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Bokos lawyers slap Pilane with P3million bill

By the end of this week Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) President Advocate, Sidney Pilane, will be swimming in at least P3 million legal fees bill after the Gaborone High Court dismissed his application to be brought back in Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) with costs.

BMD through Pilane, was questioning the manner in which they were ejected from the Umbrella project. At forefront BMD argued that the UDC decisively ignored the constitution and failed to follow the right structures when expelling them. It was also submitted that the body which purported to take the offending decisions has not been elected by UDC constitutional structures, therefore it is not constituted

In an interview this week with UDC leader, Duma Boko, who roped in legal brains from South Africa’s Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) in Senior Counsel (SC), Kennedy Paul and SC Tembeka Ngcukaitobi, revealed that the case will eat millions from Pilane. “The initial costs estimate of the case was P1.6 million but it is highly likely to go up because of additional costs.”

The initial costs were emanating from routinely consultations and interpretations of the case before reaching the High court on the 27th of last month. The court appearance of the four man team from South Africa, plus two local advocates with arguments by the two SC before the three man judge panel saw the bill reaching the estimated P1.6 million

“But it is very much likely to go up because there are additional costs which includes transports, lodging, meals, filling and all the stuff. So for now I cannot really commit as to how much it will costs because our lawyers are still sorting out the bill and it will be ready before the end of this week,” a buoyant Boko said in a telephone interview on Wednesday afternoon.

He continued; “Remember that case was handled by two SC’s and two juniors, furthermore we also had two advocates and all of them will compile their fees and we are waiting for that and that is when we will slap that other party (BMD), with the bill which will be very huge.”
While Boko could not give this publication a real bill that will be put before Pilane’s desk since it is still drawn by the notaries, informants from the party claims to this publication on Thursday that indeed the legal fees from the attorneys will not be anything less than P3 million something which Boko did not rule out when asked.

The UDC leader who before this case has triumphed Pilane again in a case in which the former wanted him and the wife struck out of the voter’s roll, alleging they did not registrar at their principal residence says Pilane will still have to pay. “There were two cases if you remember, this one and the interlocutory case which they withdrew at the courts. Our lawyers are demanding payments for that because they came prepared for the case and they thoroughly consulted, hence they are demanding payments.”

It is not clear as to how much Boko’s man will charge for the aborted case; “but one thing which is for sure, is it will over be P100k,” one high ranking UDC leader disclosed to Weekendpost. Having lost the case at the High court as well as being dismissed when trying to lodge an appeal on urgency mode, the BMD will still appeal the matter and Boko foresees another embarrassment. “Before appealing any matter there is what is called Appeal security for costs, which is paid by the appellant and to us we will not demand anything less than a P1 million,” a very calm Boko divulged on Thursday evening.

Boko says after all these are done they will file with the court registrar to carry out a taxation process so that they can issue a writ of payment. “And we will then follow them to pay, if they don’t we will auction or close them down,” he remarked. Pilane on the other hand says the bill by the UDC is too much and they are still appealing the matter. “With legal fees it is still under appeal. But there was no need to bring four or six advocates, for me I would have expected P300k, not the amount they could be talking about, it was just one matter despite having Boko and UDC. Boko was roped in because he was the Chairman on the meetings so we needed record.”

This is what the BMD Secretary General Gilbert Mangole converged with his leader. “It will be too much but we know they would have done it purposely but we are appealing the matter. But if at all we lose, then obviously we will have to pay and the relevant authorities will look at our capacity if at all we can manage to pay the amount or what,” he said.

PILANE IN ANOTHER HALF A MILLION PULA LEGAL BILL

While still awaiting to be furnished with a bill from his opponents, Pilane is also expected to foot a whooping P457k legal fee from South African Senior Counsel Alexandra John Freund who represented him on the same matter.  BMD Secretary General Gilbert Mangole confirmed to this publication that already they have paid P62k plus another P45k. “Before going to high court there were some back and forth consultation and interpretation hence we paid this amount,” Mangole clarified. He however said they are still waiting to clear off another P260k of Freund’s fees for court deliberations and time spent at the court.

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Fighting vulture poisoning in KAZA region.

3rd February 2023
As a response to avert vulture poisoning currently going on in Botswana and KAZA region, Birdlife Botswana has collaborated with three other partners (BirdWatch Zambia, BirdLife International & Birdlife Zimbabwe) to tackle wildlife poisoning which by extension negatively affect vulture populations.

The Director of Birdlife Botswana, Motshereganyi Virat Kootshositse has revealed in an interview that the project which is funded by European Union’s main goal is to reduce poisoning related vultures’ death and consequently other wildlife species death within the KAZA region.

He highlighted that Chobe district in Botswana has been selected as a pilot site as it has experienced rampant incidents of vulture poisoning for the past few months. In August this year at least 50 endangered white backed vultures were reported dead at Chobe National Park, Botswana after feeding on a buffalo carcass laced with poison.  In November this year again 43 white backed vultures were found dead and two alive after feeding on a zebra suspected to have poisoned.  Other selected pilots’ sites are Kafue in Zambia and Hwange in Zimbabwe.

Kootshositse further explained they have established a national and regional Wildlife Poisoning Committee. He added that as for the national committee they have engaged various departments such as Crop Productions, Agro Chemicals, Department of Veterinary Services, Department of Wildlife and National Parks and other NGOs such as Raptors Botswana to come together and find a long-lasting solution to address wildlife poisoning in Botswana. ‘Let’s have a strategy or a plan together to tackle wildlife poisoning,’ he stated

He also decried that there is gap in the availability of data about vulture poisoning or wildlife in general. ‘If we have a central point for data, it will help in terms of reporting and advocacy’, he stated

He added that the regional committee comprises of law enforcement officers such as BDF and Botswana police, village leadership such as Village Development Committee and Kgosi. ‘We need to join hand together and protect the wildlife we have as this will increase our profile for conservation and this alone enhances our visitation and boost our local economy,’ he noted

Kootshositse noted that Birdlife together with DWNP also addressed series of meeting in some villages in the Chobe region recently. The purpose of kgotla meetings was to raise awareness on the conservation and protection of vultures in Chobe West communities.

‘After realizing that vulture poisoning in the Chobe areas become frequent, we realise that we need to do something about it.  ‘We did a public awareness by addressing several kgotla meetings in some villages in the Chobe west,’ he stated

He noted that next year they are going to have another round of consultations around the Chobe areas and the approach is to engage the community into planning process. ‘Residents should be part of the plan of actions and we are working with farmers committee in the areas to address vulture poisoning in the area, ‘he added

He added that they have found out that some common reasons for poisoning wildlife are farmers targeting predators such as lions in retaliation to killing of their livestock. Another common incident cross border poaching in the Chobe area as poachers will kills an elephant and poison its carcass targeting vultures because of their aerial circling alerting authorities about poaching activities.

Kootshositse noted that in the last cases it was disheartening the incidents occurred three months apart. He added that for the first time they found that some of the body parts of some vultures were missing. He added harvesting of body parts of vultures is not a common practice in Botswana, although it is used in some parts of Africa. ‘We suspect that someone took advantage of the availability of carcasses and started harvesting their body parts,’

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Giant in the making: Everton Mlalazi

3rd February 2023

The music industry is at a point where artists are jostling for space because there are so many aspirants trying to get their big break, thus creating stiff competition.

In the music business it’s about talent and positioning. You need to be at the right place at the right time with the right people around you to propel you forward.
Against all odds, Everton Mlalazi has managed to takeover the gospel scene effortlessly.
To him, it’s more than just a breakthrough to stardom, but a passion as well as mission directly appointed by the Lord.

Within a short space of 2 years after having decided to persue a solo career, Mlalazi has already made it into international music scene, with his music receiving considerable play on several gospel television and radio stations in Botswana including other regional stations like Trace Africa, One Gospel, Metro FM in South Africa, Hope FM in Kenya and literally all broadcast stations in Zimbabwe.

It doesn’t only stop there, as the musician has already been nominated 2 times and 2 awards which are Bulawayo Arts Awards (BAA) best Male artists 2022, StarFM listerners Choice Award, Best Newcomer 2021 and ZIMA Best Contemporary Gospel 2022, MLA awards Best Male artist & Best Gospel Artist 2022.

Everton’s inspiration stems from his ultimate passion and desire to lead people into Godly ways and it seems it’s only getting started.
The man is a gospel artist to put on your radar.

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African countries call on WHO to increase funding

2nd February 2023

Minister of Health Dr Edwin Dikoloti says Africa member states call on World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure equitable resource allocation for 2024-2025. Dr Dikoloti was speaking this week at the WHO Executive Board Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

He said countries agreed that there is need to address the budget and funding imbalances by increasing the programme budget share of countries and regions to 75% for the next year.

“The proposed budget for 2024-2025 marks an important milestone as it is the first in Programme Budget in which country offices will be allocated more than half of the total budget for the biennium. We highly welcome this approach which will enable the organization to deliver on its mandate while fulfilling the expectations for transparency, efficiency and accountability.”

The Botswana Health Minister commended member states on the extension of the General Programme of Work (GPD 13) and the Secretariat work to monitor the progress towards the triple billion targets, and the health-related SDGs.

“We welcome the Director’s general proposed five priorities which have crystalized into the “five Ps” that are aligned with the GPW 13 extension. Impact can only be achieved through close coordination with, and support to national health authorities. As such, the strengthening of country offices is instrumental, with particular focus on strengthening national health systems and on promoting more equitable access to health services.”

According to Dr Dikoloti, the majority of countries with UHC index that is below the global median are in the WHO Africa region. “For that, we call on the WHO to enhance capacity at the regional and national levels in order to accelerate progress. Currently, the regional office needs both technical and financial support in order to effectively address and support country needs.”

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