Capital Management Botswana (CMB) directors have noticed the Director General of the Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime that they intend to sue for malicious investigation and prosecution. They also argue that the DCEC has no mandate over their dispute with the Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF).
Kanjabanga has given DCEC 30 days’ notice of his clients’s intentions to challenge and or review the decision to investigate them and the decision to prosecute or charge them as in their view the DCEC has exceeded its mandate and that the conduct of investigators is mala fide. “The decision to investigate and charge clients is irrational and unreasonable and is without any legal basis,” he writes.
We are also instructed to note that the legal proceedings for which clients herein issuing statutory notice for their institution wiould equally be instituted against your investigator namely Jako Hubona who appear to be personal on this matter , whom clients would join to the suit personally and would cliam costs from him in his personal capacity.
Kanjabanga says his clients will not only seek costs personally against the investigator, “we are further placing yourselves and him on notice that clients would be suing for constitutional damages for harassment, degrading and inhuman treatment and for malicious investigation and charges.”
“You will recall that ever since the dispute between client’s Capital Management Botswana (CMB), Botswana Public Officers Pension Fund (BPOPF) and Non-Bank Financial Institutions Regulatory Authority began some years back, our clients have always cooperated with your office on whatever investigation your office sought to carry on clients as regards the dispute herein,” writes Kanjabanga in his letter to the DCEC Director General. “Our Rapula Okaile has been to your office on many occasions to assist your officers with whatever information they needed as regards the CMB-BPOPF dispute.”
Kanjabanga states that he ison record as having indicated to DCEC officers and even to the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) that clients including Mr Timothy Marsland who lives and stays in South Africa are available and wiling to assist with any information DCEC officers may need. “We even made it clear that should it be necessary for Mr Marsland to come give his side of the story, your officers should inform us and we will secure his attendance at your office.”
According to Kanjabanga this was done as a way of a gesture of our client’s readiness and willingness to cooperate with DCEC officers and also to demonstrate that clients had nothing to hide more so that they have not done anything illegal. “Client’s cooperation with your office was done out of a desire to resolve this matter amicably and nothwithstanding their cooperation with your officers they have emphatically maintained the view that your officers are investigating a matter over which the Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) have no mandate in terms of the law,” he writes.
Kanjabanga contends that the contractual dispute between his clients, CMB and the BPOPF relates to pension funds that belong to public officers under the Retirement Fund Act and are not public funds over which the DCEC could exercise investigating powers. “We have mentioned this to your officers and even to the DPP on several instances hoping that your officers would understand that they are doing something that is illegal.”
The CMB lawyer also protests, Marsland’s arrest in South Africa, “They however appear to have ignored our caution to them and are bent on proceeding with the illegal investigation to a point that in a rather bizarre and malicious way caused our client Mr Timothy Marsland to be arrested to the South African Police in Joghannesburg, South Africa.”
“This they did despite the fact that they never informed us or even him or his business partner Mr Rapula Okaile that they wanted to see Mr Marsland. Your investigating officers in this matter are dealing with us and clients in bad faith and appear to have ulterior motives.”
“They have somehow taken their investigating docket and quite conveniently did not provide the DPPP with the necessary documentation as regards the investments in Kawena Holdings (PTY) ltd.
They have deliberately never sought the attendance of Mr Marsland this side as they know her was in South Africa in order that they could obtain his version of the story. Neither did they even bother to contact him telephonically to invite him this side or interview him over the phone.” Kanjabanga is of the view that the DCEC has deliberately not made contact with Mr Marsland and has also rejected any attempts to assist them bring Mr Marsland to Botswana, they create the impression that Mr Marsland has not provided his version of events and provide the DPP with incomplete information. “This they did to justify him being arrested.”
“We wrote to DPP to provide them with Mr Marsland’s version after they indicated that it was needed and even pledged Mr Marland’s full cooperation with them including attending meetings should it be necessary. We further provided documentation which your investigators have conveniently failed to provide to DPP, in order that it may appear as if clients had done something wrong.” According to Kanjabanga the investigators obtained Mr Marsland’s warrant arrest ex-parte, witout service or notification to his attorneys. He also demanded a copy of Marsland’s arrest warrant and the charge sheet used for his arrest.
Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTC) has announced that its 3rd Francistown Marathon will be held on Saturday 20th April 2024 at Obed Itani Chilume Stadium in Francistown. The BTC Francistown Marathon is officially recognised by World Athletics and a Comrades Marathon Qualifier will offer race categories ranging from 42.2km, 21.1 km, 10km, 5km fun run, 5km peace run for children and has introduced a 5km and 10km categories for wheelchairs athletics.
BTC also used this opportunity to announce beneficiaries who received donations from proceeds made from the 2nd BTC Francistown Marathon that was held on April 23rd 203. BTC donated a play area, plastic chairs and wooden tables for pupils worth a total of thirty eight thousand, one hundred and three pula, fifty thebe each (P38, 103.50) to Monarch Primary School, Tatitown Primary School, Mahube Primary School and Gulubane Primary School. Ditladi and Boikhutso clinics each received a donation of benches, television sets and 10, 000 litre water tanks worth thirty seven thousan, eight hundred and ninety eight pula (P 37, 898.00). Additionally, BTC also donated seventy thousand pula (P70,000.00) to their marathon technical partner, Francistown Athletics Club (FAC) which will be used for daily operations as well as to purchase equipment for the club.
The BTC Francistown Marathon aligns seamlessly with BTC’s corporate social investment programme, administered through the BTC Foundation. This programme is a testament to BTC’s dedication to community development, focusing on key areas such as health promotion. The marathon, now in its third year, not only promotes a healthy lifestyle but also channels all proceeds to carefully chosen charities as part of BTC’s commitment to impactful and sustainable projects.
Speaking at the launch, the BTC Managing Director Mr Anthony Masunga stated that the marathon underscores BTC’s commitment to community upliftment and corporate social investment. He stated that “the annual event which has been in existence since 2016, having taken a break due to the covid and other logistical issues, is instrumental to the economic upliftment of the city of Francistown”. He congratulated all the beneficiaries for having been nominated to receive the donations, adding that “the donation of proceeds from the 2023 marathon aims to highlight BTC’s commitment and heart for Batswana and our continued impact in the different industries”.
He further stated that through this marathon, “we demonstrate our steadfast commitment to having a good influence on our communities, this event is a manifestation of our dedication to promoting education and a healthier, more active society”. He concluded by stating that “BTC looks forward to another successful marathon that will leave a lasting positive influence on the greater Francistown community and the country at large” he said.
Giving welcome remarks, the Councillor for Donga, Honourable Morulaganyi Mothowabarwa stated that “he is ecstatic that BTC is collaborating with the City of Francistown on yet another installment of the Marathon”. He continued to offer his support to BTC to enable this marathon to continue over the coming years, stating that the “CSI element is a welcome development that helps empower our communities”, he said.
The 3rd BTC Francistown Marathon is officially open for registrations and athletes may use the following platforms to register and pay; through Smega by dialling *173# and choosing opton 5, then choose Option 3 for the Francistown marathon, at any BTC store or by visiting the BTC website and clicking on the BTC Francistown Marathon and choosing the relevant options.
Thapelo Letsholo, Member of Parliament for Kanye North, delivered a moving speech at the United Nations International Anti-Corruption Day commemoration, praising President Dr. Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi’s digitalization initiative in the fight against corruption. Letsholo highlighted the importance of embracing digitalization in governance as a crucial step in curbing corrupt practices.
According to Letsholo, the implementation of digital systems in government services can significantly reduce direct interactions between citizens and officials, which often serve as fertile grounds for corruption. By minimizing these opportunities for illicit activities, the efficiency and transparency of public services can be enhanced. Letsholo pointed to Estonia’s success in digital governance as an example, where public services have become more transparent, accessible, and efficient.
The MP commended President Masisi’s commitment to digitalization and E-Governance, emphasizing that it aligns with global anti-corruption standards. He called for full support and active participation from all sectors to ensure the success of this initiative.
Letsholo also stressed the importance of improving detection methods and refining whistleblower laws to effectively combat corruption. He highlighted the unseen and unspoken facets of corruption as its lifelines, emphasizing the need for robust detection mechanisms and a system that encourages and protects whistleblowers.
Addressing the societal role in fighting corruption, Letsholo focused on the crucial role of everyday citizens and civil servants who often witness corrupt practices firsthand. He acknowledged the existing reluctance to report corruption due to the perceived risks of repercussions. To change this narrative, Letsholo advocated for creating an environment where staying silent is deemed more detrimental than speaking out. He called for a cultural shift where the potential benefits of exposing corruption outweigh the risks, ensuring that whistleblowers are protected and feel secure in coming forward.
Letsholo called for collective responsibility and action in creating a system that not only detects and reports corruption but also supports those who stand against it. He expressed hope that under President Masisi’s digitalization initiatives, the future of governance in Botswana will be characterized by integrity, transparency, and accountability. Letsholo’s speech resonated with the sentiments of hope and determination that permeated the commemoration, emphasizing the need for unity in the fight against corruption.
In summary, Letsholo lauded President Masisi’s digitalization initiative in the fight against corruption, highlighting its potential to curb corrupt practices, enhance efficiency and transparency in public services, and align with global anti-corruption standards. He emphasized the importance of improving detection methods, refining whistleblower laws, and creating an environment where speaking out against corruption is encouraged and protected. Letsholo called for collective responsibility and action in creating a future characterized by integrity, transparency, and accountability in governance.
FaR Property Company (FPC) Limited, a property investment company listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange, has recently announced its exceptional financial results for the year 2023. The company’s property asset value has risen to P1.47 billion, up from P1.42 billion in the previous year.
FPC has a diverse portfolio of properties, including retail, commercial, industrial, and residential properties in Botswana, South Africa, and Zambia. The company owns a total of 186 properties, generating rental revenues from various sectors. In 2023, the company recorded rental revenues of P11 million from residential properties, P62 million from industrial properties, and P89 million from commercial properties. Overall, the company’s total revenues increased by 9% to P153 million, while profit before tax increased by 22% to P136 million, and operating profit increased by 11% to P139 million.
One notable achievement for FPC is the low vacancy rate across its properties, which stands at only 6%. This is particularly impressive considering the challenging trading environment. The company attributes this success to effective lease management and the leasing of previously vacant properties in South Africa. FPC’s management expressed satisfaction with the results, highlighting the resilience of the company in the face of ongoing macroeconomic challenges.
The increase in profit before tax can be attributed to both an increase in income and effective control of operating expenses. FPC managed to achieve these results with fewer employees, demonstrating the company’s efficiency. The headline earnings per linked unit also saw an improvement, reaching 26.92 thebe, higher than the previous year.
Looking ahead, FPC remains confident in its competitiveness and growth prospects. The company possesses a substantial land bank, which it plans to develop strategically as opportunities arise. FPC aims for managed growth, focusing on consumer-driven developments and ensuring the presence of supportive tenants. By maintaining this approach, the company believes it can sustainably grow its property portfolio and remain competitive in the market.
In terms of the macroeconomic environment, FPC noted that inflation rates are decreasing towards the 3% to 6% range approved by the Bank of Botswana. This is positive news for the company, as it hopes for further decreases in interest rates. However, the fluctuating fuel prices, influenced by global events such as the war in Ukraine and oil output reductions by Russia and other Middle Eastern countries, continue to impact businesses, including some of FPC’s tenants.
FPC’s property portfolio includes notable assets such as a shopping mall in Francistown with Choppies Hyper as the anchor tenant, Borogo Mall located on the A33 main road near the Kazungula ferry crossing, and various industrial and commercial properties in Gaborone leased to Choppies, Senn Foods, and Clover Botswana. The company also owns a shopping mall in Mafikeng and Rustenburg in South Africa.
The majority of FPC’s properties, 85%, are located in Botswana, followed by 12% in South Africa and 3% in Zambia. With its strong financial performance, competitive position, and strategic land bank, FPC is well-positioned for continued growth and success in the property market.