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BSE lifts Collins Newman suspension

Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) has re-admitted local law firm Collins Newman & Company into the list of its registered advisers after suspending the legal practice early this year. In a circular made public on the 28th of March 2019, the Thapelo Tsheole led stock market officially announced the suspension of the law firm.

Collins Newman, run by prominent lawyer Parks Tafa, was this year entangled in court cases as it fought for its blood, following a decision by the Law Society of Botswana (LSB) not to award the legal practice with a license for this year. LSB further made an application to have the firm placed under curatorship.

Consequently the Master of the High Court appointed a curator to take control and administer the trust funds under Collins Newman & Co. The Deputy Registrar and Master of the High Court of Lobatse, Takura Charumbira then appointed George Simanga, a certified auditor of the Abson Partners, as curator to take control and administer the trust accounts of Collins Newman.

Tafa and his law firm then moved an application to be put back on the legal practitioners’ roll as well as be issued with Practicing Certificates and Fidelity Fund Certificates, prior to being struck off the roll by LSB insisting that they had failed to produce audited reports. In a case before Lobatse High Court Judge R.N.M Lekorwe, Collins Newman and Company were represented by Advocate Paul Kennedy by instruction of Attorneys Ms Makati-Mpho and Ms KT Kebotse, while the Law Society of Botswana was represented by Advocate John Peter with Advocate M Garebatho under instruction of Attorney Mr K Botlhole.

The court then ruled that the decision of the third respondent refusing to issue Collins Newman and Company and Parks Tafa with Fidelity Fund Certificate(s) be reviewed and set aside. Law Society of Botswana was then ordered to issue Collins Newman and Company with Fidelity Fund Certificate(s) for the year ending 31st December 2019.The Sixth Respondent was also ordered, upon presentation of the Fidelity Fund Certificate(s) and payment of the prescribed fees, to issue Practicing Certificates to the First Applicant/Collins Newman and Company and restore the applicant’s names to the register/roll in terms of Section 32 (5) of the Legal Practitioners Act.

Judge Lekorwe further ruled that the order issued by Takura Charumbira in his capacity as the Deputy Registrar and Master of the High Court on the 4th July 2019 be set aside. The First, Second and Third were also ordered to pay all costs for  application and those associated with the defective curatorship proceedings jointly and severally, the one paying the other(s) to be absolved.

BSE this week in a circular dated 17 December 2019, announced that in terms of the High Court Judgment dated 30 August 2019, in which the Registrar of High Court was ordered to issue Collins Newman with practicing certificates, the latter’s suspension has been lifted consequently re-admitting the firm into the List of BSE Registered advisers as it is now fully compliant.

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People with Disabilities Face Barriers to Political Participation in Botswana

23rd February 2024

Individuals challenged by disabilities encounter formidable obstacles when endeavoring to partake in political processes within the context of Botswana. Political involvement, a cornerstone of democratic governance, empowers citizens to shape the legislative landscape that impacts their daily existence. Despite Botswana’s reputation for upholding democratic ideals, recent insights unveil a troubling reality – those with disabilities find themselves marginalized in the realm of politics, contending with substantial barriers obstructing the exercise of their democratic liberties.

A recent inquiry in Botswana unveiled a panorama where individuals with disabilities confront hurdles in navigating the political arena, their involvement often restricted to the basic act of voting. Voices emerged from the study, underscoring the critical necessity of fostering environments that are accessible and welcoming, affording individuals with disabilities the active engagement they rightfully deserve in political processes. Noteworthy was the account of a participant grappling with physical impairments, shedding light on the glaring absence of ramps at polling stations and the urgent call for enhanced support mechanisms to ensure an equitable electoral participation.

The echoes reverberating from these narratives serve as poignant reminders of the entrenched obstacles impeding the full integration of individuals with disabilities into the democratic tapestry. The inaccessibility of polling stations and the glaring absence of provisions tailored to the needs of persons with disabilities loom large as formidable barricades to their political engagement. Particularly pronounced is the plight of those grappling with severe impairments and intellectual challenges, who face even steeper hurdles in seizing political participation opportunities, often grappling with feelings of isolation and exclusion from the political discourse.

Calls for decisive action cascade forth, urging the establishment of more inclusive and accessible political ecosystems that embrace individuals with disabilities in Botswana. Government bodies and concerned stakeholders are urged to prioritize the enactment of laws and policies designed to safeguard the political rights of individuals with disabilities. Furthermore, initiatives geared towards enhancing awareness and education on political processes and rights for this segment of society must be spearheaded, alongside the adoption of inclusive measures within political institutions and party structures.

By dismantling these barriers and nurturing a political landscape that is truly inclusive, Botswana can earnestly uphold its democratic ethos and afford every citizen, including those with disabilities, a substantive opportunity to partake in the political fabric of the nation.



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Neo Kirchway- Defying the odds

23rd February 2024

In the heartwarming tale of Neo Kirchway, a beacon of inspiration emerges, shining brightly amid life’s adversities.

Defying the constraints of destiny, Neo Kirchway, a resilient Motswana soul now thriving in the United States, stands tall despite the absence of her lower limbs. With unwavering determination, she tends to her cherished family – a loving husband and four children – engaging in the daily symphony of household tasks with remarkable grace.

Neo’s indomitable spirit traces back to the fateful year of 1994, a time when medical intervention called for the amputation of her curled legs. Embracing this pivotal juncture with unwavering courage and the blessing of her mother, she ventured forth into a world adorned with prosthetic legs, eager to script a tale of triumph.

Venturing beyond borders, Neo’s journey led her to the embrace of the United States, where serendipity intertwined her fate with that of her soulmate, Garrett Kirchway. Together, this harmonious duo navigates the ebbs and flows of life, their bond fortified by unwavering love and unyielding support.

In a bid to illuminate paths and embolden hearts, Neo leverages the digital realm, crafting a sanctuary of empowerment on her YouTube channel. Brimming with authenticity and raw emotion, her videos chronicle the tapestry of her daily life, serving as a testament to resilience and the unwavering human spirit.

Amidst the digital cosmos, Neo, affectionately known as “KirchBaby,” reigns supreme, a luminary in the hearts of 658,000 enraptured subscribers. Through her captivating content, she not only navigates the mundane tasks of cooking, cleaning, and childcare but also dances with celestial grace, a testament to her boundless spirit and unyielding zest for life.

In the cathedral of Neo Kirchway’s narrative, resilience reigns supreme, echoing a universal truth – that amidst life’s gales, the human spirit, when kindled by hope and fortitude, emerges as a beacon of light, illuminating even the darkest of paths.


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Inequalities Faced by Individuals with Disabilities

22nd February 2024

The government’s efforts to integrate individuals with disabilities in Botswana society are being hampered by budgetary constraints. Those with disabilities face inequalities in budgetary allocations in the health and education sectors. For instance, it is reported that the government allocates higher budgetary funds to the general health sector, while marginal allocations are proposed for the development and implementation of the National Primary Health Care guidelines and Standards for those with Disabilities. This shows that in terms of budgetary solutions, the government’s proposed initiatives in improving the health and well-being of those with disabilities remain futile as there is not enough money going towards disability-specific health programs. On the other hand, limited budgetary allocations to the Special Education Unit also are a primary contributor to the inequalities faced by children with disabilities. The government only provides for the employment of 15 teachers with qualifications in special education despite the large numbers of children with intellectual disabilities that are in need of special education throughout Botswana. Such disproportional allocation of resources inhibits the capacity to provide affordable and accessible assisted technology and residential support services for those with disabilities. Given the fact that a different amount of resources have been availed to the education and health sectors, the general understanding is that the government is not doing enough to ensure that adequate resources are distributed to disability-specific programs and facilities such as barrier-free environments, residential homes, and special education schools for children with disabilities.


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