilities, Sekgoma included, for refurbishment and re-use.

Dr Seakgosing also noted shortage of midwives and said an inventory was being undertaken of all health workers to ensure equitable distribution of resources.

The minister also appreciated MPs concerns on non-availability of vital essential medicines in health facilities.

He assured members that transformation of Central Medical Stores into an efficient and effective medicines procurement and distribution entity was at an advanced stage and was convinced that in the next financial year most life saving medicines would be readily available in hospitals and clinics.

We have also strengthened our medicines supply chain management system to improve procurement planning and inventory management at health facilities and it is important to note that these initiatives are contributing positively towards ensuring regular availability of medicines in our facilities, he said. BOPA  

BMCs quota allocation system based on cattle numbers per zone

17 March, 2011
GABORONE - The quota allocation system used at the Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) in Maun is based on cattle numbers per sub-zone district, said youth, sport and culture minister, Mr Shaw Kgathi, last week.

Responding to a question from Ngami MP, Mr Taolo Habano, on behalf of agriculture minister, Mr Kgathi said the district had four sub-zones; being 2A with about 30 000; 2B with 15 000; 2C with 10 000 and 2D with 220 000.

The allocation, said Mr Kgathi, was only from zones with no active FMD outbreak. Based on the cattle numbers, he said it was agreed by the quota allocation committee which had representatives from farmers association that the sub-zones be allocated as follows; 10 per cent to 2A; five per cent to 2B; 30 per cent to C and 55 per cent to 2D.

He said a maximum of 10 cattle per producer was set and agreed. Further, Mr Kgathi said it was agreed that farmers allocated to deliver on a particular day should be from the same extension to ensure that they were better serviced by DVS extension officer as loading would be confined to the area.

Regarding loading ramps, Mr Kgathi said they were strategically constructed throughout Ngamiland during the restocking exercise in 1996. Regrettably, Mr Kgathi said some of them were dilapidated and needed repair.

We could not renovate all of them this financial year due to budgetary constraints. The renovations will continue next financial year. Where there are no other loading ramps, we currently use loading ramps located at the kgotla to load cattle to BMC, he explained.

The Maun BMC abattoir, according to the minister, drew cattle from the whole of Zone 2 only. He said the zone was further divided into four smaller zones being; 2a, 2b, 2c and 2d, with a total cattle population of approximately 365 000.

In addition, Mr Kgathi explained that transport of cattle to the Maun abattoir is arranged and paid for by the seller. Botswana Meat Commission purchases cattle at the abattoir. The associations agreed to meet with transporters and workout an acceptable mechanism for charging transport costs to farmers. BMC assisted with this process by seeking expression of interest from transporters and providing commercial prices and workings used to achieve the prices as applicable to the Lobatse and Francistown abattoirs as a guide, he added.

Mr Kgathi further noted that the Maun abattoir had capacity to slaughter up to 50 head per day until such time as the rendering plant was commissioned. He said the anticipated date for completion of the project was end of next month. Upon commissioning of the rendering plant, he said the effluent treatment system was estimated to be able to handle a daily kill of up to 150 head per day.

However, Mr Kgathi said after commencement of operations the Water Affairs Department in Maun realised difficulties in providing the abattoir with the required volumes of water for processing. Subsequently, he said, BMC applied to install a pipeline and filtration system to access water from the river.

The project has received environmental approval, and tendering was expected this month with the project expected to be able to kill at capacity when the water problems had been fully addressed, said Mr Kgathi.

Mr Habano wanted to know the current state of BMC in Maun taking into consideration the type of quota allocation system used.

He also wanted to know whether loading ramps were renovated and their distribution, disease zones where cattle could be drawn from as well as whether there were logistical problems encountered in the trucking of cattle to the BMC and transport costs. BOPA  

Drivers need eye tests every 5 years

17 March, 2011
GABORONE - Road traffic regulations require drivers to avail themselves for eye testing every five years after first issuance of their licences and thereafter even though the driving license remains in force for the lifetime of the holder.

Minister of Transport and Communications, Mr Frank Ramsden revealed this when answering a question from Kweneng East MP, Maj. Gen. Moeng Pheto.

The MP had asked the minister whether he had considered the renewal of driving licences to be effected after 10 years as was the case with the passport and national identity card.

Maj. Gen. Pheto also sought to know if the minster was aware that in most cases, materials for printing drivers license cards were not available.

Minister Ramsden highlighted that the Road Traffic Act was undergoing comprehensive review and some of the concerns raised would be addressed in the review.

The proposed amendments, he said, would be brought to Parliament for consideration.

On the question of unavailability of material for printing licence cards, he explained that the Department of Road Transport and Safety was making arrangements with some companies to enter into service level agreements for the supply of the required material quantities.

Minister Ramsden highlighted that material used for printing driving licences could not be purchased in bulk as they required a controlled environment to preserve the quality of the licence. BOPA  

MYAA raises HIV/AIDS awareness

17 March, 2011
LOBATSE - The Month of Youth Against AIDS (MYAA) is held with the intention to raise HIV/AIDS awareness levels.

The minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology, Mr Johnnie Swartz said this during MYAA launch in Lobatse recently.

He said MYAA campaigns were launched in 1997 and have been commemorated every year under different themes.

He said MYYA evolved into more intense advocacy campaigns with the assistance of the African Youth Alliance, Policy and Advocacy, Coordination and Dissemination Components which called young people into committing to zero transmission lifestyles.

The campaign, he said, was also geared towards encouraging young people to live by example and to take personal responsibility fuelled by behaviour change efforts in the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Mr Swartz noted that personal responsibility meant providing leadership, testing for HIV/AIDS, taking the lead in accessing services and being accountable for self and society.

These campaigns, together with the national efforts towards community mobilisation, have raised awareness for the envisioned changes in the policy, legal and general implementation environment for youth HIV/AIDS programmes, he said.

He emphasised the importance of MYAA, saying the 2008 Botswana AIDS Impact Survey (BAIS) III has shown a decline of HIV prevalence and incidence among the youth especially those between 15 and 19 years of age.

However, he explained that the national prevalence rate increased from 17.1 to 17.6 per cent, adding that there was still need for a comprehensive effort for people to reach zero infection.

The minister said this years theme: My Youth, My Health, and My Responsibility was aimed at motivating young people to take action and lead in the fight against the AIDS pandemic.

Therefore, it calls upon young people of this nation to participate and make commitment into the national response, he said.

He lamented that even though the awareness about HIV/AIDS was high, the behavioural change lagged behind due to disparities that still exist between rural and urban areas. BOPA  

Thabiso makes a mark in fabric painting

17 March, 2011
GABORONE - Government initiative to support and empower providers of visual arts has seen a meteoric rise in the demand for artistic pieces.

Drawings and paintings make a great dcor in the house.

Batswana will now be introduced to fabric painting to add to the already popular drawings and paintings.

With the skillful and creative bone of Thabiso Tsholofelo, the local art market is sure to reach greater heights.

Thabiso cut her teeth in his rare fabric printing seven years back along with his late brother, Mogomotsi. His art is 100 per cent hand woven and printed and he uses ethnic colours made up of yellow, browns and greens to complete his impression of aesthetic art.

According to Thabiso, fabric printing is a unique indigenous form of art which most people are not aware of and some reckon it is a difficult type of craft to fancy. But to him it is as easy as ABC.

The 27-year-old South African born artist learnt the trade while visiting Zimbabwe.

He got intrigued at a first go and had to pay particular attention with a promise to work it out upon his return home and once he applied his energy and time things worked themselves out.

This self taught lanky artist whose home village is Nkange is now an established craft man and is also a member of the Thapong Visual Arts Centre.

His products do count as interior decors ranging from cushions, plate mats, wall dcor hangs, table cloths and curtains and he has also added to his impressive range an array of handbags, conference bags, aprons, skirts as well as African shirts, especially tailored towards men.

Apart from fabrics, he also specializes in metal sculptures. Some of his outstanding metal work includes animated braai stands. The idea of the animated braai stands, Thabiso noted came about after he realized that his work somehow sidelines male interest and after a careful thought of how he could further enrich the market to accommodate them, the idea of braai stands surfaced but the challenge was how to ensure they are appealing to the customers.

That was when the idea of animals came to mind.

He thought of men traversing the wild and having a good time and then decided to bring game closer to their hearts hence the development of the animated braai stand! Imagine woerwors and steak kebabs grilling from giraffe meat or whatever is so desired; most men will find the braai cool and it is also a bonus as one would have acquired a picnic braai stand which is also a magnificent piece of art work.

He has come a long way for someone who only experimented with wired cars at home.

He was never an A student but only focused on his most rudimentary art work.

He only managed to pass the subject when he was introduced to it at Nanogang and Gaborone secondary schools but that was just to equip him with the scholarly techniques of art as already he could hold a pen and brush.

The love for his work comes from an adventurous inspiration. As a Mokolodi resident, he often climbs the hills and watches the landscape from above the surface of the earth.

His prints of the wild depict his past time as an adventurous person.

He looks upon the artists of the likes of Mothusi Tau whom he says his work has had great influence on his own type of work.

His work has helped me improve a great deal on my work especially on colour combinations, noted Thabiso adding that Mothusis colours are bright and that after closely observing his work he started using bright colours as well and this has since worked to his advantage.

However, Thabiso noted that he learns from other local artists work and that he hopes artists could work together while informed by a single vision of promoting and preserving Botswana culture through art and come to sell Botswana culture to the outside world through the forum of art.

Like any career, art also has its shortfalls especially in a country like Botswana where artists are still struggling to make ends meet.

For Thabiso, one major problem that is holding him back is lack of technology.

The constraints of not being able to access the Internet cost me as most of my clients communicate with me by way of mails and at times I dont get a chance to access mail and I miss out in as far as orders are concerned and also miss out on major opportunities coming my way, stated Thabiso.

Besides the technology setback, he also faces transport challenges and access to materials. Although he buys his material locally, he is often handicapped by lack of transport and of ready cash.

However, amidst all the challenges he strives to be on top of the situation. In 2009 he had an exhibition at Thapong centre and Botswana Tourism Organisation afforded him a chance to showcase his work in Ghanzi where he was able to network and sell his products. BOPA  

De Graaff calls for disease strategies

17 March, 2011
MOLEPOLOLE -There is need for the development of disease control and prevention strategies that are technically feasible, economically sustainable, socially acceptable and politically supported.

Officially opening the international workshop on Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) in Mokolodi Monday, Minister of Agriculture, Mr Christian De Graaff appreciated that countries have necessitated an international strategy to progressively deal with FMD control.

Mr De Graaff said the main strategies to counter perspectives that render FMD unimportant or impossible to deal with are to recognise that FMD viruses differ from region to region, resulting with pools of related viruses.

Antigenic variants emerge and spread within these pools and a regional approach of control measures including vaccination must address specifications of FMD virus in each pool.

Another approach, he said, would be the progressive control approach where the synergies of Food Agricultural Organisation and World Organisation for Animal diseases (OIE) were exploited and their strengths combined since the latters code only recognises FMD free and infected areas.

Progressive control on the other hand recognises that differences in risk of infection occur between and within infected countries, and that countries are at different stages in managing the risk of infection from continuous circulation of FMD virus to sporadic outbreaks that are imported.

He said meetings have already been held in various regions of the world to raise awareness and stimulate interest so as to roll out the progressive control strategy globally.

This meeting, whose objective is to provide support to the SADC region through the joint FAO/OIE mechanisms for the global progressive control of FMD, is therefore a welcome initiative to Botswana and indeed the region as it will complement existing regional and national efforts in the management of FMD, he said.

Mr De Graaff also said SADC and other continental networks of experts on epidemiology and laboratories will have to play essential roles in supporting implementation of the FMD progressive control pathway concept.

He added that the Botswana Vaccine Institute (BVI)s newly completed FMD facilities is a progressive development for providing ample capacity for the support of the diseases progressive control pathway through increased vaccine production capacity, production of purified vaccines and provision of antigen banks for emergency use in case of outbreak. BOPA  

Bogole gase go tlhoka bokgoni

17 March, 2011
SELEBI PHIKWE - Molomaganyi wa tsa ba-na-le-bogole, Rre Thomas Motingwa a re go tsholwa o na le bogole ga go ree gore motho o ka se itirele sepe.

O buile jalo kwa moletlong wa dialogane tsa ba-na-le-bogole kwa Anne Adams Park kwa Selebi Phikwe bosheng.

Rre Motingwa o tlhalositse fa lefatshe la Botswana le gatetse pele le leka ka bojotlhe go nna tshaba e e rutegileng e bile e na le kitso.

A re se se supa toro, ntswa ba-na-le-bogole ba setse kwa morago, bogolong jang ba batlhoka pono le kutlo gore ba e tlhaloganye jaaka go bua ka matsogo.

O ne tlhalosa fa dipalo tsa bana le bogole di tshwara 39 000 e le ba ba gateletsweng ke lehuma mme o ne a rotloetsa setshaba go tshwaragana le puso le ba ba ikemetseng gore ka 2016 go bo go nyeleditswe lehuma.

O ne a leboga ba Lion Club go bo ba gatetse pele jaaka ba setse ba supile ka go keteka moletlo wa dialogane tse di ithutileng tiro ya diatla jaaka go roka kwa sekoleng sa Re-Ka-Kgona, ka jalo ba gatetse pele.

O boletse fa keletso e le gore bana le bogole ba nonotshiwe ka thuto ka ke yone e kgonang go tlodisa motho melatswana.

A re se e leng toro ya lefatshe leno ke gore ba-na-le-bogole ba tswe kwa mahure, gape a leboga dialogane gore ga se ba le bantsi ba ba kgonneng go goroga fa ba leng teng.

Rre Motingwa a re a ba-na-le-bogole ba nonotshiwe gape ba rotloediwe gore thuto ya bone e se ka ya felela fa, mme ba ya go kopana le dikgwetlho jaaka gore bangwe ga ba seka ba ba amogela mme bone ba dirise thuto e ba e filweng go tswelela le botshelo.

Ntlha e nngwe a re tautona o bone go le botlhokwa gore go nne le ofisi ya bana le bogole jaaka puso e supa kgatelo pele mo go bone kwa Selebi Phikwe.

A re jaaka go na le dikole kwa Selebi Phikwe, ba khansele ba ba ema nokeng ka go ba neela dithendara tsa gore ba roke paka ya dikole, dikhiba tsa manyalo, dioborolo go tswelela ba ntse ba dira ditogamaano gore ba kgone go itshetsa.

Rre Motingwa a re lenaneo la go nyeletsa lehuma kwa ofising ya ga tautona ke nngwe ya ditsela tsa go ba ema nokeng ka ditsela di tshwana le go totloetsa go lema merogo mo malwapeng.

A re dikgwetlho tse ba tlaa kopanang le tsone di seka tsa ba kgoba marapo, ba nne ba tswelele le se ba se ithutileng go ya pele.

Modulasetilo wa mokgatlho wa Lions Club, Rre Anil Patel, o ne a tlhalosa ka fa ba agileng sekole sa tiro ya diatla a re se simologile ka ngwaga wa 1989.

A re bana bao ba tsewa ka base go ba isa kwa sekoleng nako le nako.

Ntlha e nngwe a re jaaka go na le dialogane tsa ba-na-le-bogole, ba na le nako e ba ba etelang kwa malwapeng go bona gore a ba tsweletse le se ba se ithutetseng e le sa tiro ya diatla. BOPA  

NWDC progresses well in service centres establishment

17 March, 2011
GABORONE - The North West District Council has made some tangible progress with respect to the establishment of service centres, Sehithwa being one of them.

Assistant Minister of Local Government, Ms Botlogile Tshireletso, revealed this answering a question from Ngami MP, Mr Taolo Habano who wanted an update on progress made so far on the proposed establishment of a service centre in Sehithwa.

The MP also wanted to know future plans to facilitate the establishment of a fully fledged sub-district for Ngami.

Ms Tshireletso explained that the district had identified key functions that were to be decentralised to service centres, being water and waste water, revenue collection, licencing and bye-law enforcement.

She revealed that consultations had been done with stakeholders.

Currently, said Ms Tshireletso, only social and community development and waste collection services were available at the service centre.

The assistant minister added that human resource for other services had been identified but due to shortage of both residential and office accommodation, they had not yet been deployed.

However, she said the district council was still negotiating with other local institutions and the private housing market for office and residential accommodation.

Regarding the establishment of a fully fledged sub-district for Ngami, she noted that Ngami East (Sehithwa) was one of the 19 approved sub-districts that were to be established during NDP 10 and beyond.

It is difficult, she said, given the current economic outlook, to indicate with any degree of certainty as to when the Ngami East sub-district would be fully established.

Subject to resource availability, Minister Tshireletso explained that her ministry would continue to prioritise establishment of new sub-districts throughout NDP 10 plan period and beyond. BOPA  

Ipelegeng budget P330m

17 March, 2011
GABORONE - The Ipelegeng budget for 2011/12 is P330 million, Assistant Minister of Local Government, Mr Kentse Rammidi, revealed on Monday.

Mr Rammidi said districts, sub districts or constituencies were allocated P263 million for the maintenance of public facilities and implementation of purely labour intensive public works programme.

Answering a question, he said from the overall budget, the Botswana Police Service was allocated over P50 million for the crime prevention initiative while the trade and industry ministry got P17 million for special support to the textile and clothing sector.

He said to derive the formula used, the pre-determined planned monthly employment target was calculated as a proportion of the total population as per the 2001 Population and Housing Census.

The minister said the proportion was further subjected to constituency populations to derive constituency allocations, adding that each constituency must have a monthly employment target of not less than 600 people.

Mr Rammidi stated that other factors such as development status, availability of employment/economic opportunities target were also considered when deriving the formula. Furthermore, a deliberate decision was taken to slightly increase allocations for the remote districts in order to create more employment opportunities for the disadvantaged districts.

Boteti North MP, Mr Slumber Tsogwane, had asked the minister to update Parliament on the processes of distribution of the Ipelegeng fund stating the amount budgeted for the 2011/12 financial year; the amount budgeted for district, sub-districts or constituencies.

He further wanted to know the formula used to distribute the fund and whether the formula used achieved equitable distribution of the fund. BOPA  

Legislators debate health ministry budget

17 March, 2011
GABORONE MPs have expressed concern about the relocation of primary health care services from local to central government.

Ngwaketse West MP, Mr Mephato Reatile argued that the relocation had only exacerbated shortage of medicine in his constituency. Mr Reatile regretted that people travelled to Gaborone for essential services and medicine hence the relocation was unnecessary.

Moshupa MP, Mr Mokgweetsi Masisi lamented that funds health minister requested for the next financial were insufficient.

However, Mr Masisi, also presidential affairs and public administration minister, regretted that the health minister did not give an update on the promised hospital in his constituency.

He was also concerned about health professionals unbecoming conduct, saying they were selective when serving patients.

He also decried the lack of a nurse at Mogonye clinic and congestion at Manyana and Mmaseetsele clinics. Contrary to other MPs who expressed concern over relocation of primary health care services, Mr Masisi hailed such as a welcome development.

Mr Dikgakgamatso Seretse, Serowe North East MP, also shared Mr Masisi appreciation of the relocation of primary health care services from local to central government Mr Seretse, however, decried shortage of medicine in clinics and hospitals.

Nkange MP, Mr Edwin Batshu, reiterated that funds the health minister requested were inadequate.

He also, like other MPs, lamented shortage of nurses in his area and unbecoming conduct of health professionals, arguing that they needed to be taught public relations.

Boteti North MP, Mr Slumber Tsogwane, argued that testing for illnesses remained a challenge to most Batswana especially the elderly.

He also said efforts to take services to people especially in ungazetted areas were a challenge because the areas were inaccessible during the rainy season. Mr Tsogwane was concerned that there were no maternity services at Boteti clinic as well as complained about the nagging water shortage in his area.

Kgatleng West MP, Mr Isaac Mabiletsa called for the relocation of Deborah Retief Memorial Hospital and was concerned about the P280 000 subventions allocated to Botswana Family Welfare Association every financial year for capacity building.

He said the fund must be reviewed and increased.

On safe male circumcision, Mr Mabiletsa said it was going at a snail pace, thus targeted numbers of circumcising 500 000 male in a year would not be realised given the current state of affairs.

For Chobe MP, Mr Gibson Nshimwe, the minister must tour the constituency to appreciate problems in clinics and hospitals in the Chobe area.

He also suggested that old staff houses for nurses next to Kasane hospital should be refurbished because their maintenance cost government huge sums of money.

Mr Pono Moatlhodi, Tonota South MP, also invited the health minister to his constituency, arguing that clinics and hospital in the area were in shambles.

He was also concerned about non-existence of mobile stops and auxiliary staff and also shortage of doctors, nurses and pharmacists in health facilities.

Molepolole MP, Mr Daniel Kwelagobe, implored the minister to consider reverting primary health care services to the local government.

Mahalapye East MP, Ms Botlogile Tshireletso, suggested that the old Mahalapye Primary Hospital be transformed into a health centre to ease congestion at the new hospital. She also called for mobile clinics to assist in dispensation of ARVs.

Palapye MP, Mr Moiseraele Goya, also expressed concern about shortage of medicine in health facilities as well as staff. He also appealed to the minister to connect telephone lines in health facilities.

Mr Odirile Motlhale, South East South MP, was concerned about congestion at Bamalete Lutheran hospital.

He also said relocation of primary health care services to central government was well-intentioned but implored the minister to investigate problems bedeviling the transformation which left health facilities in the country in dire straits.

Serowe North West MP, Mr Tshekedi Khama, said governments intentions to build hospitals were noble and a necessity.

However, Mr Khama noted the need to assess efficiency and performance of consultants engaged in projects. For instance, he said one hospital had its air conditioning system failing and it took about two months to repair. He added that the system served the entire hospital including the theatre, thus surgeries were not performed at the time.

If we cannot give Batswana the services they need from the beginning we will never be able to catch up with the correct services that they are expecting after the product has been launched, he said.

The MP was also convinced that even with the health ministry facing some difficulties some of them inherited, it was incumbent upon members to ascertain that right people were employed to do the job.

We should not be employing on sentimental grounds and assume that at the end of the day we have employed when we have not delivered the services, he argued.

Gaborone Central MP, Mr Dumelang Saleshando, said construction of a clinic at Maruapula ward in his constituency needed to be expedited as it had been in the pipeline for too long.

Mr Saleshando was also concerned about increasing reports of men taking some drugs to enhance sexual performance.

He argued that there was no problem in using such but emphasised public education for people to know consequences of overdose.

He noted that in most countries the drugs were not easily accessible over the counter hence the need for some form of a regulatory instrument.

If we dont address this problem we are going to lose many literate people. And it is skilled people who are resorting to these drugs and we are losing lives unnecessarily and I hope the ministry will do something about it, he said. BOPA  

Uncertainty surrounds Botswana Africa championships hosting

17 March, 2011
JWANENG - It is still uncertain if Botswana will host the Africa Junior Championships slated for May.

Local Organising Committee (LOC) chairperson, Solly Reikeletseng said although they have made headway in other logistics they are still waiting for the government to sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA).

Reikeletseng said sponsors and CAA can only commit themselves if the protocol has been signed.

He said currently CAA cannot release their supporting funds as they expect the government to show commitment first.

The chairperson said although some sponsors have interest in the competition they seem reluctant to help until the MoU is in place.

He said the response has been overwhelming as so far 40 countries have shown interests and said they are going for a CAA meeting in Cape Town on Friday where they expect more countries to commit themselves.

Reikeletseng said they are still hopeful that the government will do its part to enable them to host.

He said they are also hoping that the national stadium would be available at the time to enable them utilise it as it will be costly for them to use the Lobatse stadium.

Botswana National Olympics Committee (BNOC) CEO, Tuelo Serufho said failure to host will not only be an embarrassment but might impact negatively on the country in future bids.

He said for a country to bid the organisers look at its profile and said such record does not help as they will be no assurance of hosting.

The CEO said as the BNOCs strategy is to host meetings, conferences and major events in future and said they are yet to engage the government on that.

Serufho said there are a lot of benefits derived from hosting such as capacity building as the international federations develop local officials in preparation for the competition.

He said the skills acquired in managing the competitions can also be transferred to other areas.

The official said that Botswana as a country can sell itself through such competitions.

BAA president, Moses Bantsi said they communicated to the Botswana National Sports Council about hosting and they were given a letter affirming the governments support.

Then Botswana won the bid held in Berlin in 2009 against countries such as Egypt, Algeria who were interested, based on the capability. BOPA  

Mentors to engage stakeholders in talent search

17 March, 2011
JWANENG - The No. 1 ladies Opera member charged with identifying local talent for a choir that will perform during the Commonwealth Games says they are yet to engage the education ministry and the department of arts and culture.

Gape Motswaledi said this in an interview.

Motswaledi and Sedibeng choir leader, Andy Batshogile recently returned from Glasgow where they met with fellow mentors to work out the production modalities.

He said they have realised that to implement this project efficiently, they need the input of the Ministry of Education and Skills Development and the department of arts and cultures commitment as the project entails the students.

He said they are presently working on the report and budget template required to execute the project and said they have realised that there are some challenges including financial implications.

Motswaledi said initially they thought that each participating country has to produce two singers but said that has changed and they are looking at a large pool of between 13 and 20 singers.

He said although other countries have outreach programmes in place, this is not the case locally as music is still new in the school syllabus and is not even a fully fledged subject.

The mentor said they will be relying on both the private and the public schools for talent identification and said they are going to need resources for the composer and childrens upkeep as their intention is to access talent across the country.

Motswaledi said although the British Council has offered to cushion them, they are opting for the countrys commitment as a first resort adding that if the local stakeholders decline they will have to communicate with the hosts to that effect.

The Scottish Opera tasked participating countries at the 2014 Games with collaboration and constituting a choral music choir to perform during the games.

The Scottish Opera has partnered with The No 1 ladies Opera in this vein.

Cape Town Opera, Opera Australia and the Tehelka Canadian Calgary Opera will also be part of the music spectacle.

The other objective is the dissemination of best practice in the field of arts and education using music, drama, dance and visual arts as tools in the schools of the partner countries. BOPA  

No plans to construct centre

17 March, 2011
GABORONE - The Ministry of Agriculture has no plans to construct an agricultural service centre in Kanye as the four service centres in the Southern District are sufficient to cater for the district, including farmers who reside in Kanye.

Agriculture minister, Mr Christian De Graaff said it was important to note that the service centres should be as close to the arable fields as it was practically feasible to maximise their efficiency.

Answering a question, Mr De Graaff said his ministry had established 15 services centres throughout the country based on rainfed agricultures potential.

He revealed that the Southern District has three service centres located at Jwaneng, Mmathethe and Moshupa.

Mr De Graaff added that the Southern District had another service centre for assisting large scale commercial farmers located in Good Hope.

He noted that Kanye has, therefore, not been excluded as Kanye South MP, Mr Abram Kesupile, suggested.

Mr Kesupile had asked the minister to state the criteria used to exclude Kanye from hosting a Service Centre and when he would review the criteria so that Kanye could be used as a service centre. BOPA  

Male runners out of cross country spectacle

17 March, 2011
JWANENG -The senior mens shoddy performance at the recent first Africa Cross Country Competition held in Cape Town has cost them dearly as they have been ruled out of the squad that will represent the country at the coming World Cross Country competition.

A quartet made up of a senior woman, two junior females and a male will depart this week to represent the country at the world spectacle penciled for Spain on Sunday.

South African based Onneile Dintwe will represent the senior women while Kefilwe Galeitsiwe and Tawanda Thamani will compete in the junior women category.

The only male runner in the squad Maitiso Selebi will compete in the junior male category.

Dintwe qualified after finishing in position 10 in the continental meet. The youthful Galeitsiwe did exceptionally well by finishing seventh in the junior category while Thamani finished in 17th place.

Maitiso finished in position 28 but with a good time of 26:58.

In an interview, Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) spokesperson, Glody Dube said that the four runners selection was based on performance.

He said none of the senior male runners ran a convincing time to be roped into the team.

Dube said they had hoped for the local lads to perform well at the Cape Town meet to be able to qualify for the world champs.

He said despite the blow they were impressed by the junior runnerss performance and said they are certain that they will continue to shine during the Africa Junior Championships slated for Botswana in May. BOPA  

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