Botswana

Elderly man charged for girlfriend’s murder

The Voice BW - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 16:51

A jilted 62-year-old Molepolole man is in police custody for strangling his ex-girlfriend to death in a jealous rage.

On the fateful day, the elderly Modisakgama Dithapo, who could not handle rejection had allegedly lured the 39-year-old Boitshepo Koothaetse to the bush near Scottish Livingstone hospital with a promise to give her some money.

Oblivious to Dithapo’s intention, Koothaetse who had ended their love affair to reconcile with the father of her children agreed to meet with her elderly ex-lover.

Sadly that was the last time she was seen alive.

Her body was later discovered by a herdman in a stream at Gamotanka, just few kilometres behind Scottish Livingstone Hospital.

Dithapo, a resident of Mampala lands, is said to have confessed to the murder and told the police that he had been in a relationship with Koothaetse for four years until she dumped him in October for the father of her kids.

Dithapo was remanded in custody following his arraignment last week before a Molepolole Magistrates’ Court.

State prosecutor, Assistant Superintendent Uyapo Koketso, pleaded with the court to remand Dithapo as investigations were still at an early stage and that some of the witnesses had not yet recorded their statements.

“The incident occurred recently and most people are still traumatised. I therefore make an application that the accused be remanded in custody also for his safety,” said ASP Koketso.

Magistrate Keabetswe Majuta adjourned the matter to December 18th, 2020 to allow the investigating officer time to address the court why the accused could not be granted bail.

The rise in number of murder cases is putting the state in a tight spot as from last week three magistrate have been placed in Molepolole to push the backlog of GBV cases in Kweneng District.

However, Officer Commanding District No. 11, Senior Superintendent Modise Gabatshwane during the recent ‘Borre Tsaya Taolo’ walk against Gender Based Violence revealed that from January to September 2018 they recorded 29 cases of murder, 36 last year and 41 cases this year same period.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Categorie: Botswana

Tsheole appointed Deputy President of ASEA

The Voice BW - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 16:32

Botswana Stock Exchange Limited (BSEL) Chief Executive Officer, Thapelo Tsheole has been appointed Deputy President of African Securities Exchanges Association (ASEA).

Tsheole, who has been leading the BSE since 2016, was appointed as the ASEA Deputy President during the Association’s 24th Annual General Meeting (AGM) held on Tuesday this week.

In responding to his election as Deputy President, Thapelo Tsheole said, “I would like to thank my colleagues in the continent for entrusting me with this role and I accept the task ahead which is to work with a team of experts to transform capital markets in Africa,.’

He further noted that ASEA has performed tremendously well in promoting Africa as a viable investment destination and is look forward to building on that to attract issuer and investment participation, as well as develop securities exchanges to adopt international best practice.

“The BSE has been pursuing a strategy to expand its African and global presence and this is an important milestone in that regard,” he stated.

Formed in 1993, ASEA is the premier association of 27 securities exchanges serving 32 economies in Africa and its aim to develop member exchanges and provide a platform for networking and cooperation on areas of mutual importance.

Tsheole’s appointment as ASEA Deputy President follows his re-election as the Chairperson of the Committee of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Stock Exchanges (CoSSE) last month.

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Categorie: Botswana

Phokoletso Proven to be a fast mover in the FMCG industry

The Voice BW - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 14:25

“I am the first Motswana to become Regional Sales Manager in the retail industry particularly Masscash Limited. This was achieved because of my unwavering commitment to whatever I do”

In her 15 years in the Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry, Marang Phokoletso has proved a fast mover herself.

The 39-year-old has served in various management positions, rising swiftly up the retail industry ranks to reach her current role, Regional Sales Manager for Masscash (Trident Holdings) Limited. Indeed, the Francistown native is the first Motswana to hold such a lofty title.

Despite her hectic work schedule, the hard-working Phokoletso has balanced her job commitments with furthering her education.

To date, her qualifications include a Masters in Strategic Management as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resources.

In this interview with The Voice’s KABELO ADAMSON, the impressive Phokoletso proudly shares her story.

Firstly, as the Regional Sales Manager, what does your day-to-day job entail?

As a Regional Sales Manager, I formulate and implement the strategy of the company regarding the sales for all the six stores that we have.

And when did your career in the retail industry start?

I started as a Management Trainee back in 2005 when I finished my Human Resource studies and immediately enrolled in the trainee programme where I was an Assistant Branch Manager for about eight months.

With my good performance, I was appointed Branch Manager and progressed until I was appointed Regional General Manager.

I joined Eureka in January 2016 as a Sales Manager and got promoted to my current position in December 2018.

Next month marks two years in this role – how have you found the journey so far?

It has not been a smooth one because when I started, I was a bit young and many couldn’t believe I could make it because by then I was working with older people and at one point, the youngest person was 40 years old.

It was a bit difficult to manage older people but I would say it is better than managing younger ones because there is an element of respect but they are limited in other aspects of the business.

In your 15 years in the industry to date, what do you regard as your biggest achievement?

I believe that was when I was appointed the Regional Sales Manager for Masscash Holdings – I was the first Motswana appointed to such a position!

Impressive! And what would you say is the main challenge you have faced so far?

I think one of the biggest challenges is that as a woman, people tend to doubt your capabilities.

As a woman, you need to keep proving yourself and work beyond what is expected of you.

What drives you to strive for excellence?

The secret to my good performance is to believe and practice continuous improvement and leveraging the synergies of united teams.

Like I said, I am the first Motswana to become Regional Sales Manager for Masscash Limited.

This was achieved because of my unwavering commitment to whatever I do.

How has Covid-19 affected your business?

Covid-19 has impacted us heavily though we are classified as an essential service especially on the liquor side.

We had some customers who were buying on credit from us and they went some months without selling; now we have bad debts.

Even the food sector was affected as we lost many customers due to movement restrictions, especially in the Kgalagadi area where they were restricted to go as far as Jwaneng.

When the virus started, there was a shortage of commodities for stuff like flour and maize-meal and we had to share our customers with our competitors.

Now things are normalizing but it is quite difficult to get those people back.

So how is Masscash positioning itself to respond to the threat brought by Covid-19?

What we have come up with is just to assure loyalty among our customers.

We strive to improve our customer service.

We also try to increase certain credits for those who have potential.

Competition is increasing daily, what are you doing to retain your customers?

That one goes back to differentiation because one of the strategies I learned from school and from the little experience that I have is that you need to differentiate from your competitors.

Firstly we provide free deliveries no matter where we deliver to, so that’s an advantage for us.

We are always stocked up, but the challenge that we have is that most of our competitors are expanding and we only have few branches to compete with them.

However, we try to buy in bulk so that we get the advantage of economies of scale.

Does the company not plan to open more branches then?

I wouldn’t say we don’t have intentions; we do have but at the moment I cannot disclose much.

The pandemic has resulted in many job losses, which, amongst others means the public’s buying power has declined. Do you envision business going back to the pre-Coronavirus performance?

I can’t say it has declined.

Instead, people have changed their buying patterns.

For example, when you used to buy 5 Kg, you now buy 12.5 Kg because you are not sure about the next day whether they will be a lockdown or anything.

But the challenge is that there has been a mushrooming of retailers in this industry, and right now we have 50 customers waiting to open Saverite.

Each person now thinks retail is the ‘in thing’ and believe they can make money from it.

Because we are in the wholesale sector, we will improve, unless there are issues of price changes or inflation

You have progressed much in your professional career, what is your next target?

Okay, I wouldn’t say I have progressed much and I think what I have is equivalent to my qualifications.

I would also like to see other people progress well.

So how is the business empowering locals?

Trident falls under Masscash which is a member of the Massmart Group which also falls under Walmart.

Masscash is trying to empower the locals wherever they operate.

For example, in Botswana, we have 99.9 percent of the locals in our regional office.

In the past, we had foreigners running the stores but the positions have been localized.

When you are not busy at work, how do you pass time?

I am so reserved and prefer just staying home.

I am not an outgoing person to be honest with you.

And finally, Thank God It’s Friday, what will you be up to this weekend?

I will be travelling to Serowe to attend my friend’s wedding so I need to give her some support.

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Categorie: Botswana

Choppies embark on a “back to basics” approach

The Voice BW - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 14:20

Choppies co-founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Ramachandran Ottapathu says the company will focus on a ‘back to basics’ approach over the next two to three years.

This follows an extremely difficult period for the retailer, climaxing in Ottapathu’s suspension on 20 May last year over allegations of accounting irregularities – he was eventually reinstated on 7 September 2019.

Prior to this, at the start of November 2018, Choppies was suspended from trading on the Botswana Stock Exchange Limited (BSEL) and Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) – the penalty for failing to publish its audited annual financial statements for the year ended June 30, 2018.

The suspension lasted for almost 21 months and was only lifted on 27 July this year.

It is hardly surprising then that in the company’s latest annual report, Ottapathu described the past year as the most challenging of his career, characterised by boardroom battles and the closure of stores in some countries.

In an effort to steady the ship, Choppies aims to become the people’s preferred choice of retailer for mass groceries and financial services in the four countries – Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Zambia – in which it operates.

“For the front end of our business, our strategy is to expand and improve the non-traditional offering that people will use and become a genuine local community player,” outlined Ottapathu.

Choppies has underpinned its strategy on a number of objectives, including consolidation of its portfolio, debt reduction, expansion of financial services, and restoring stakeholder confidence.

Ottapathu also notes trade in Botswana – where Choppies currently has 88 stores – is becoming ‘overpopulated’.

As a result, despite his ‘back to basics’ talk, Ottapathu revealed the company is looking to evolve its value proposition in the direction of higher-margin goods and services.

“This year we have furthered expansion in the territory with three new stores, and the addition of new value-added products, especially in grocery and the expansion of fresh produce and meat,” stated the business guru widely known as Ram.

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Categorie: Botswana

Know Your Mall – The ‘game city’ experience

The Voice BW - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 14:15

In this first installment of Know Your Mall – a column designed to provide readers with in-depth details of local shopping malls – we feature Game City.

Know Your Mall - The ‘game city’ experience

Game City Shopping Mall

The famous shopping complex is the flagship property of real estate developers, Turnstar Holdings Ltd.

In this enlightening interview, Turnstar’s Asset Manager, Kagiso Morokotso fields questions on one of the biggest malls in the country.

When was Game City established?

Turnstar was established in 2002.

Alongside the establishment of Turnstar, Game City was also established.

The mall was conceived between the years 2002 and 2004 and was established by Gulaam Abdoola.

The company was subsequently listed on the stock exchange and had a lot of people coming on board.

Which market of the society were you targeting?

Look, I must say the founder of the company is a very articulate person and particular to attention.

So when the mall was being conceived, he was very particular in offering shoppers an experience, ‘a lifestyle’ if you may call it.

The idea was to offer convenience, nightlife, dining and a special shopping experience to anyone who was coming through our borders.

Besides the shopping experience, what other services can be found in the mall?

We have a very energetic and hyper marketing department.

You will realize that our head office is here at the mall and just a stone throw away is our events venue.

We have different themed arenas where we host corporate events, parties, and anything that is formal.

Amongst that we also have a couple of galleries across the mall where we have people who have ad hoc events, such as car shows.

A couple of years ago we finished our covered parking space where we have the capability to host events as well.

We have also started some outdoor activities as we recently introduced a go-cart area.

Outside the shopping experience, we want a person to come with his/her family because we have a kiddies’ area as well.

Who were some of your first tenants, and are you still with them today?

The first one is Game; you cannot mention Game City without Game who we have enjoyed their tenancy over the years.

We have also boasted local entrepreneurs as we have a couple of units occupied by the likes of Lock City and hair salons.

We have enjoyed support from the banking institutions too.

In the future, what can a shopper expect from Game City?

Game City prides itself on being Botswana’s biggest shopping mall.

We consider ourselves a super mall and we cannot compete with anyone in the country.

For example, we have about 65, 000 square metres of lettable area.

Which mall in the country has that?

Nonetheless, we are excited by the level at which Game City is growing as there is going to be a lot of activity in terms of the outfits that we bring to the mall as we expand.

We are trendsetters and are excited to say ‘lookout and stay tuned!’

How has Game City maintained its occupancy levels over the years?

God has been good to us at Game City as we have always maintained an occupancy level of above 95 percent.

I always tell our tenants that we have a list of people who are waiting for other tenants’ departure so that they can move in.

We have different themed sections for the mall.

There is a banking hall, food court, and retail section, so occupancy has been exciting for us over the years.

Lastly, Black Friday is here – what special arrangements do you have in place since this year it comes at a time when there is a pandemic?

We have ensured that our tenants adhere to the Covid-19 regulations.

As a way to avoid congestion, most of the shops have been running their Black Friday specials for the whole of November.

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Categorie: Botswana

School bus driver fleeces parents of P116 000

The Voice BW - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 14:13

FRAUDSTER FACES 60 COUNTS OF OBTAINING BY FALSE PRETENSE

A school bus driver who defrauded parents of the children he was transporting to school of P116 000 has been nabbed.

For two years, 41- year-old Sam Nyakutira from Zimbabwe tricked gullible parents at Newtown International School to give him their hard earned cash to pay school fees for them.

It is alleged he obtained the money on the pretense that as an employee of the school he was entitled to pay fees at a discounted rate, a statement he knew to be false.

However after obtaining the money and spending it, he would submit forged Stanbic Bank deposit slip with a stamp to the school accounts officer knowing the same to be false.

The offences were allegedly committed between 2017 and 2018 but Nyakutira was only caught last week Friday after a thorough audit of the school bank account revealed that the bank deposits slips were fake.

He appeared in court on Monday facing 60 counts of obtaining by false pretenses and uttering a false document.

When asked if he had anything to say, Nyakutira’s attorney, Kebonyemodisa told the magistrate that he was going to apply for bail at the next mention.

State Prosecutor Inspector Alexander Phale pleaded with court not to grant the accused bail. He said they were yet to establish who at the bank was working with Nyakutira giving him stamped deposit slip knowing full well that the money was not deposited in the school account.

“We fear that should he be granted bail, he would likely temper with the police investigations. The offences occurred about three years ago but arrest was made this Friday so we are still at an initial stage of inquiries. More charges are likely to be added hence why the plea is reserved. His passport is not in order, it was last used in 2013, and there are few things we are investigating to find out if it is still in use. We are yet to take it to immigration for further investigations and therefore need more time,” said Phale

Village Magistrate Mokgoro agreed to give prosecution more time to investigate the matter. He ordered that Nyakutira be remanded in custody to be brought back to court on the 14th of December for mention.

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Categorie: Botswana

Botswana Savings Bank opens new branch in Palapye

The Voice BW - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 14:10

Located at River View Mall, the latest addition to the Botswana Savings Bank empire extends the government-owned bank’s total outreach to seven branches, including further stand-alone outlets in Francistown and Gaborone.

In his welcome remarks, BSB Chief Executive Officer, Nixon Marumoloa described Thursday’s official opening as ‘an important occasion’.

Marumoloa proudly noted the ‘fully-fledged’ Palapye branch boasts a ‘completely refreshed look and feel’, which will ultimately provide improved customer service.

“BSB is continuously looking for opportunities to expand its banking services to the people of Botswana. We are committed to delivering our financial inclusion mandate for our customers and communities. This is done by following through a more creative outlook to business, creating an environment that is conducive for relentless innovation, maintaining market relevance and leadership,” said Marumoloa.

The BSB top dog stressed that the bank’s ultimate goal is to increase its footprint and brand visibility across the country, backed up by a skilled workforce.

“As we continue to increase access to customers in the most remote areas, the bank has embarked on various long-term projects that are currently a work in process. These include the opening of additional new branches across the country in Maun, Gumare, Kanye, and Molepolole to ensure that our services are accessible to all in Botswana,” he revealed.

For his part, the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Thapelo Matsheka praised BSB for playing an important role in taking banking services to Botswana’s unbanked population.

Botswana Savings Bank opens new branch in Palapye

NEW DAWN: Matsheka officially opening BSB Palapye

“I thank Botswana Savings Bank for choosing Palapye as another destination to provide their banking services. Palapye is a steadily growing village, with upcoming infrastructure and developments. The branch is strategically located along the A1 Road in Riverview Mall, where it creates great convenience and access even more possible for the community.

“I believe that today is not just an important day for BSB, it is also an important day for each resident of Palapye and the Tswapong area,” stated Minister Matsheka.

Botswana Savings Bank opens new branch in Palapye

FRESH: BSB Palapye branch

For his part, when giving thanks, Palapye Member of Parliament (MP), Onneetse Ramogapi, noted BSB is ‘Batswana’s product’ and thus urged the people to support and invest in it.

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Categorie: Botswana

Ghetto 83% covid-19 compliant

The Voice BW - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 14:08

*City has never reached Red Zone status

The Mayor of Francistown, Godisang Radisigo has revealed there is still a gap his city has to close before it can be declared safe during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The second city’s first citizen was speaking during the second and final scheduled Full Council session of the year on Monday.

Radisigo told Council that in terms of compliance level since May, Ghetto stood at 83.4 percent.

“This indicates that there is a gap that we need to close as a community since this is not negotiable and should be applied to the fullest,” he stressed.

To achieve 100 percent compliance, the concerned leader urged Francistowners to: keep proper registers, functional thermometers, quality sanitizers, maintain social distancing and always wear a facemask when out in public.

“The Covid-19 disease and its resultant negative impacts remain a serious threat amongst us. In our commitment to live with the disease we have to remain vigilant and observe the health protocols,” declared Radisigo, who was voted into office last December.

The Mayor further warned people should never be fatigued by the many protocols in place as they are meant to preserve lives.

“Cities are by nature prone to a spike in numbers so I take this opportunity to appreciate your effort so far as the City has never reached a Red Zone status,” he added, warning that the disease strives where there is a lapse in concentration.

The Francistown Mayor further revealed that in the just ended schools’ final examinations, which started on 2nd October, they recorded three Covid-19 positive candidates at Junior Certificate level and one at BGCSE level.

“Only six candidates had to be quarantined during the course of the exam because they were Covid-19 suspects. We had two at PSLE, three at JC, and one at BGCSE. However, measures were put in place to ensure that positive and suspected candidates wrote and finished their exams smoothly,” he said.

Meanwhile, Radisigo said despite the negative growth in the global economy due the Covid-19 pandemic, Francistown is poised for recovery after the Ministry of Local Government reinstated their 2020/21 recurrent budget.

He said government has put in place a robust Economic Recovery and Transformational Plan to be implemented from 2020/21 to 2022/23.

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Categorie: Botswana

BDC and Kromberg on expansion drive

The Voice BW - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 14:05

Two companies partner on P64 million factory

Botswana Development Corporation (BDC) and Kromberg and Schubert have recently unveiled the expansion of their factory to the tune of P64 million.

The two entities partnership began in 2017 with the launch of a 4100 square metres factory at the cost of P36 million.

Officiating at the event, Minister of Investment, Trade, and Industry, Peggy Serame said the expansion of the factory enhances Botswana’s opportunity to grow and increase exports to neighboring countries and abroad.

“This contributes to the regional and global automotive value chains,” Serame said, adding that the milestone comes at a time when Botswana is pursuing an agenda to restore the economy and safeguard jobs.

Serame said an expansion of a business during the time of the pandemic proves that there are resilient industries that can withstand the challenges emanating from Covid-19.

“An indication of the need to expand required government and any institution charged with the responsibility to facilitate businesses to make concerted efforts in ensuring that all obstacles are removed for the project to be realized,” she said.

Since its incorporation in Botswana back in 2009, Serame said Kromberg has asserted its position as a significant player in the regional automotive industry value chain.

BDC and Kromberg on expansion drive

BREAKING GROUND: Serame with BDC and Kromberg and Schubert officials

“It has also been a critical player in the economic development of this country currently employing more than 2,100 citizens across its operations, and has created several other indirect jobs through outsourcing some of their services such as maintenance, transport, cleaning and catering in the cafeteria,” said the Trade Minister.

Also, she said the company exports on average P2 billion worth of goods on yearly basis thereby contributing to foreign exchange.

“Kromberg and Schubert’ continuous expansion and investment in Botswana is testimony to our investor-friendly policies and response to our continued efforts to improve the doing business environment,” she noted.

The minister said it is worth emphasizing that for Botswana to be a global competitor, the local private sector should penetrate the regional and international markets.

“Our vision is for this country to transform from being largely an importing and consuming to being a producer and an exporting country,” she stated, pointing out that this can only be achieved through projects like the one that was launched.

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Categorie: Botswana

Govt to audit Tuli Block farms

The Voice BW - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 14:04

The Minister of Land Management, Water and Sanitation, Kefentse Mzwinila says to ascertain the absentee use of freehold land, there is a need to conduct an intensive field investigation.

He said this in parliament this week when responding to questions posed by Member of Parliament (MP) Sefhare-Ramokgonami, Dr Kesitegile Gobotswang who wanted the minister to update the house on the status of Tuli Block Farms.

Among others, he wanted Mzwinila to state the total number and ownership per nationality and how many farms are owned by absentee landlords and how many of them are not in productive use.

In response, he told parliament that currently there is an ongoing exercise to determine the development status of all farms in Botswana including those on State and Tribal Land.

“The conclusion of this exercise, which is anticipated during the next financial year will provide a more precise response to the question,” he said.

Gobotswang further enquired whether the minister would consider introducing a tax on farms that are not in productive use for a specified period, however, Mzwinila said this is something the Ministry would consider.

The Sefhare/Ramokgonami legislator also asked whether the Minister would consider creating a buffer zone between the commercial farms and Limpopo River to allow local communities access to the river for grazing, fishing, small scale riverbank irrigation and tourism.

But Mzwinila noted that the creation of a buffer zone between the river and the commercial farms requires negotiations with the farmers to expropriate some portions of land for the stated activities.

He said it should be noted that the middle of the river is the international boundary, which means South Africa will have to be engaged on the issue.

“However, my ministry will soon embark on an exercise to negotiate for a servitude/wayleave along our international boundaries to facilitate the opening of patrol routes for security purposes,” revealed the Minister.

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Categorie: Botswana

Cop in court for killing suspected robber

The Voice BW - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 14:04

An inquest to establish whether a police officer who gunned down a young man during a manhunt for a robbery suspect should be charged or not has been postponed to February 2021.

Magistrate Ike Raphael postponed the matter to February 11th, 2021 to allow for three more witnesses to give evidence in court.
The tragic shooting which occurred on July 23rd, 2017 at Matsila ward in Thamaga, claimed the life of 23- year- old Kaelo Mosaunyana of Kgosing ward in the same village.

Furious locals had described Mosaunyana’s death as police brutality while the cops claimed it was an accident, prompting government to instigate an inquest.

Giving evidence before Molepolole Magistrate, Ike Raphael said the cop at the centre of the storm, 45-year-old Detective Constable Steven Motsewabeng said while on patrol with Detective Sergeant Aron, Detective Constable Medupe and Special Constable Balosang; they received a report of robbery from the office and rushed to the scene.

He said the call came from one Patrick Rabola who reported that three men wearing masks and armed with knives, and stones broke into his house demanding money and cellphones.

“The reporter informed us that one of the suspects wearing a black tee shirt ran towards Urban Club. We went there and spotted one boy wearing a black top in the company of others. We tried to stop them but they ran away and we followed, “explained Motsewabeng.

Motsewabeng further told the court that when sergeant Aron eventually stopped the vehicle for the cops to question the young men, one of them attacked him and as they wrestled for the gun that was in his hand it discharged bullets accidentally and killed the attacker.

However special Constable Balosang who was left sitting in the car when his colleagues went to confront the suspects told the court that she heard a gunshot and hastily got out only to find the boy they were chasing on the ground face down, bleeding from the head.

“I did not hear any commotion. After the gun shot I heard Detective Sergeant Aron asking Motsewabeng why he shot at the man and he did not respond,” explained Balosang.

Meanwhile Mosaunyana’s cousin, Gorataone Eddie, 27, told the court that Mosaunyana was about four meters away from the police vehicle when he was shot.

“When the police got out of the vehicle we could tell they were holding guns and one of them asked us what our problem was but before we could even answer he he fired a shot and we ran.

In the morning I heard Mosaunyana was hit by the police bullet and died.

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Categorie: Botswana

Lawmakers condemn unjust immigration law

The Voice BW - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 14:02

Since 2013 scores of Batswana of Angolan descent have been rendered stateless after government revoked their national identity cards.

This started when government used the renunciation law, which requires children born of a foreign parent to renounce citizenship of their parent at the age of 21 before they can be issued Botswana Citizenship.

Many who were issued identification documents (Omang and Passport) before despite the law, had their documents taken away which left them stateless and in a predicament whereby they cannot even seek employment. Such people cannot even access their bank accounts or carry out business transactions.

This is despite the pending immigration law revision bill which was recommended by Parliament through a motion that was passed in December 2019.

The Bill is expected to allow for default position for children born here to automatically become Batswana if they do not denounce the citizenship.

In this week’s edition FRANCINAH BAAITSE-MMANA speaks to lawmakers from the affected constituencies on the matter.

KENNY KAPINGA (Okavango)

Botswana policy on immigration is next to fascist. There is a morbid fascination with the idea of Botswana being flooded by foreign nationals.

This ultra conservative policy has resulted in a very hostile policy towards refugees and immigrants.

Citizens of Botswana of Angolan descent should after more than three decades of their parents living in Botswana and them having been born in Botswana and having never set foot in Angola not be required to be still applying for Botswana citizenship.

It is a case of an abusive immigration policy.

This same policy resulted in a coercive repatriation of Namibian refugees despite their well-known desire to settle in Botswana.

I am totally opposed to such a policy, which is contrary to international norms and standards. I therefore repudiate it.

CARTERPILLAR HIKUAMA (Ngami)

It is unfortunate for government to revoke and impound national IDs of people who have been here in Botswana for close to 38 years, people who have immensely contributed to both the country’s economic growth and development.

They participated in various economic activities in different sectors such as tourism and Agriculture.

Some people who were born here have no other country to call home apart from Botswana.

Hikuama

As such failure to denounce automatically should make them retain their Botswana citizenship because they have never been Angolans in the first place.

It is time Botswana inherit these people once and forever because truly speaking they are Batswana in spirit and everything else; they have no interest or connections to anything in Angola. It will be a win for the country to make them Botswana citizens.

GORETETSE KEKGONEGILE (Maun East)

It is unfortunate that our people have been subjected to such inhuman treatment for such a long time.

Being rendered stateless by the country of your birth and origin is tantamount to a death sentence as your life stands still with no progression at all.

Kekgonegile

It is in that context that Parliament in its December 2019 sitting adopted my motion, which corrected the injustice and rendered Botswana citizenship the default position.

Unfortunately minister responsible has not rectified the law through Parliament Bill, of which I intended to do through a private members bill in the coming meeting as a long-term solution to this injustice.

MACHANA SHAMUKUNI (Chobe )

The case of revoking Omang is prevalent in the Ngami and Okavango areas. We do not have many people of Angolan descent in Chobe.

Most of the cases involve people whose parents were origionally from other countries including Zambia, Namibia and Zimbabwe.

Shamukuni

I have not received any case of those from Angola to be honest. But there are procedures put in place to help those in need to renounce citizenship and people who are mostly affected are children whose other parents are from outside the country.

When they reach the age of 21, they have to renounce procedurally

We have structures in place to process these applications within reasonable time; tribal leaders (Dikgosi) are there to help with affidavits.

We are actually reviewing the default position law so that those who were born in the country would be assumed to be citizens unless they renounce it.
The bill is on the way. As you know everything is a process we have to consult and come up with the law that is implementable and the responsible ministry will do it.

Currently the custodian of the bill is the ministry responsible for immigration and national registrations.

KEBAREEDITSE NTSOGOTHO (North West district council chairperson)

Many people around Etsha are undocumented. They are being denied basic amenities because to access free services you need to be identified by your national ID.

While government officers take all their time to establish these people’s citizenships, their lives are on hold, they cannot make any progress in life.

Ntsogotho

Most of the IDs were revoked during the 2014 general elections period so we realized that this was not just an immigration issue but also a matter associated with elections.

Many people whose IDs were confiscated were associated we opposition parties.

Their Omang were revoked in order to reduce opposition party voting power.

We need to stand up and speak up against this kind of discrimination against our people.

There is need for intervention by members of parliament, District Commissioners and tribal authorities so that we see how best to assist these people.

In fact I believe the minister has to come forth and assist these people.

The issue here is not legibility because people who’s IDs were revoked have long settled in Botswana before independence.

It appears IDs were revoked following an instruction from the top.

It was a deliberate political stand to derive these people of their identity as Batswana.

These people came from Angola the same way many others arrived from many other countries including Zimbabwe, Zambia, South Africa and others to join hands and build this country.

They contributed immensely to the development of this country.

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Categorie: Botswana

BHC Profits Plummet by P12.1 million

The Voice BW - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 14:00

(2 – If needed) The various lockdowns imposed by the government to control the spread of Covid-19 resulted in low activity at the BHC’s construction projects.

Botswana Housing Corporation (BHC) has seen its profits take a huge knock for the six-month period ended September 30.

The Corporation recorded a profit after tax of P5.3 million for the period under review, a decline of P12.1 million from the P17.4 million registered during the same time phase last year.

According to BHC Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Reginald Motswaiso, the drop in profits was registered on the back of low margins from sales in areas away from the organisation’s major markets of Gaborone and Francistown.

Motswaiso also noted the various lockdowns imposed by the government to control the spread of Covid-19 resulted in low activity at the BHC’s construction projects.

BHC Profits Plummet by P12.1 million

BHC HOUSING: Stock and sales plummet

“This affected the rate of capitalization of interest expenses year-on-year by 152 percent to P11 million. Operating costs and staff costs reduced year-on-year on the back of reduced business activity. However, these were eclipsed by interest expenses,” he outlined.

During the period under review, the Corporation also recorded a decline in revenue, which went down by 14 percent – from P391 million in 2019 to P335 million this time around.

Motswaiso attributed this drop to the reduction in revenue from construction and management contracts, which decreased by P69 million, representing a year-on-year decline of 41 percent.

Sales revenue, which is the Corporation’s major revenue stream, performed well during the first half of the financial year, increasing year-on-year increase by 15 percent to P90 million,” stated Motswaiso, adding this was driven by high sales volumes.

However, he pointed out that the margins on the sales were low due to the sales mix between the old and new stock.

During the half-year period, new stock, which is said to have relatively lower profit margins, dominated the sales mix.

“This was further exacerbated by the fact that some of the sales were in areas away from main markets of Gaborone and Francistown,” explained Motswaiso.

Meanwhile, rental income, which is BHC’s second-biggest revenue earner, increased by P7 million to P103 million.

The increase is attributed to the additional housing units that were added to the investment property portfolio during the first half of the year.

Despite the growth in rental income, rentals arrears actually increased from P10 million to P14 million – something the CEO says needs ‘close monitoring’ as it puts additional pressure on BHC’s profitability due to impairment adjustments.

Meanwhile, the vacancy rate stood at 1.05 percent at the end of the review period, well below BHC’s benchmark of 1.5 percent.

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Categorie: Botswana

Passenger stabbed to death in road rage incident

The Voice BW - Mar, 01/12/2020 - 11:35

Old Naledi police have confirmed the death of a 34-year-old passenger who was stabbed to death by a motorist from a different vehicle in a road rage incident last Sunday.

It is alleged the suspect had been driving recklessly and scratched the vehicle that was in front when he tried to overtake, just a few kilometres before Boatle village along the A1 Lobatse road.

The other driver is said to have tried to stop him but he drove away and pulled off at a bus stop near Mokolodi turn-off.

The occupants of the other vehicle, a driver and passenger, allegedly found him at the bus stop and the three had a verbal exchange before the offending driver stabbed the rival passenger with a knife.

Old Naledi Police Station Commander, Superintendent Nelson Selabe, confirmed the incident and said investigations into the matter had just started.

Selabe said as soon as the investigations are complete the matter would be registered and the suspect will be arraigned before court.

“We received the report between 10 and 10:30 pm. The victim was rushed to the hospital and unfortunately the doctors certified him dead upon arrival. We arrested the suspect the same night and detained him pending the investigations. My advice would be that motorists should cooperate and control their anger,” said Selabe.

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Categorie: Botswana