Deloitte Botswana put their farming, painting and training skills to the test through its Impact Day. IMPACT Day is a year-round celebration of Deloitte’s commitment to local communities. Member firms around the world host IMPACT Day activities where Deloitte professionals spend the day volunteering.
Deloitte employees take this opportunity to share their knowledge, expertise and talents to contribute to socio-economic development. Activities include developing strategic business plans for social enterprises, delivering lessons on business ethics and values in schools, hosting skills-building workshops for not-for-profit leaders, and providing skills-development programs and mentoring to young people. This year, Deloitte selected ‘Learn to Play’ (Ithute go Tshameka) as their beneficiary. There are villages within Botswana that Ithute go Tshameka reaches where children don’t have exposure to any sort of early childhood education.
The Learn To Play curriculum enables mothers to establish Community Initiated Playgroups. These Playgroups are child-centred, age-appropriate and culturally relevant to form a bridge between children’s community life and formal education. The mothers have also been guided and trained on entrepreneurship and skills that they can use to generate revenue. The key objective is to ensure that the ‘mamapreneurs’ and children will be better equipped for the rest of their lives and in turn break the cycle of poverty. Learn to Play facilitators are 100% Batswana women experienced and qualified in Early Childhood Development (ECD) enabling the entire programme to be deliverable in both English and Setswana.
Deloitte selected ‘Learn to Play’ as sustainability is key and the organisation covers many areas of the United Nations Millennium development goals such as the eradication of poverty, women empowerment and education, to name a few. “It made perfect sense to support this organisation that is making impact across Botswana. Deloitte is inspired by what is being done for impoverished communities and impressed with the work the mamapreneurs are doing to uplift their communities.” said Evgeniya Kyuchukova-Troanska, Audit Partner, who heads Deloitte’s Social Responsibility Committee.
To equip the 15 mamapreneurs with the necessary financial skills, Deloitte employees facilitated a financial literacy training that covered revenue; sales of goods, calculating profit and loss, trading statements, pricing of products, reinvesting and budgeting. The mamapreneurs not only walked away with new skills but also with 3 sewing machines which will be used to sew various products and generate income. “I’ve learnt a lot. How to budget, you can’t use money without budgeting. When you do something like gardening or sewing, you need to know how much your seeds, threads and needles cost. Then you work your time and how much you can sell it for” said Boipelo, a delighted Mamapreneur.
Another group of employees volunteered to set up vegetable beds & plant various vegetables at the community hall in Bontleng. This will also result in future sustainability and income generation for the mamapreneurs. Deloitte employees with artistic talents grouped to paint the play group building in Gopong, creating a colourful environment for the children. “It was refreshing to step out of the office and away from our laptops, to make a difference to the community, I also realised what a few hours of my time can do, by simply giving back,” said Deloitte employee Ratie Gabaresepe.
P75 000-00 worth of materials and contributions was spent by Deloitte & Touch on the 2019 Impact Day activities. Country Managing Partner, Max Marinelli emphasised that Impact Day is not a once off project. He highlighted that it is a continuous commitment and encourages the spirit of sustained volunteering. Marinelli further added, that a large portion of Deloitte employees are millennials, and Deloitte’s 2018 Millennial survey revealed that a key driver when choosing an employer is whether the business is focused on society wellbeing.
Despite being hailed and still regarded as a hero who saved many lives through his decision to crash the BF5 fighter Jet around the national stadium on the eve of the 2018 BDF day, the deceased Pilot, Major Clifford Manyuni’s actions were treated as a letdown within the army, especially by his master-Commander of the Air Arm, Major General Innocent Phatshwane.
Manyuni’s master says he was utterly disappointed with his Pilot’s failure to perform “simple basics.”
Manyuni was regarded as a hero through social media for his ‘colourful exploits’, but Phatshwane who recently retired as the Air Arm Commander, revealed to WeekendPost in an exclusive interview that while he appreciated Batswana’s outpouring of emotions and love towards his departed Pilot, he strongly felt let down by the Pilot “because there was nothing wrong with that Fighter Jet and Manyuni did not report any problem either.”
The deceased Pilot, Manyuni was known within the army to be an upwardly mobile aviator and in particular an air power proponent.
“I was hurt and very disappointed because nobody knows why he decided to crash a well-functioning aircraft,” stated Phatshwane – a veteran pilot with over 40 years of experience under the Air Arm unit.
Phatshwane went on to express shock at Manyuni’s flagrant disregard for the rules of the game, “they were in a formation if you recall well and the guiding principle in that set-up is that if you have any problem, you immediately report to the formation team leader and signal a break-away from the formation.
Manyuni disregarded all these basic rules, not even to report to anybody-team members or even the barracks,” revealed Phatshwane when engaged on the much-publicised 2018 incident that took the life of a Rakops-born Pilot of BDF Class 27 of 2003/2004.
Phatshwane quickly dismisses the suggestion that perhaps the Fighter Jet could have been faulty, “the reasons why I am saying I was disappointed is that the aircraft was also in good condition and well-functioning. It was in our best interest to know what could have caused the accident and we launched a wholesale post-accident investigation which revealed that everything in the structure was working perfectly well,” he stated.
Phatshwane continued: “we thoroughly assessed the condition of the engine of the aircraft as well as the safety measures-especially the ejection seat which is the Pilot’s best safety companion under any life-threatening situation. All were perfectly functional.”
In aircrafts, an ejection seat or ejector seat is a system designed to rescue the pilot or other crew of an aircraft in an emergency. The seat is propelled out of the aircraft by an explosive charge or rocket motor, carrying the pilot with it.”
Manyuni knew about all these safety measures and had checked their functionality prior to using the Aircraft as is routine practice, according to Phatshwane. Could Manyuni have been going through emotional distress of some sort? Phatshwane says while he may never really know about that, what he can say is that there are laid out procedures in aviation guiding instances of emotional instability which Manyuni also knew about.
“We don’t allow or condone emotionally or physically unfit Pilots to take charge of an aircraft. If a Pilot feels unfit, he reports and requests to be excused. We will subsequently shift the task to another Pilot. We do this because we know the risks of leaving an unfit pilot to fly an aircraft,” says Phatshwane.
Despite having happened a day before the BDF day, Phatshwane says the BDF day mishap did not really affect the BDF day preparations, although it emotionally distracted Manyuni’s flying formation squad a bit, having seen him break away from the formation to the stone-hearted ground. The team soldiered on and immediately reported back to base for advice and way forward, according to Phatshwane.
Sharing the details of the ordeal and his Pilots’ experiences, Phatshwane said: “they (pilots) were in distress, who wouldn’t? They were especially hurt by the deceased‘s lack of communication. I immediately called a chaplain to attend to their emotional needs.
He came and offered them counselling. But soldiers don’t cry, they immediately accepted that a warrior has been called, wiped off their tears and instantly reported back for duty. I am sure you saw them performing miracles the following day at the BDF day as arranged.”
Despite the matter having attracted wide publicity, the BDF kept the crash details a distance away from the public, a move that Phatshwane felt was not in the best interest of the army and public.
“The incident attracted overwhelming public attention. Not only that, there were some misconceptions attached to the incident and I thought it was upon the BDF to come out and address those for the benefit of the public and army’s reputation,” he said.
One disturbing narrative linked to the incident was that Manyuni heroically wrestled the ‘faulty’ aircraft away from the endangered public to die alone, a narrative which Phatshwane disputes as just people’s imaginations. “Like I said the Aircraft was functioning perfectly,” he responded.
A close family member has hinted that the traumatised Manyuni family, at the time of their son’s tragedy, strongly accused the BDF ‘of killing their son’. Phatshwane admits to this development, emphasising that “Manyuni’s mother was visibly and understandably in inconsolable pain when she uttered those words”.
Phatshwane was the one who had to travel to Rakops through the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) aircraft to deliver the sad news to the family but says he found the family already in the know, through social media. At the time of his death, Manyuni was survived by both parents, two brothers, a sister, fiancée and one child. He was buried in Rakops in an emotionally-charged burial. Like his remains, the BDF fighter jets have been permanently rested.
A matter in which former President Lt Gen Ian Khama had brought before Broadhurst Police Station in Gaborone, requesting the State to charge Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) lead investigator, Jako Hubona and others with perjury has been committed to Headquarters because it involves “elders.”
Broadhurst Police Station Commander, Obusitswe Lokae, told this publication this week that the case in its nature is high profile so the matter has been allocated to his Officer Commanding No.3 District who then reported to the Divisional Commander who then sort to commit it to Police Headquarters.