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Law Society Appeals against Parks Tafa

The Law Society of Botswana has this week challenged the High Court’s judgement in a case in which highly rated lawyer, Parks Tafa and lawfirm, Collins Newman and Company (CNC) had dragged LSB, The Secretary of the Fidelity Guarantee Fund, The Deputy Registrar of the High Court – Takura Charumbira, Master of the High Court, Registrar of the High Court, and one George Simango to the High Court.

Parks Tafa and CNC were fighting to be put back on the legal practitioner’s roll as well as to be issued with Practicing Certificates and Fidelity Fund Certificates.  The LSB had struck them off the roll indicating that they failed to produce audited reports.  The law firm had been placed under curatorship at some stage.Deputy Registrar and Master of the High Court in Lobatse, Takura had temporarily interdicted Tafa from transacting the trust accounts of his law firm pending the matter. The decision had followed after the decision of the LSB not to award Tafa practice license for this year and sought that they be placed under curatorship.

According to Tafa it seems the firm faced difficulties in its new accounting and management therefore the challenges could not be resolved in time to meet the deadline for submission of audited accounts for the year 2018 which caused the report to be submitted in February 2019. In their submissions supported by findings and conclusions of the auditors there was a challenge in their accounting and management records in which Chief Justice Lekorwe agreed that there seems to be no omission on the part of Tafa to mismanage accounts of CNC like the LSB had purported.

Tafa and Collins Newman and Company were represented by Advocate Paul Kennedy alongside attorneys Ms Makati-Mpho and Ms KT Kebotse; while the Law Society of Botswana was represented by Advocate John Peter with Advocate M Garebatho and Attorney Mr K Botlhole. Lobatse High Court Judge, R. N. M. Lekorwe ruled that the decision of the third respondent is ordered to issue CNN with Fidelity Funds certificates for the year 31st December.

 Lekorwe further ruled that Tafa and CNN are entitled to confirmation of the rule of nisi by the court  indicating that there is sufficient evidence on record that indicate that the applicant meet the requirements for issuance of both Fidelity Fund certificates and Practicing certificates. The case was dismissed with costs of Counsel.

The grounds of appeal of the LSB indicate that the court misdirected itself and made an error in implicitly finding, “the judgement reads that where auditors, do not report that the trust accounts of an attorney were not properly kept or do not report that the provisions of the Legal Practitioners Act relating to the requirement that the trust accounts be certified as having been properly kept were violated.”

LSB claims that the court quo ought to have found that for the requirements of section 30(1) of the Legal Practitioners Act to be satisfied, a certified copy of the of the actual audited accounts of an attorney’s trust accounts must be furnished and same must be certified as having been properly kept. It futher indicates that the court should have not issued the applicant with practicing certificates whilst a certified copy of the audited accounts of the trust accounts as required by section 30 of the Legal Practioners Act.

LSB further challenges the court’s decision to invoke the powers of the master as prescribed under section 45 as the jurisdictional facts were absent whilst the Registrar had in fact removed the applicant from the roll which falls within the rubric of section 45 of the legal; practitioners act. The appellants further seek the relief of the appeal to be upheld costs, including the costs of two counsel and that that the court set aside in its entirety and replaced with an order, “the application is dismissed with costs, including of two counsel.”

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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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