Renowned Pan Africanist and globally celebrated legal mind Professor PLO Lumumba has called on young people to invest rigorously on their personal development and continued improvement of their skills.
Professor Lumumba was speaking at a coaching and mentoring graduation session of over 45 young people hosted by Tshiamo Gotlhe Mogapi Foundation (TGM) in Gaborone on Monday. The TGM coaching and mentoring program is a six months training facilitated by personal development coach, transformational business leader and Human Resource Management expert Matlhogonolo Mponang. The former Botswana Accountancy College (BAC) Deputy Chief Executive Officer is currently Head of Human Resource at De Beers Group.
When speaking to the mentees who during the six month period received training on C.V writing, job interview skills, career and personal development as well as introduction to project management Professor Lumumba said learning and personal development is a process that runs throughout the entire life of any individual who has a purpose and goals to achieve in life.
Lumumba encouraged young people to use whatever resource at their disposal to invest in seeking information that builds and feeds their minds and inner being with positive energy “Social media is a platform that can be used to good effect, but we see today that it can also come with detrimental effects in one’s mind, because there are those who focus on finding fault in others, if you surround yourself with that kind of negative energy, that will kill your dreams and aspirations” he said
PLO says mentorship is key supporting and encouraging people to manage their own learning in order that they may maximize their potential, develop their skills, improve their performance and become the person they want to be. “Mentorship is a powerful development tool that can help you achieve your personal and professional goals, now when you reach the mountain please let it not be for you but for others, elevate other people” he said
TGM Founder Matlhogonolo Mponang explained that the program was set up with the aim of contributing meaningfully to Botswana’s ambitions by building capacity amongst young people in the areas of career development, interpersonal skills and entrepreneurship. “Our believe and commitment to social development work is bolstered by the positive impact this program has on our young people” she said. Mponang explained that the graduation session marked the end of second cohort program which commenced in January this year.
“We tap into the talent of willing young people and link them to experts and captains of industries, professionals and leading executives for networking, coaching and bespoke mentorship that is the building block of our work, collaborative effort and collective dream to bettering Botswana by empowering its young people”
Speaking on behalf of the mentees one of the graduates Tshidiso Marape said the six month coaching and mentoring program has impacted his live positively, boosted his confidence, esteem and cultivated his worth “From the onset it was clear TGM Coaching & Mentoring Program was different, it was well tailored to our needs and addressed the daily issues that we face in our journey, in studies, career, entrepreneurship, and our personal lives as young people”
Representing Tshiamo Gotlhe Mogapi Foundation legal partners Tebogo Tladi of Ramalepa Attorneys said Professor Lumumba’s presence at the graduation session should inspire the mentees as they are privileged to have rubbed shoulders with one of Africa’s greatest son of the soil. “Professor Lumumba is not only one of the best lawyers in the continent but also one of the best in the world, his understanding on African developmental issues is unparalleled” he said.
The Tshiamo Gotlhe Mogapi coaching and mentoring has during the course of the program featured National Development Bank Chief Executive Officer Lorato Morapedi, Botswana Stock Exchange Chief Executive Officer Thapelo Tsheole, and Debswana Head of Human Resources Lebole Mpho Mokoto, Barclays Botswana Chief Economist Naledi Madala, Progressive Institute CEO Mmoloki Mmolotsi amongst other local top business leaders.
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.