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BOPA News on 13 February 2012

No land audit in Botswana

13 February, 2012
GABORONE - There has never been any land audit in Botswana.

As such there are no specific amounts of land categories.

Minister of Lands and Housing, Mr Lebonaamang Mokalake told Parliament that his ministry was currently undertaking a project on the improvement of Land Administration Procedures, Capacity and Systems (LAPCAS).

He said one of the components of the project would enable the ministry to know who owns what, where and for what.

Mr Mokalake said when the programme is fully implemented, he would be able to know the amount of land available as well as its use by different entities.

The minister said he was aware that land for agriculture use had been diminishing across the country including Boteti.

Mr Mokalake said with the increase in population and competing demands for land, there would never be a time when land is enough for any particular use.

It should be noted that while there is shortage of land for agriculture and other uses, that which has been allocated is in many instances not being used effectively, the minister told the house.

Minister Mokalake was responding to a question asked by MP for Boteti North, Mr Slumber Tsogwane, who had asked him to tell the house when the last land audit was done in the Boteti Sub-district.

He had also asked the minister to disclose the findings of the audit, stating the amount of land available for allocation of boreholes, arable agriculture and state owned, as well as whether in his view, the people of Boteti have enough land for agricultural purposes. BOPA  

BRU prepares for AGM

13 February, 2012
GABORONE - The Botswana Rugby Union (BRU) is preparing for its annual general meeting to be held in Gaborone on February 25.

In an interview, BRU president, Bob Lekan said nominations for candidates for the unions executive positions have not yet been finalised.

We have just sent packs to our affiliates so they can nominate their preferred candidates for such positions. The deadline for submission is Friday, and we will only have names of candidates for various positions on Saturday, Lekan explained.

On whether he will be available for re-election, Lekan said it will depend on whether the affiliates would have nominated him for re-election in their submissions.

Nonetheless, he is willing to lead the union for another two years if his name would appear on the nomination list.

A new name will also be nominated for the position of treasurer following the resignation of Major Motshegetsi Bontseng.

Lekan said Bontseng informed them that he will be going for further studies hence his resignation as he would not be able to handle both school and union matters at the same time.

He informed us that he might even go abroad, so we also found it reasonable that he should hand in his resignation, he said.

So far, he said there is no one acting on the position owing to the impending meeting and elections.

Appointing an acting treasurer is a hectic exercise as we will need to do the handing over and change signatures at the bank, so we did not find it worthwhile to go through all that when our AGM is just around the corner. We will just have to wait and elect a new treasurer, Lekan said. BOPA  

Tonota FC,Orapa FC in one-all draw

13 February, 2012
FRANCISTOWN - Tonota F.C. squandered the opportunity to collect maximum points when they were held to a one all draw by Orapa F.C. in an entertaining First Division North encounter at Rutwang Junior Secondary School ground in Tonota on Saturday.

The Tonota team was different from the one that competed in the first round as it paraded six new players who were recruited from the constituency tournament during the just ended transfer window.

In the first half, the Orapa based club dominated the proceedings and dictated the rhythm and pace of the game through influential captain, Kgakgamatso Pharo.

This saw them winning most of the aerial duels against the young Tonota lads.

It was not surprising when Pharo scored the opener with 15 minutes into the first half.

However, the goal awakened the hosts as Kabelo Lesolame upped his game and terrorised the visitors defence and was rewarded with a well taken goal towards the dying minutes of the first half.

The two teams were tied at one all when they went for recess and it was to be until the end of the game.

Tonota F.Cs. 20-year-old goalkeeper, Thabo Rale was outstanding between the posts thwarting the visitors strikers numerous chances.

However, the result was not good preparation for Tonota F.Cs. away game against No Mathata in Selibe Phikwe next week.

In a post match interview, Tonota F.C. coach, Sunduza Rantshothe noted that the game was even though they controlled possession when they played low balls.

He explained that the game was characterised by both good and bad decisions amongst his players.

I instructed them to slow the game because Orapa players were comfortable with the fast paced game, he said.

Overall, he thought his new players acquitted themselves well though their lack of awareness during decisive moments let them down. For his part, the visitors coach, Kingsley Makgolela noted that a one all draw was a fair result considering that their host enjoyed home ground advantage.

He highlighted that if his strikers had not been goal shy, they could have bagged maximum points.

I made a few changes during the game but this didnt work according to plan as we had new players who are still adapting to our system, he asserted. BOPA  

Shortage of teachers hits Kgalagadi South

13 February, 2012
TSABONG - A month since schools reopened, some schools in Kgalagadi South are without sufficient teachers.

One such school is Khawa Primary School where standards three, four and seven classes are without class teachers.

Standard seven class is taught by the school head while standards three and four classes remain idle, with a deputy school head post vacant.

Incidentally, Khawa Primary School was among the bottom three in the Primary School Leaving Examination results.

The other school that has experienced the blow is Bokspits Primary School, which is operating with five teachers, including the school head and the deputy.

The school has a shortage of three teachers as the head is not supposed to teach.

Junior secondary schools in the region have also not been spared the scourge.

Reached for comment, the chief education officer for Kgalagadi region, Miss Khumoyame Mosetlha said delays in hiring teachers houses was caused by the transition that is ongoing at the ministry.

Miss Mosetlha said recruitment and posting of teachers had always been done at the headquarters, but has since been handed over to the regions, adding that they have completed recruitment and they will be posting teachers very soon.

She said the process will take some time as they have not yet informed the recruited teachers, but said they are working tirelessly to remedy the situation. BOPA  

Two thirds of parastatals have CSR policies

13 February, 2012
GABORONE - There are currently six parastatal organisations under the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

These are Botswana Bureau of Standards (BOBS), Botswana Export Development and Investment Authority (BEDIA), which is currently being merged with the International Financial Service Centre (IFSC), the Citizen Entrepreneural Development Agency (CEDA), the Competition Authority (CA) as well as the Local Enterprise Authority (LEA).

The Assistant Minister of Trade and Industry, Mr Vincent Seretse told Parliament that four out of these namely BEDIA, LEA, CEDA and IFSC had Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) policies while BOBS and CA were currently developing theirs.

He said although BOBS was still working on its CSR policy, they were already involved in charity events, hence the aggregate donations made available over the last two financial years by the five parastatals CA excluded, was over P2 581 969.

He said the donations benefited educational institutions, non-governmental organisations, religious and charitable organisations, community as well as charity fundraising activities of other institutions.

Mr Seretse was responding to a question from the MP for Shoshong, Mr Dikgang Makgalemele, who had asked him whether parastatal bodies under his ministry had CSR policies, and if not, whether they intended having them.

Mr Makgalemele also wanted the assistant minister to state the amount donated for CSR during the last two financial years and the sectors which benefited. BOPA  

Baikuedi ba isa kgang kwa pele

13 February, 2012
MAHALAPYE - Batho ba le batlhano ba ba neng ba welwa ke kgetsi mo tshekong e mo go yone ba neng ba re bogosi jwa Mhalapitsa ke jwa bone ba isitse boikuelo kwa kgotleng ya ga Mmangwato kwa Serowe.

Bangongoregi e bong Borre Michael Belebese, Tuelo Matsowa, Sebopelo Moseki, Osupile Tshwanang le Eric Legwatagwata ba tsaya kgato e morago ga gore kgosi Raditanka Ntebele wa Palapye a tsholole boikuelo jwa bone jwa gore bogosi jwa Mhalapitsa ke jwa bone ka jaana rraabomogolo e bong Motsatsi o kile a tshwarelela bogosi jwa motse oo, morago ga loso lwa ga Kgosi Sekoloto.

Mo katlholong ya gagwe, Kgosi Ntebele o tlhalositse fa bosupi jo bo beilweng lekgotla pele bo supa fa bogosi jwa Mhalapitsa e le jwa ga Rre Bompoetse Gotshwanetse ka e le ene ngwana wa lelapa la batho ba ntlha go rongwa ke magosi a ga Mmangwato go etelela morafe wa Mhalapitsa bogologolo.

Kgosi Ntebele a re le fa Rre Motsatsi yo e leng rraagwemogolo bangongoregi ba batlhano bao a kile a nna mo setilong sa bogosi morago ga loso lwa ga kgosi Sekoloto, seo ga se ree gore e ne e le kgosi e e tlhomamisitsweng ka fa mokgweng.

Fa dikgang di eme jalo, mothusa kgosi ya Ramokgonami, Rre Moeng Tlhabologang o bolela fa ba santse ba retelelwa ke go kaba phatlha e e neng ya bulega fa kgosi Tiro Sebusang a ne a tlogela tiro ka bogodi ka 2004.

Kgosi Tlhabologang o boleletse BOPA gore e re ntswa e le dikgosi le dikgosana tsa Ramokgonami ba ne ba dumalana ka leina la ga Rre Gaobuswe Sefhako, yo e leng mongwe wa bana ba lelwapa la bogosi, sebe sa phiri ke gore o ne a ferekanela tiro eo kwa morago mo go neng ga dira gore morafe o tsose modumo ka a ne a eleditse gore tiro ya bogosi e tsewe ke monnawe yo go lebegang morafe o se na kgatlhego mo go ene.

A re dikgosi le dikgosana tsa Ramokgonami di ne tsa dumalana gore Rre Sefhako e nne kgosana a sena go tlhophiwa ke batho ba fera bobedi fa Rre Koontse Terone a ne a tlhophilwe ke ba le barataro.

Kgosi Tlhabologang a re ka morafe o sa dumelane, ba isitse kgang eo kwa go ba bogosi kwa Mahalapye. BOPA  

Residents complain about water, electricity

13 February, 2012
MASUNGA - Some North East District residents have expressed concerns about the services provided by Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) and Botswana Power Corporation (BPC).

In a kgotla meeting that the Minister of Minerals, Energy and Water Resources, Mr Ponatshego Kedikilwe addressed in Villages of Zwenshambe, Moroka and Senyawe recently, the villagers complained that the services of both corporations were not up to standard.

Councillor William Tatose of Senyawe complained of lack of communication between the corporations and the communities.

He said WUC never notified them when there is going to be water shortages, adding that sometimes the villagers stay for up to four days without water.

Cllr Tatose also complained that water bills were too high, adding that they believe the reading of meters was inaccurate and that leaking meters were not attended to on time.

The Village Development Committee chairperson of Jackalas No1, Mr Jackson Mdluli said the water mostly appears brownish.

About BPC, as the community felt that they should be informed about the exact time of electricity interruptions to safe guard their appliances.

In his welcome remarks, Zwenshambe chief, Kgosi Moses Mabutho lamented the cost of electricity connection.

Mr Mabutho said since the national standard cost had been introduced, not a single person in the village had received a quotation amounting to P5 000, but instead, people were given quotations ranging from P129 000 to P500 000 for homestead electricity connections.

He said most people could not afford the high connection charges and called upon the minister to look into the issue, saying that the villagers wanted to take advantage of the national standard cost.

Ms Babati Elias of Kgari decried failure to attend applications for connections, adding that there was electricity in one part of the village whereas the other part remained dark. The residents also complained of constant lack of network that enables them to buy electricity units. Mr Edward Seatla of Moroka complained buying electricity sometimes becomes a challenge as some tokens are not recognised by some selling outlets.

In response, Mr Kedikilwe said his ministrys mandate was to make sure that homesteads are connected with electricity, saying that in villages where there is electricity, BPC makes sure that all who have applied are assisted accordingly.

The Director of WUC, Mr Godfrey Modanga said they have since changed the management of WUC in the North East, adding that he believes all things would fall into place.

Mr Modanga introduced the new general manager, together with the new commercial officer and requested them to look into every issue.

He said water discoloration was caused by iron and harmless to the people.

He however assured the residents that his company was working hard to give Batswana clear water. BOPA  

New tobacco product enters market

13 February, 2012
GABORONE - The Botswana Anti-Tobacco Network (ATN) has called for the ban of kuber tobacco which has entered the countrys market.

Interim executive director of the network, Ms Bontle Mbongwe said the government should adopt comprehensive tobacco products legislation after realising the devastating impact of tobacco on human health, the environment and the economy.

Ms Mbongwe said kuber has been banned in other countries like Malawi and Tanzania because it is more harmful than tobacco as it has properties of marijuana.

Kuber is disguised as a mouth freshener and packed in satchels similar to tea leaves pouches.

Ms Mbongwe said they are still investigating the product to establish its proper ingredients because the product has contradicting labels.

She said medical sources say kuber is a highly addictive and intoxicating drug that has been openly sold in Indian spice shops in Botswana, but could not shed light on whether the product has been banned in India or not.

Investigations have revealed that in Botswana, the nicotine-rich stimulant, which is made in India, is widely consumed by school going children particularly those in secondary schools.

An environmental health lecturer at the University of Botswana said kuber is sold over the counter at a cheap price of P4 making it more accessible to children than cigarettes.

Second officer in-charge at the Diamond and Narcotics Squad, Superintendent Petrus Nkgetse said they have been aware of the drug since 2008.

Superintendent Nkgetse said the drug contains benzene as one of its three ingredients, and is sold over the counter in Indian spice shops, adding that they have already handled between four and five cases of its use.

He said analysis of the drug indicates that apart from benzene, kuber also contains nicotine and glycerin, with benzene being the most harmful as it makes consumers excited.

However, Superintendent Nkgetse said at the moment there is no law in Botswana that criminalises the use or sale of the drug and its importation.

He said the only thing the police can do is to advise kuber consumers to desist because of its health hazards.

Sales executive at an Indian spice shop in Gaborone, Mr Mohamed Sayed Daya said kuber tobacco has been in the market for some time, particularly in South Africa where he used to import it from.

Mr Daya said he only sold it to adult Indians on special order and not school going children, saying some people in India have advocated for it to be banned, but it was difficult because some people were already addicted to it.

Chief health inspector in the Ministry of Health, Mr Clifford Matsoga said they are not aware of the drug, but said they have started investigations on it including how it enters Botswana and how prevalent it is in the market.

Mr Matsoga said if their findings indicate that the tobacco is dangerous to peoples health, his ministry will take a position and advocate for its banning.

Usage of kuber is associated with mouth and throat cancer in men and women because of its high nicotine content, with reports also associating it with dizziness, headaches, sleeping, weak teeth and gum bleeding. BOPA  

France honours Tsimako

13 February, 2012
GABORONE - The French Embassy has bestowed the Insignia of Officer in the French National Order of Merit on the Commissioner of Botswana Police, Mr Thebeyame Tsimako.

Presenting the award, Ambassador Genevieve Iancu said the award was in recognition of Mr Tsimakos devotion to the security of Batswana, as he had a brilliant career as a police officer for 42 years, ensuring quality service to the citizens of Botswana as well as strengthening bilateral relations between Botswana and France through police cooperation.

She said Mr Tsimako was a true believer in the importance of training and ethical support for those who enroll in the police, emphasising that well trained police officers constitute an authentic guarantee of delivering good service to Batswana.

The National Order of Merit was established by the then President Charles de Gaulle in 1963, to celebrate efforts accomplished by distinguished individuals, irrespective of gender, social background or nationality.

Mr Tsimako, who started from the rank of constable and climbed through the ranks to eventually occupy the highest position of police commissioner in 2007, said the award was testimony of excellent relations between Botswana and France, adding that the Botswana Police Service had always enjoyed support from France through various initiatives among them the French lessons that the police officers had benefitted from since 2004.

He said a number of police graduated from the programme and at the moment, three are attached to the Reunion Islands to enhance their French.

Mr Tsimako said the Botswana Police College and Special Support Group (SSG) had received training in intervention skills called Gendamerie through the assistance of the French, adding that the police hosted peace keeping exercises for Southern Africa region since 2008 with the assistance of the French.

The event was graced by a number of high ranking officials, among them former president Mr Festus Mogae, Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Mr Mokgweetsi Masisi and Minister for Defence, Justice and Security, Mr Dikgakgamatso Seretse. BOPA  

Entrepreneurs should market their products

13 February, 2012
SEROWE - Small scale entrepreneurs have been encouraged to market their products adequately in order to get maximum exposure.

The call was made by the central district agricultural regional coordinator, Mr Letsholonyana Tabona during the Central Districts Department of Social and Community Development (S&CD) exposition and open day in Serowe on Friday.

The main purpose of the exposition was to market small scale entrepreneurs with emphasis on the underprivileged members of the community.

Mr Tabona told entrepreneurs that consumers were mostly not aware of their products.

The art of trading is a difficult journey which requires you to know your customers, their demographics and behaviour, he said, adding that small scale entrepreneurs should also understand how to convince consumers to buy their products.

He further urged small scale entrepreneurs to produce quality goods that could compete in the market as the move would help them graduate from poverty.

He also implored government departments to support small business. The S&CD principal economist, Ms Motshidisi Maphakwane said they intended to make the exposition an annual event. We are targeting potential destitute persons, whom we encourage to start their small businesses, explained Ms Maphakwane.

She highlighted that the exposition createed a platform for interacting, learning and sharing of ideas and experiences, adding that it may also help small scale business people to diversify their products or even form cooperatives that could supply products in a larger scale.

One of the exhibitors from Lentswelemoriti, Ms Moserwa Tsheole appreciated the expo saying it was a good platform for networking and sharing ideas with fellow small scale business people.

Ms Tsheole, a basket weaver, pointed out that the expo, to some extent helped them overcome the challenge of lack of market.

She applauded government departments for buying their products, urging government to go a step further by finding them offshore markets. The locals are used to our products and I think they will be better sold outside the country. BOPA  

Court remands two in custody

13 February, 2012
MASUNGA - Masunga Magistrate Goodwill Makofi has ordered that Boitirelo Seabo ,24, and Moeti Tenego, 22, of Tutume be remanded in custody for house breaking and theft.

The two are alleged to have on January 21, acting together with common purpose jointly with another one who is still at large, broken into a house belonging to Lebogang Segau of Tutume and stole goods worth about P13 000.

The three also allegedly broke into a house belonging to Ikaneng Masole of Tutume and stole goods valued at about P3 000.

The duo, who did not seek the services of an attorney, requested that they not be remanded in custody as they had not finished a house they were constructing to avoid more problems.

Magistrate Makofi, however, ruled that the two should be remanded in custody, saying some of the stolen items had not yet been recovered and that since the second accused had disappeared before, he might do it again. BOPA  

Toilet construction under Ipelegeng

13 February, 2012
GABORONE - Tswapong North has 11 villages with recognised dikgotla, says Assistant Minister of Local Government, Ms Botlogile Tshireletso.

The assistant minister said out of these, nine have holding cells namely Lecheng, Gootau, Majwaneng, Lerala, Matlhakola, Maunatlala, Matolwane, Seolwane and Ratholo.

She noted that out of the nine holding cells, four have toilets, and these are in Lecheng, Gootau, Majwaneng and Lerala while the remaining five in Matlhakola, Maunatlala, Matolwane, Seolwane and Ratholo do not have toilets.

For the five mentioned villages, we have not been able to build any toilets due to budgetary constraints, said the assistant minister.

She said consideration will be given to construct these under the Ipelegeng programme during the current and next financial year.

The MP for Tswapong North, Mr Prince Maele had asked the minister to state the number of holding cells in the dikgotla in the villages of Tswapong North.

He also wanted to know the number of holding cells with and without toilets in the area and when the minister intends to build toilets in holding cells which do not have the facilities.

 

Badminton media tourney success

13 February, 2012
GABORONE - Botswana Badminton Association president has hailed the media tournament held over the weekend as a success.

In an interview, Moagi Gaborone said they have achieved what they intended by strengthen their relations with the media as well as assist them appreciate the game so as to make informed and accurate coverage of the sport.

Gaborone was also happy with the extent to which the media covered badminton last year, and that the workshop was also intended to appreciate such coverage as well as appraise the media on new developments.

With regard some new developments in badminton, he said they have started taking the sport to secondary schools as a way of developing it at the grassroots level.

That, he said, was done mostly by empowering teachers with coaching skills.

This coming April we will now be taking the sport to primary schools. The challenge at primary schools, however, is that they do not have halls like at secondary schools, so we will mostly be teaching them outdoors, he said.

As such, Gaborone said lack of such facilities at primary schools will force them to impart only the basic knowledge and skills of the game to the children to continue with the sport at secondary schools.

Our aim at primary schools is to impart basic knowledge to students so that they have a foundation to start on when they get to secondary schools, and we will also be training their teachers so that they can continue coaching the kids, he said.

Like other sporting codes, Gaborone decried lack of sponsorship, saying the annual grant they get from the Botswana National Sports Council (BNSC) is not enough to cover their annual activities.

That, he said, has denied them opportunity to participate in the Africa qualifiers for the Uber Cup. The qualifiers are scheduled for Ethiopia this year.

However, he said they are banking on other international tournaments expected to be hosted by neighbouring South Africa and Namibia, where they are hoping to send a team of representatives.

Debswana sponsored the media tournament at the tune of P20 000, half of which went to prize money while the other half was used for administration purposes.

In the mens singles, Monirul Bhuiyan beat Tiro Lepotokise to win first prize, while the ladies singles was won by Tshepang Segwabe who beat Otsholetseng Lesetedi.

In the mens doubles, the pair of Bhuiyan and Michael Joseph beat Lovemore Mario and Olekantse Sennamose to win gold.

In the womens doubles, the pair of Lesetedi and Thato Dipao beat Botho Mothudi and Segwabe.

The mixed doubles saw Lepotokise and Lesetedi beat McDonald Rakgare and Mothudi. BOPA  

No plans for satellite police station construction

13 February, 2012
GABORONE - Residents of some villages and settlements face difficulties in terms of distance travelled to access police services, says Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Mr Dikgakgamatso Seretse.

Answering a question in Parliament last week, Minister Seretse said in Goo-Tau, however, there is a police post manned by one sergeant and two constables.

He said there is another police post in Matlhakola which is 15km away from Goo-Tau and is also manned by one sergeant and two constables. The minister said the police service is currently experiencing transport challenges that they are working round the clock to address. A satellite police station at Goo-Tau is desirable, but due to inadequate resources there are no plans in the short and medium term to put up such a facility, Mr Seretse said, adding that he would work hand in hand with the area MP if he could come up with a community initiative to resource such a facility.

The MP for Tswapong North, Mr Prince Maele had asked the minister whether he is aware of the difficulties faced by residents of Goo-Tau and the neighbouring villages in terms of distance to travelled and transport shortages when accessing services provided by the police. He also asked if the ministry was not considering setting up a satellite police station in Goo-Tau to curb the rising crime in the village and its neighbourhood. BOPA  

Tlhagafalelang go lwantsha mhero

13 February, 2012
SEROWE - Balemi ba masimo a Segakwane kwa kgaolong ya Serowe ba kgothaditswe go lwantsha mhero gore ba bone thobo e e nametsang.

Se se builwe ke radijwalo wa kgaolo potlana ya legare, Rre Bryan Mhaladi mo letsatsing la thotloetso ya twantsho mhero le tlhatlhobo ya masimo kwa Segakwane bosheng.

A re mhero o lwela lesedi la letsatsi, bokgola le menontshane le dijalo, ka jalo o fokotsa selekanyo sa thobo ka o kgoreletsa go gola le go itekanela ga dijalo.

Rre Mhaladi o boleletse balemi gore twantsho mhero e simolowa fa go lengwa ka se se ka dira gore go nne bonolo go o lwantsha ka o a bo o santse o le monnye.

A re go jala ka ditselana go ka tlhofofatsa tiro ya go tlhagola fa dijalo di sa le potlana, a tlatsa ka gore molemi o ka dirisa sekafole go tlhagola mhero o o fa gare ga ditselana tsa dijalo go diriswa ditonki, dikgomo kgotsa terekere le melemo e e bolayang mhero.

O kgothaditse balemi go tlhagola ka ditlhotshwana go dira tiro motlhofo.

Balemi ba ne ba lebogela thuto e ba e filweng ba re e mosola thata ka e tlaa nonotsha thobo ya bone.

Ba re ba tshwenngwa ke mefuta ya mhero jaaka mmachiapo, kgonkgoroso le motantanayne, e bile mhero oo o isa boleng jwa thobo kwa tlase.Rabalemisi wa kgaolo potlana ya legare, Rre Alexander Letebele, o rotloeditse balemi go isa thobo ya bone kwa balemising gore go bonwe gore a e lekana le dithuso tse ba di boneng ka lenaneo la ISPAAD.

A re balemi ba ba ntshang thobo e e kwa tlase ka mabaka a go sa tlhokomela masimo a bone, ba tlaa tlolwa ke dithuso tsa ISPAAD mo ngwageng o le mongwe wa temo, a tlatsa ka gore fa thobo e le kwa tlase ga selekanyo se puso e ntshitseng dithuso ka sone puso e senyegelwa ke madi. BOPA  

Small, micro businesses for Batswana

13 February, 2012
SEROWE - Small and micro businesses are now reserved for locals.

This, Central District physical planner, Mr Emmanuel Ogotseng said came after the realisation that the locals could not afford high rentals in industrial areas.

Thus, Mr Ogotseng said government took a deliberate decision to allow the locals to operate their small businesses from their homesteads without a license.

He said during a kgotla meeting in Serowe recently that the move was adopted after some reservations about the new traditional liquor regulations were raised.

The new regulations which took effect in June forbid people to operate businesses from residential areas.

All that one needs to do is to register their business with any local authority where they have to fill in forms, produce proof of ownership for the residential plot, have clearance from physical planning and pay P10.

However, he pointed out that a separate room should be availed for the business to operate from as the regulations forbid people from sleeping in the same room from which they are operating their businesses. He cited tailoring, catering, carpentry, office work, hair dressing and packaging as some of the businesses that will be allowed to operate from home.

However, he noted that businesses such as welding and fabrication, car wash, panel beating and spray painting would not be allowed in residential places as they are hazardous to the environment and people as they emit dangerous chemicals.

Residents welcomed the idea saying the move would empower many Batswana who have been struggling to cope with high rentals at the industrial areas.

One business lady said initiative will help many kick start their business as some had closed down due to competition with foreigners. BOPA  

Pawn shops benefit economy

13 February, 2012
GABORONE - Pawn shops benefit the economy through provision of their services to Batswana.The Assistant Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Dr Gloria Somolekae told Parliament that the entities also created employment and pay tax when they generate profit.Dr Somolekae however could not give a specific figure since Botswana Unified Revenue Service (BURS) did not keep statistics of the tax contribution made by pawn shops.Pawn shops, she said, were treated like any other business for tax purposes, noting that accordingly, they were expected to register for tax purposes with BURS and submit tax returns as provided for under the Income Tax Act.She stated that where such companies have an annual turnover in excess of P500 000, they are also required to register for Value Added Tax to file periodic tax returns and pay VAT due to BURS.

The minister was responding to a question asked by the Member of Parliament for Shoshong, Mr Dikgang Makgalemele, who had requested her to explain how the pawn shops benefited the Botswana economy or otherwise, including their tax contribution. He also asked her to explain the structure and processes which they follow in payment of tax.

BOPA  

Poverty eradication priority

13 February, 2012
MOLEPOLOLE - President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama says the government has prioritised poverty eradication and will ensure that Batswana become self reliant.

Speaking at a ceremony to handover food hampers to needy families and a house to an elderly woman in Monwane, President Khama said the objective is not to spoon feed poor people, but to empower them and promote self reliance.

The house was built by councillor Mmatli Rasina as a response to the Presidents housing appeal.

President Khama also noted that Ipelegeng is not a job creation programme, but is a temporary measure to help those who are in dire need.

Monwane is a small village with about 375 inhabitants.

In his welcome remarks, the MP for Letlhakeng East, Mr Liakat Kably thanked the President for having visited them despite his tight schedule.

Mr Kably said he urged the President to remember Monwane residents after seeing him donate Christmas gifts and food hampers to other Batswana.

Kgosi Ketlamoreng Masono of Monwane appreciated President Khamas visit to his small village. BOPA  

Phathi ya BMD e a ikanoka

13 February, 2012
RAMOTSWA - Dipuisanyo tsa bokopano jwa diphathi tsa kganetso bo ne jwa phutlhama ka ba ne ba farologana ka megopolo.

Dr Tlamelo Mmatli, yo e neng e le mongwe wa ba ba neng ba emetse phathi ya BMD kwa dipuisanyong tsa bokopano jwa diphathi tsa kganetso, o ne a rola pego kwa phuthegong ya boeteledipele jwa BMD kwa Ramotswa bosheng.

A re kgang e tona e ba neng ba farologana ka yone e ne e le ya go kgaogana dikgaolo le dikgaolwana tsa lefatshe ka ba BMD ba ne ba bona e ba baya ka fa mosing.

A re ba BMD ba ne ba eleditse gore dikgaolo tsotlhe tse e neng e ntse e le tsa bone, ba di tlogelelwe mme ba okelediwe ka tse dingwe tse ba ka ikgaratlhelang mo go tsone.

Selo se, a re se ne sa pala ka ba ne ba tlhalosediwa fa ba ka se ke ba fiwe kgaolo ya bone ya Borwa botlhaba borwa, e e leng ya ga mopalamente Odirile Motlhale.

Mo godimo ga moo, a re dikgaolo ka bontsi tse ba neng ba di filwe e ne e le tse e leng boremelelo jwa pathi ya Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).

A re maiteko a bone a go supa gore ba eme bokopano jwa diphathi tsa kganetso nokeng e bile ba batla bo tswelela, a ne a se ka a atlega ka ba ne ba ganelwa ka dikgaolo e bile mabaka a ba lekang go a ntsha le dikgakololo di sa ba solegele molemo.

O tlhalosa gore BMD e ne e ya abelwa dikgaolo di le lesome le bobedi, BNF di le masome mabedi le bongwe, BCP di le masome mabedi le bongwe fa BPP yone e ne ya fiwa di le tharo.

Komiti kgolo ya Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) e ne e kopane le barongwa ba yone go buisana ka seemo sa phathi mabapi le go phutlhama ga dipuisanyo tsa bokopano jwa diphathi tsa kganetso.

Mothusa moeteledipele wa phathi ya BMD, Rre Botsalo Ntuane, a re komiti kgolo ya phathi e ne ya tsaya tshwetso mo dibekeng tse tharo tse di fetileng, gore e kopane le barongwa ba phathi go tswa kwa dikgaolong tse di farologaneng tsa lefatshe.

Rre Ntuane a re maikaelelo a phuthego e, e ne e le go amogana megopolo le dikgakololo ka gore tsela ba tseye efe ka seemo sa phathi mo dipuisanong tsa bokopano jwa diphathi tsa kganetso.

O tlhalositse gape gore phuthego e e ne e tlhokafala ka gore go na le dikgang tse dintsi tse di amang phathi ya BMD, lefatshe gammogo le setshaba, tse komiti kgolo ya phathi ya BMD e ne e ka se ke ya kgona go di bua le go di rarabolola e le yosi.

BOPA  

Missing documents not vital- witness

13 February, 2012
GABORONE - A witness in High Court Judge, Onkemetse Tshosas, criminal case has told Gaborone Regional Magistrate Court that missing Molepolole Police Station registries which were used during the judges detention do not have any significance in the case.

Giving evidence under cross examination from the defence lawyer Omphemetse Motumise, Assistant Superintendent Kebaitse Molefhe said the missing occurrence book, cell registry and prisoner property register do not have any bearing in the case since the prosecution is not going to use them as evidence.

Molefhe, who has been in the police service for the past 30 years, told regional magistrate Mr Barnabas Nyamadzabo that although they have tried to search for the documents which the defence dearly wants, their efforts have proved fruitless as they did not find them anywhere in the police station.

Mr Molefhe said documents which were used during the detention of Tshosa are of no value to the case.

He further told the court that he does suspect foul play in the disappearance of the documents pertaining to the accused case, a statement which made defence lawyer Mr Motumise to point to him that it was true because they have manufactured the case to incriminate Tshosa. Mr Molefhe also told the court that the outpatient card of Constable Moses Ndlovu, who is said to have been assaulted by Tshosa, which has also gone missing, will not be important to demonstrate the alleged assault on Ndlovu though he would expect it to describe the nature of injuries sustained by the complainant.

He however admitted that it was the first time during his police career service to miss documents in large numbers.

Asked whether there were any visible marks of assault on Tshosa who has also registered a case of unlawful detention and assault, he said Tshosas wrists had some visible injuries caused by handcuffs. He however said he did not send him for medical attention.

He admitted that he believed the police could have assaulted Tshosa when he was told to investigate the complaint and therefore knew that it was a very serious accusation against the police.

Mr Molefhe also admitted under cross examination that this made police officers who attended Tshosa following his road traffic accident to be suspects.

He further told the court that offending police officers are treated like anyone who breaks the law and could be taken for prosecution which may result in possible conviction and loss of employment.

He said all these things were in his mind and knew them before making the investigation against the alleged officers. Assistant superintendent Molefhe, who is to continue giving testimony under cross examination, admitted that he did not expect the alleged officers to confess to assaulting Tshosa, adding that he had a plan to deal with possible denial and the plan was to look for evidence from non police officials.

However, he said he does not have skills to expose lying police officers but did not inform the station commander because that was not part of the assignment. The case is prosecuted by Mr Wesson Manchwe from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP)and will continue on March 7. BOPA  

Maun, Lefika clubs dominate

13 February, 2012
GABORONE - Maun and Lefika athletics clubs dominated the sprint races at the Botswana Athletics Association (BAA) track and field competition held at the Molepolole Sports Complex on Saturday.

The event was well attended by athletes who caught the eye with some impressive performances.

Particularly outstanding on the day was Maun Athletics Clubs Yatea Kambepera who showed great potential.

The little known sprinter went through the heats with impressive performances earlier in the day.

He sauntered to the 100 metres mens final before winning it with a time of 10:40 seconds, beating second placed Mooketsi Magaga of Francistown Athletics Club who clocked 10:53 seconds.

Kambepera then came third with a time of 21:86 seconds in the 200m mens heat finals. He was behind club-mate Loato Kelediyakgotla who clocked 21:34 seconds and Tshenolo Yaloka of Maun BDF.

The Maun mens relay-team, which also included Kambepera, came first in both the 4x100m and 4x400m mens relays. BOPA  

Defilement unreported

13 February, 2012
LERALA - Unreported cases of defilement are on the rise in Matolwane in the Tswapong North.Maunatlala Police Superintendent Gaokganelwe Rannyena said in an interview that defilement was a very serious offence which many parents are ignorant of.

Cases of defilement are not reported and we only get to hear about them when the damage is already done. People should know that the law protects minors from being abused.

He said he had a meeting with Matolwane residents recently following concerns from the heads of the two schools in the village about defilement incidents, which are normally swept under the capert. However, he said his recent address bore fruit since one case of defilement has already been reported. A day after the meeting a case involving a 15-year-old form two student was reported. Unfortunately she is already eight months pregnant. However, he said investigations are ongoing while the suspect is yet to be arrested. Thus, Superintendent Rannyena appealed to members of the community to report such cases regardless of whether they are related to the victim or not. He encouraged parents to safeguard their childrens future by protecting them from defilement. BOPA  

IEC drills church leaders

13 February, 2012
LOBATSE - In recognition of the role that the church can play in the electoral process, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) office in Lobatse recently consulted church leaders to enhance their knowledge of the process.

Speaking during the workshop, the principal elections officer, Mr Richard Senthumoleng said it was the IECs desire to reach out to all the stakeholders of the electoral process, noting that the church was crucial to consult and collect its views on how the process could be improved.

Urging the pastors to share the message with their congregations, Mr Senthumoleng said they brought together leaders of different churches so that the message on elections could reach a wider audience.

He appealed to the church leaders to freely input on how best the IEC can handle elections.

For her part, the principal elections officer from Ramotswa IEC office, Ms Thandi Job underscored the importance of understanding the link between elections and the population census, saying census results help to determine some key issues such as whether or not to carry out a delimitation exercise.

Commenting on the presentations, the church leaders praised the IEC for consulting them, expressing hope that similar consultations would follow in future to further seek the input of the church regarding elections.

They decried the lack of knowledge on elections among many Batswana; adding that many people vote for the wrong reasons; a thing they said often leads to voters being disillusioned with the electoral process.

They observed that the situation was exacerbated by politicians who often lure people to vote for them by making promises which they later fail to fulfill.

Church leaders also called on the IEC to consider increasing the voting time to two days, observing that the current situation disadvantages some people.

BOPA  

Miss Millennium term reaches end

13 February, 2012
GABORONE The 2011 Miss Millennium queens reign is coming to an end.

Regina Koata, who was crowned Miss Millennium on Valentines Day last year, will hand over the crown to another queen aged over 40 years at a beauty pageant scheduled for Millennium Jazz Restaurant on Sunday.

Koata said she has mixed feelings about her reign coming to an end. While on one hand she feels sad, on the other she feels fulfilled to have served as Miss Millennium.

She said she is happy that past queens are not forgotten since the Millennium management always involves them in their yearly programmes.

Koata will be joining past Miss Millennium queens in Felicity Bogatsu, Phodiso Letsholo and Tiny Hirschfield who are still involved in a number of projects including taking care of international guests at Millennium Jazz Restaurant She is planning to undertake three projects one of which is to identify and build a toilet for a needy family in Mogoditshane.

Part of the toilet funding was raised through the Miss Millennium Charity Cup which is her brainchild. Koata said since she did not raise enough funds during the event she is still continuing to solicit for more funds.

She also intends hosting a fund raising show with Jazz maestro Lister Boleseng.

Meanwhile, Koata, as Otse home based care unit patron, is in the process of soliciting for assistance after the unit lost its American based donor.

She said being Miss Millennium has not been easy since she has a full time job. A dentist by profession, Koata said it was a thriller though for her to have been crowned queen that February 14 night. It was a result of hard that she beat 12 other contestants, she quips.

I went all out to make sure that everything was in place for me to compete. I went on a boot camp to lose weight and made sure that my wardrobe was tailor made, added Koata.

At 41, Koata was born two days before Valentines Day and got married to Kanye LEA branch manager, Harry Koata, on February 14 1998. Last year on the same date, she scooped the Miss Millennium title hence considers February 14 her lucky day.

To mark this special day, her husband who was in China, bought her a gift which turned out to be a four in one gift in that she was celebrating her birthday, wedding anniversary and Miss Millennium title.Koata is not new to beauty pageants. She was Miss Botswana runner up in 1996 and boasts titles such as Miss Independence Lobatse 2003, Miss Ellerines and Miss Lucky 7 2007 and has represented Botswana in Swaziland. Despite her age she looks young. She is a mother of two and says her secret to a youthful look is eating well and regular exercise.She said she tries by all means to stay happy and get along well with her family.

She still finds time to go out and have fun with her husband on various occasions that she gets invited to.

I want to prove to people that the age 40 is not an age of disability, she says. Her advice to this years Miss Millennium aspirants is that they should prepare thoroughly. Koata said past queens have set high standards hence the next queen should not lower it. BOPA  

Kabo ditsha e tlhoka matsetseleko

13 February, 2012
BOBONONG Maloko a lekgotlana la kabo ditsha la Bobonong le bodiredi a rotloeditswe go dira tiro ya kabo ya lefatshe ka kelotlhoko le manontlhotlho go hema dikgotlhang le dingongorego tsa morafe.

Thotloetso e e dirilwe ke modulasetilo wa lekgotlana leo, Rre Eric Poloko mo phuthegong ya maloko le bodiredi jwa kabo ditsha kwa Bobonong mo bosheng.

Rre Poloko o ne ba lemotsha fa tiro ya kabo le fatshe e le masisi, e tlhoka go dirwa ka matsetseleko le bopelotelele, a rotloetsa tshwaragano le tirisanyo ya maloko a kabo ditsha le bodiredi gore tiro ya bone e tsamae ka thelelo.

O tladitse ka gore ba tshwanetse ba gakololana fa go tlhokafalang teng, a re morero ke one konokono mo katlegong ya tiro nngwe le nngwe.

Modulasetilo a re maikaelelo a bone ke go isa ditirelo tse di nang le boleng kwa bathong ka tsholofelo ya gore le bone batho ba ba abetsweng lefatshe ba le dirise ka fa go tshwanetseng le ka nako.

O tlhalositse fa ba na le matshwenyego a kgolo ya motse e e tlang ka dikgwetlho tsa letlhoko la ditlamelo jaaka metsi, motlakase le ditsela kwa lefelong le ba ikaelelang go aba ditsha tsa bonno kwa go lone.

Rre Poloko o supile gore baikopedi bangwe ba na le lebaka le le ka fetang dingwaga tse di lesome ba ntse ba letile go abelwa ditsha, mme sekgoreletsi e le tlhaelo ya lefatshe.

A re ba setse ba simolola go aba ditsha tsa bonno kwa Bobonong.

O ikuetse mo maphateng a a lebaneng go ba ema nokeng gore tiro ya bone e atlege, a re maikaelelo ke gore mo ngwageng wa 2013, ba bo ba diragaditse maitlamo a bone.

A re sebe sa phiri ke gore go na le tlhaelo ya bodiredi jwa boitseanape jwa kanoko ya lefatshe.

RrePoloko a re maikaelelo a bone ke gore e re mo dingwageng tse di lesome tse di tlang, ba bo ba okeditse lefelo la ditsha tsa bonno le dikgwebo, a re mme fa ditsha di sa ntse di tlhaela, batho ba tshwanetse go kopa ditsha kwa metseng e mengwe ya kgaolo ya Bobirwa. BOPA  

Ministry to consider maintenance works at Khumaga/Moreomaoto road

13 February, 2012
GABORONE - The Ministry of Transport and Communications will consider periodic maintenance works which includes fog spraying and isolated repairs on the Khumaga/Moreomaoto road during the 2013/ 2014 financial year.

Answering a question in Parliament on behalf of transport and communications minister, Mr Johnnie Swartz said the ministry will continue carrying out routine maintenance on the road.

The MP for Boteti North, Mr Slumber Tsogwane had asked him to state when the ever deteriorating state of the road will be addressed. BOPA  

Extend helping hand

13 February, 2012
GABORONE - President Lt Gen. Seretse Khama Ian Khama has appealed to Batswana to extend a helping hand to disadvantaged children.

President Khama made the appeal on Friday when handing over food hampers to Assist A Person (AAP), a home-based care and family life programme based in Gaborone.

The organisation works with disadvantaged and underprivileged children in Gaborone, Mmanoko, Serinane, Sikwane, Mmantshwabisi and Old Naledi.

President Khama urged Batswana to follow the example of AAP in caring for disadvantaged children. He commended AAP for its selflessness in giving and caring for the disadvantaged. The work you do is just as important as the work I do as the President in caring for Batswana.

He noted that there are children in Botswana who are failing to take care of their parents, advising young Batswana not to allow modern trends to mislead them into abandoning the culture of a compassionate society.

President Khama said it was important for Batswana to hang onto their culture of Botho, adding, we should not allow modernisation, competition in society and work places to make us forget where we come from as Batswana. A board member of AAP, Ms Leanne Bell said the programme started 12 years ago and has about 1 600 orphaned and economically poor children under its care.

Ms Bell said they aim to provide physical, educational, emotional and spiritual support to the children under their care.

Many of the children, she said, have gone through difficult circumstances and they believe that if the nation could come to their rescue they would make a meaningful contribution to the nation.

Ms Bell said there are positive changes in Serinane and Mmantshwabisi where children used to abscond from school, but that now attendance has increased and there is an improvement in the pass rate.

She noted that they have been allocated about five hectares of land in Serinane and Mmankgodi where they intend to build vocational and skills training facilities.

She said they have challenges such as the inconsistent financial support they receive, stating that they were most effective when they received guaranteed sponsorship.

Ms Bell appealed to Batswana to help them educate and support underprivileged children. The founder of AAP, Ms Martha Rampa expressed gratitude to the President for his gesture. BOPA  

Dikgang tsa petelelo di tsaya phekelo e sele

13 February, 2012
KANYE - Mookamedi wa mapodisi a Moshupa, Mme Onkemetse Tawana o tshwentswe ke dikgang tsa petelelo tse di tlang ka mmetela mo kgaolong ya gagwe.

Mme Tawana o ne a tlhalosa jalo mo puisanyong le BOPA bosheng, a re kopo ya gagwe e tona mo banning ba kgaolo ya Moshupa e e akaretsang metsana e tshwana le Lotlhakane West, Ralekgetho le Manyana ke gore, tlhakanelo dikobo e nne selo se se dumalanweng.

Kana e bile go thona gore re bo re bua jaaka ka gore bomme ba Botswana ba bantsi thata mo ba fetang borre ka dipalo, ga ikuela Mme Tawana.

Mme Tawna a re ba leka bojotlhe go tsisa seemo mo taolong, a tlhalosa fa maiteko a bone a itaya se fololetse. A re e le ba sepodisi ba atle ba rulaganye dithuto le morafe ka dipetelelo fa gongwe ba tshware le megwanto kgatlhanong le petelelo.

Banni ba tsibogela dithuto tse tsa rona ka dipalo tse di tsitsibanyang mmele, mme fela kwa morago ga go supagale fa molaetsa o tsewa tsia ka gore dipalo tsa sepodisi di kaya fa maitsholo one a sa fokotsege, a bolela.

O tlhalositse fa Lotlhakane West le meraka e e mabapi e le tsone tse di di gogang kwa pele mo ditiragalong tse di maswe tse.

Ditshekatsheko tsa sepodisi di supa fa mo ngwgeng wa 2010 kgaolo ya Moshupa e ne ya gatisa dipetelelo di le masome a mabedi le borobabobedi, di ama basetsana ba dingwaga tse di kwa tlase ga lesome le borataro di le nne.

Ngogola, go gatisitswe dipetelelo di le masome a mararo di ama basetsana ba dingwaga tse di kwa tlase ga lesome le borataro ba le ba ne.

Go tlhalosiwa fa bontsi jwa dipetelelo di diragala bosigo morago ga dinako tsa maitiso, mme e bile mo makgethong a mantsi batswasetlhabelo ba itsane le dibeteledi.

Mme Tawana a re batho ba ba amegang mo dikgannyeng tse ke ba dingwaga tse di lesome le borobabobedi go ya kwa go tse di masome mararo le botlhano.

O gakolotse batho go tlhaloganya gore go na le bolwetse jwa segajaja e bong HIV/AIDS, jo bo nyeletsang setshaba bosigo le motshegare.

A re dilalome di tshwanetse tsa tlhaloganya gore ga se bone fela ba ka tsenyang batho bolwetse, a re ba itse gore le bone fela jalo ba a bo ba ipaya mo diphatseng .

BOPA  

Sekotswe aims to realise dream

13 February, 2012
GABORONE - The ambitious Lesley Sekotswe says his May sheduled fight is the road to attaining his dream to become a world champion.

I have worked for it and this is my chance to fulfill that dream, Sekotswe said in an interview Saturday.

For him, the fight is also motivation as he faces a very tough opponent with an impressive record.

Sekotswe, a WBC Pan African Champion, will test his mettle against Chiles Miguel Gonzalez for the World Boxing Federation (WBF) Boxing championship title.

He has an impressive record of 12 fights with one draw and 11 wins while Gonzalez has won all his 10 fights.

Sekotswe stated that he has started preparing for the fight in January, adding that he is yet to take a trip to South Africa to train with other professional boxers.

The boxer has called for Batswanas support for him and the sport, noting that such fights could help promote the country.

He said the biggest challenge with professional boxing in Botswana is the fact that locals are licensed by a South African body, something he said denied them opportunities as they depend on a foreign body to secure fights for them.

Sekotswe highlighted that to overcome his challenges he had to move to South Africa where most of his fights took place.

In doing that, he highlighted that he was not only doing it for himself, but also to raise the countrys flag high.

And now that we have been awarded an opportunity to stage the fight, lets stand together and take the country to greater heights, he said.

The Sekotswe versus Gonzalez fight will be the first of its kind to be hosted in Botswana and it is expected to raise awareness in the local circles with regard to professional boxing.

Meanwhile, efforts to get Sekotswe ready and to promote his fight against Gonzalez saw Scud Missile Promotions stage an open sparring at Game City mall on Saturday.

Both professional and amateur boxers exchanged blows with Sekotswe on the ring mounted at the centre of the mall to showcase their skills to the public.

The public were also awarded the opportunity of a lifetime to step on the ring and throw punches.

Women also relinquished the thought of boxing as only a mans sport and also unleashed terrific punches against each other.

Children were also not left behind as they schooled their mates on the ring, something which remains vital in efforts to create awareness and develop the sport at grassroots level. BOPA  

Permit issuance important for animal disease surveillance

13 February, 2012
GABORONE - Permit issuance is an integral component of passive animal disease surveillance, particularly for highly contagious ones that rapidly turn into pandemics such as horse flu, avian flu and Foot and Mouth Disease.

This was said by the Assistant Minister of Education and Skills Development, Mr Keletso Rakhudu in Parliament when responding to a question on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture.

Mr Rakhudu said that movement permits were issued at point of origin after animals had been inspected and certified healthy, safe and fit for travelling to other parts or zones of the country.

It is important, for the credibility and effectiveness of the surveillance system, for the animals to be inspected at a point of origin so that the system has a chance of picking up animal diseases before they are spread to other areas, he told Parliament.

He said permit issuance was also important for animal traceability in the event of disease outbreaks, adding that movement within a zone did not require a permit, .

The assistant minister said it was not practical for agriculture ministry to deploy permit issuing officers at each and every gate.

He however said concessions had been made in the form of Central Loading Facilities.

Boteti North Member of Parliament, Mr Slumber Tsogwane had asked the agriculture minister to state the purpose of issuance of removal permits for horses and donkeys used by farmers at Thabatshukudu.

He further asked the minister to state whether such permits can be issued at the cordon fence gates to afford farmers to use such animals as their means of transport. BOPA  

Dept acquires land

13 February, 2012
MAHALAPYE - Prisons Deputy Commissioner, Ms Tebelelo Moabi says despite having acquired ample land countrywide, Botswana Prison Service (BPS) is still unable to produce adequate yields to feed inmates.

Officiating at a two-day workshop for agriculture officers at Prisons College recently, Ms Moabi said BPS continues to use huge sums of money to purchase food for inmates.

It is therefore the intention of this workshop to identify what has gone wrong and come up with ways to improve the situation, she said.

She said her department should be able to feed its community and the nation at large, citing their Swaziland counterparts who are producing enough to feed the prison population despite being smaller than Botswana.

She said Zambia is yet another neighbour that is doing well, adding that where there are equipment challenges hand implements such as hoes are used for ploughing.

Ms Moabi said local officers should benchmark with other countries, adding that BPS has an obligation to contribute to the countrys food sufficiency and security.

She said her department is expected to take advantage of such programmes as LIMID and ISPAAD to equip the prison community to improve their lives upon release.

She said she was aware of the challenges that prisons agriculture officers face but encouraged them to do their all, adding that determination could be the solution. BOPA  

Ba Dandane ba tlaa fudusa mabitla

13 February, 2012
BOBONONG - Batho ba kgotla ya Dandane kwa Bobonong ba dumalane go fudusa mabitla a a kwa molapong mo motseng oo.

Mangwe e bile a setseng a e polotswe ke metsi.

Tumalano e, e dirilwe kwa phuthegong ya kgotla e e neng e tshwerwe ke mokhanselara wa Bobonong botlhaba, Rre Calvin Sekwababe bosheng.

Maitlamo a phuthego eo e ne e le go rerisana le setshaba ka thulaganyo ya ka fa mabitla a a ka fudusediwang kwa go a masha ka teng. Kgang e nngwe e ne e le go itse batho ba ba nang le masika a a fitlhetsweng kwa mabitleng ao.

Kgosana ya kgotla eo, Rre Thuso Agosi, o ne a kopa setshaba go thusana go supa fa mabitla a leng teng ka mangwe a sa tlhole a bonala gotlhelele fa a neng a le teng morago ga gore a gogolwe ke metsi.

Kgosi o ne gape a kopa setshaba go tlhokomela mabitla a masika a bone, a tlhalosa fa setshaba se tshwanetse go nna se etela mabitla go tlhola seemo sa one gore ba tle ba kgone go a baakanya fa a senyegile.

Babirwa ba ne ba dumalana ka bongwefela jwa pelo gore go seka ga dirisiwa dikatakata fa go epololwa mabitla ka gore di tlhakatlhakanya marapo le mmu, le gore a epololwe ka nako e le nngwe gore tiro e nne motlhofo go na le go fudusa mabitla ka bongwe ka bongwe.

Setshaba se ka thusana go epolola mabitla.

Kgosi le mokhanselara ba ne ba solofetsa setshaba fa ba tlaa ikopanya le ofisi ya molaodi go ya go rulaganya letsatsi la phuduso ya mabitla ao le go tsaya tetla ya go epolola. BOPA  

Mental patients battle stigma

13 February, 2012
GABORONE - Many people with mental illness are doubly challenged as they struggle with the disease on the one hans and the stereotypes and prejudice on the other hand.

As a result, people with mental illness are robbed of opportunities that define a quality life: good jobs, safe housing, satisfactory health care and relationship with a diverse group of people.

Such is the case of Ms Boitumelo Esau, who started suffering from the illness way back in 2003.

A Degree holder and teacher by profession, Ms Esau says ever since March the 13 that fateful year, she has lost her job and has even been rejected by those closest to her.Ms Esau says what she suffered is only a fraction of the challenges that people with mental illness experience in life.

The 39-year-old mother of three says says people with mental illness are stigmatised and rejected by people of all ages, adding that the most painful rejection is that of those closest like siblings.

Ms Esau said such treatment forced them to form an association, Matlo-gosha-mabapi to assist people with mental illness to deal with discrimination, stigma and rejection.

She said Matlo-gosha-mabapi has offices in Moshupa, Mogoditshane and Old Naledi in Gaborone.

Ms Esau hailed the Sbrana Psychiatric Hospital for its supportive staff, saying the hospital is the only place of solace for them.

It is the only place where we feel we are appreciated, but once we set foot outside its doors, the stigma and rejection start, she said.

Dr Boipelo Lecoge of the Sbrana Psychiatric Hospital conceded that they are aware of the discrimination and stigma faced by people with mental illness, but said they always educate their patients in a bid to ecquip them to deal with it.

She said the patients complain that the main perpetrators of such discrimination and stigma are the very people who are supposed to take care of them.We have counsellors, psychiatric nurses and even doctors who assist patients to deal with discrimination, Dr Lecoge said.

She however, said she is not aware of any structures to educate the public to appreciate the patients. BOPA  

Community participation important

13 February, 2012
MOCHUDI - The Minister for Presidential Affairs and Public Administration, Mr Mokgweetsi Masisi says community service days show the importance of community participation in initiatives geared towards poverty eradication.

Speaking during a community service day in Mochudi on Friday, he said collaborative efforts are important for the achievement of government programmes.

He said it is high time government programmes geared towards helping the poor are implemented, as there are economic benefits that could be derived from such activities.

Director of Stepping Stones International (SSI), Ms Lisa Jamu praised the backyard gardening initiative, saying it reduces poverty, encourages entrepreneurship and affords people to sustain themselves.

Ms Jamu said backyard gardening will afford Stepping Stones International the opportunity to improve the nutritional intake of youths.

She added that the garden will afford their youth an opportunity to learn more about entrepreneurship, financial literacy, managing a business as well as serving the community through the project.

On a macro-scale, she said the project is a stepping stone to achieving some Vision 2016 pillars especially a compassionate, just and caring nation as well as a prosperous, productive and innovative nation.

Stepping Stones International is a non-profit, civil society organisation.

Beneficiaries of SSI programmes include traditionally under-served populations, specifically orphaned and vulnerable adolescents and their care-givers. BOPA  

Ipelegeng essential

13 February, 2012
GABORONE - While government is challenged with providing enough jobs for the masses of the unemployed and poor, Ipelegeng remains an essential programme that provides immediate relief measures.

Commenting on the ongoing debates on the budget speech, Leader of Opposition and Gaborone West South MP, Mr Botsalo Ntuane told Parliament that other countries had unemployment benefit schemes where grants where availed to those who were jobless to cater for basic daily needs.

He said in Botswana Ipelegeng was a social welfare scheme to assist those in similar circumstances.

My personal position is that in the absence of sustainable and readily available jobs then Ipelegeng remains an essential programme.

We note governments plan to provide on the job sustenance for Ipelegeng workers.

However our view is that it would be more prudent for the sustenance to be in monetary form so as to increase the take home wage which can be shared by the rest of the family, said Mr Ntuane.

Mr Ntuane explained that the countrys national stability and socio-political security will be determined by how effective the crisis of unemployment was addressed.

The strategy of government in job creation has been to promote the private sector through regulation and various incentives, thereby creating an enabling environment. The dividends of this strategy have not been enough to create enough jobs to decisively address the crises of unemployment, he added. He called on government to position its commercial parastatal companies as creators of jobs.

He said every state enterprise must draw up a job creation strategy which will outline how many jobs it intends to generate in every financial year.

As things stand we have many of these state owned agencies who have the potential to create jobs, but due to lack of a clear policy seem not to be aware of this crucial mandate.

We are informed that state enterprises performed satisfactorily by paying dividends of P107million to government. In budget 2013 government must report to us how many jobs the parastatals have created against its set target, he said.

For his part, Minister of Youth, Sport and Culture, Mr Shaw Kgathi applauded government for setting its priorities on service delivery for the 2012/13 budget.He said the Ministry of Education which has been allocated the largest share of 27.3 per cent at P77billion should put the funds to proper use and put more emphasis on skills development than just basic education.

Mr Kgathi, who is also MP for Bobirwa, said young people have pleaded that his ministry be allocated the fourth largest share of the budget as their mandate caters for at least 60 per cent of the population which is constituted by young people. BOPA  

Review of act will address personalised motor vehicle registration numbers

13 February, 2012
GABORONE - The introduction of personalised motor vehicle registration numbers and letters will be addressed through the review of the Road Traffic Act.

Speaking on behalf of transport and communications minister, Minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology, Mr Johnnie Swartz said cabinet has granted approval for the review of the Road Transport (Permits) Act and the Road Traffic Act (RTA) part of which will address the provision of this service.

Mr Swartz said a study on its feasibility has not been conducted and the ministry will instead consider the provision of personalised vehicle registration numbers and letters during the review of the legislation.

He said there have been numerous enquiries from the public for the service whose demand cannot be confirmed with statistical data.

Tonota North MP, Mr Fidelis Molao had wanted to know when the transport and communications ministry intends to introduce personalised vehicle registration numbers in Botswana and whether a feasibility study of this service was conducted and what the findings were.

He also wanted to know if the minister is aware that there is a demand for such a service. BOPA  

Gambule Primary School to get power

13 February, 2012
GABORONE - Parliament has been told that it is true that the North East District Council removed the photovoltaic equipment that was installed to seven teachers houses in Gambule after payment for electrification by Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) was done on June 3, 2011.

Answering a question from the MP for Tati West, Mr Charles Tibone, the Assistant Minister of Local Government, Ms Botlogile Tshireletso said it is a normal procedure since the wiring and switching equipment for these two types of electricity are different and BPC cannot service the facility until it has been wired according to their standards.

Minister Tshireletso however regretted that it has taken longer than expected to service the said houses, but BPC has committed to conclude reticulation and testing by the end of this month she said.

Mr Tibone has asked the minister why solar panels which supplied power to Gambule Primary School in the Tati West constituency were removed before BPC connected the school to the national grid.

BOPA  

Tlhaelo ya madi e kgoreletsa kgwebo

13 February, 2012
SELIBE PHIKWE - Bagwebi ba ba rekisang mo mekgwatheng ba ba ipopileng setlhopha ba le batlhano ba dira kompone ya Creflo ba ntshitse ngongorego ka ga letlhoko la madi a go simolola kgwebo.

Bagwebi bao ba re ba ne ba tsenya letsogo mo dikgetsing tsa bone go simolola kgwebo ya bone ya senotsididi, mme mo nakong eno ba bona dipoelo tsa P2 000 ka kgwedi.

Erile mo potsolotsong le BOPA, bagwebi bao ba bolela gore seemo sa theko se kwa tlase ka mabaka a gore ga ba ise ba itsiwe ka ba sale basha, gape ba re ba tsere tshwetso ya go nna mo mmolong wa Selibe Phikwe, fa bontsi jwa batho bo fetang teng gore seno sa bone se kgone go rekwa.

Senotsididi sa bagwebi bao se dirwa ka maungo a a akaretsang namune, apole, guava, le mango. Ba re ba gwetlhilwe ke letlhoko la ditiro go tla ka maano a tiro e.

Babueledi ba bagwebi bao, Borre Golekganye Letang le Pako Letang ba re senotsididi sa bone se rekwa ke ba dikgwebo tsa Batswana, mme mo nakong eno ba leka ka bojotlhe go ipapatsa ka go rekisetsa ba dikgwebo tse ditona jaaka Choppies.

Ba re ba bopile kompone eo e le ba lelwapa loora Letang, dikgwedi tse pedi tse di fetileng mme mathata a bone a magolo ke letlhoko la madi. Ba re ka fa ba bonang ka teng e tlaare mo lebakeng la dikgwedi tse thataro e bo e godile.

Kgwetlho e nngwe ya bone ke letlhoko la didirisiwa tse di tshwanang le setsidifatsi.

Ba ne ba rotloetsa banana go ipulela dikgwebo ka go farologana gore botshelo jwa bone e tle e nne jo bo itumedisang, gape ba rotloetsa banana go nna pelotelele mo go direng kgwebo ka go se bonolo. BOPA  

Attorney General Chambers reviews DCEC Act

13 February, 2012
GABORONE - The Attorney Generals Chamber is reviewing the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) Act of 1994.

The first review of the anti-corruption law seeks to expand and further define some of the sections of the Act to make them more powerful and prosecutable.

Mr Lentswe Motshoganetsi, head of public relations at DCEC, said in an interview that the review started two years ago. However, he could not tell when the review would end because it depended on the workload of lawyers at the Attorney Generals Chambers.

He explained that DCEC found it necessary for the anti-corruption law to be reviewed to broaden its scope so that it covered crime that was not prevalent when the anti-corruption agency was formed 18 years ago.

However, he would not specify sections of the DCEC Act that needed amendment.

He said an improved DCEC Act would help Botswana maintain its position in the Transparency Internationals Corruption Perception Index as a least corrupt country.

Transparency Internationals Corruption Perception Index 2011 indicates that Botswana improved its ratings from 5.8 in 2010 to 6.1 in 2011 out of a scale of zero to 10, zero being the most corrupt country and 10 being the cleanest government.

Mr Motshoganetsi said it was imperative for Botswana not to rest on its laurels hence the DCEC continued to do introspection in order to improve its capacity to tackle corruption.

Meanwhile, the DCEC received 1 414 reports between January 1, 2011 and December 31 of the same year, compared to 1 851 reports received in 2010. This shows a decrease by 437 cases.

Of the received reports, 459 were classified for investigations compared to 770 classified in 2010. Other 38 reports were retained for intelligence compared to 51 in 2010. Mostly, reports that are retained for intelligence are those that do not contain enough evidence and are made by anonymous informers, who cannot be traced.

The reports are retained to determine if evidence can be found against the suspects.

BOPA  

Broadhurst Magistrate Court upgraded

13 February, 2012
GABORONE - Broadhurst Magistrate Court has been upgraded to have a Chief Magistrate to deal with, amongst others, cases involving disciplinary hearings of magistrate officers.

Regional Magistrate (South) Mr Barnabas Nyamadzabo said with the upgrading of the Broadhurst Magistrate Court, cases involving the discipline of magistrate officers will be dealt with expeditiously.

His comment followed a concern raised by the chairperson of the Law Society of Botswana (LSB) Ms Yvonne Chilume that some magistrates were occasionally heavy-handed to a point of disrespect to both practitioners and members of the public.

Speaking at a media conference recently, Ms Chilume said other matters of concern to the LSB included the commencement of court proceedings long after scheduled times, no offer of reasons or apologies as well as postponement of matters for no or lame reasons.

She said the society hadexpressed its concern on the issues through its ongoing engagement with the Administration of Justice.

Mr Nyamadzabo however said such concerns have not reached his office even though issues of disciplining magistrate officers were handled by chief magistrates.

Ms Chilume had also decried poor service delivery at the magistrates courts, adding that the Land Tribunal suffered an immense backlog and needed immediate attention, saying increased engagement would assist in improving service delivery.

The chairperson also briefed the media on the Legal Aid, Judicial Case Management System, both of which are geared towards improving access to justice by members of the public. BOPA  

Ntuane reinstated as Leader of Opposition

13 February, 2012
GABORONE - The Speaker of the National Assembly, Ms Margaret Nasha announced Thursday that after forming a coalition, Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) and Botswana National Front (BNF) have agreed that Mr Botsalo Ntuane be Parliaments Leader of Opposition. This follows a motion that the Member of Parliament for Tswapong North, Mr Prince Maele tabled earlier during the week asking that parliament resolves that there is no official opposition in the national assembly of Botswana with immediate effect until such a time that there is an outright majority in the opposition camp or the standing orders are amended to deal with a hung opposition.

Ms Nasha explained that she received letters from both parties signed by Messers Duma Boko, BNF president and Nehemiah Modubule, BMD chairperson.

In accordance with standing order 7.4, recognition of a coalition between parties must be notified to the speaker, and they have formed a coalition and they have notified the speaker accordingly.

Over and above that the members of those parties have signed a form of notification that they are part and parcel of this and have agreed that Honourable Botsalo Ntuane be the leader of opposition, she said.

According to standing order 9.3.1, the leader of opposition shall be the principal spokesperson for the majority opposition party in the assembly or where there is a coalition, he or she shall be the spokesperson for the coalition, She explained.

Dr Nasha however said these recent developments do not stand in the way of the committee amending the standing orders to avoid the repetition of the unfortunate situation that the opposition parties found themselves in last week. BOPA  

MP advises govt to focus on agriculture

13 February, 2012
GABORONE - Government should focus more on agriculture and use finance as the tool to step up productivity in the sector as a long term economic diversification drive (EDD) solution.

Airing his views on the 2012/13 budget, the Member of Parliament for Tati West, Mr Charles Tibone said although he welcomes government EDD initiative to diversify the economy by developing spheres other than the primary areas, more emphasis should be put on the agricultural sector as this could improve the countrys economy.

Mr Tibone said to achieve results in EDD, government should do serious risk analysis which would fork out diversification programmes that will not depend much on the international market.

Such analysis should lead us to a position where we will find out that agriculture should be central to all our diversification efforts. I therefore recommend that we consider investing in agriculture more aggressively than we have done so far, particularly ISPAAD he said.

Mr Tibone said by dealing with problems that frustrate Integrated Support Programme for Arable Agricultural Development (ISPAAD) programmes and reinforcing efforts on this initiative, government would go a long way towards improving diversification programme.

He said government should do more in providing agricultural infrastructure as well as helping financially.

He said as it is at the moment, government only contributes to only five hectares and the rest farmers have to fend for themselves.

Government should invest in infrastructure because we cannot have agriculture as a major sector of the economy with no infrastructure, yes we are assisted with tractors but the basic things such as roads should be provided.

The policy is there to assist but the actual implementation does not yield the results that it is intended so this should be corrected, he said.

He said if government invested in agriculture the sector could contribute 10 per cent to the countrys GDP instead of the three per cent it is contributing now.

Mr Tibone explained that government has invested billions in the tourism industry, however when there is a recession in countries like the United States of America or in Europe the risk that government thought was running from will still remain and will affect the industry.

The so called high value clients we are trying to attract will not come during the recession and the high returns which we expect from this infrastructure will not materialise.

To make matters worse we do not couple this infrastructure with corresponding efforts to promote domestic tourism, for instance dams are not designed with a tourism component in them, he said.

Mr Tibone also said that in the past government lost millions through the FAP programme when it invested in the manufacturing industry.

Subsequently we discovered that because of a small domestic market the manufacturers could not find any market and at the end some of them were not viable and they ended up closing shop, he said. BOPA  

ISPAAD does well in Kgalagadi South

13 February, 2012
TSABONG - The Integrated Support Programme for Arable Development (ISPAAD) is doing well despite climate challenges in Kgalagadi South.

The Kgalagadi District crop production officer, Mrs Tiydze Mariri told BOPA in an interview that during the 2010-2011 season, over 1 053 hectares were ploughed resulting in a very impressive harvest.

Mrs Mariri said todate 65 farmers have cultivated over 169 hectares, adding that they are still measuring other fields to determine the total number of hectares cultivated and the number of farmers who ploughed.

She said they have disbursed sorghum, maize and bean seeds to 546 farmers.

Mrs Mariri lamented that the low rainfall and high temperatures this year would impact seriously on the crops, saying maize was already feeling the impact of the scorching heat.

She said shortage of tractors was a major challenge as the land dried up before farmers could be assisted, adding that even those who use donkeys experience delays because when the rains come the donkeys may still be weak.

The other challenges, she said, are weeds, especially thorny grass that keeps cropping up after being weeded.

She urged farmers in Kgalagadi South to plant sorghum, beans and peanuts, which can withstand the harsh conditions instead of maize. BOPA  

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