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CMB Directors intend to sue for malicious investigation

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.

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ENVIRONMENT ISSUES: Masisi asks Virginia for help

24th March 2023

President Mokgweetsi Masisi says the issue of sustainable natural resources management has always been an important part of Botswana’s national development agenda.

Masisi was speaking this week on the occasion of a public lecture at Virginia Polytechnic, under theme, “Merging Conservation, Democracy and Sustainable Development in Botswana.”

Botswana, according to Masisi, holds the view that the environment is fragile and as such, must be managed and given the utmost protection to enable the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

“It is necessary that we engage one another in the interchange of ideas, perspectives, visualizations of social futures, and considerations of possible strategies and courses of action for sustainable development,” said Masisi.

On the other hand, dialogue, in the form of rigorous democratic discourse among stakeholders presents another basis for reconfiguring how people act on their environments, with a view to conserving its resources that “we require to meet our socio-economic development needs on a sustainable basis,” Masisi told attendees at the public lecture.

He said government has a keen interest in understanding the epidemiology and ecology of diseases of both domestic and wild animals. “It is our national interest to forestall the dire consequences of animal diseases on our communities livelihoods.”

President Masisi hoped that both Botswana and Virginia could help each other in curbing contagious diseases of wildlife.

“We believe that Virginia Tech can reasonably share their experiences, research insights and advances in veterinary sciences and medicines, to help us build capacity for knowledge creation and improve efforts of managing and containing contagious diseases of wildlife. The ground is fertile for entering into such a mutually beneficial partnership.”

When explaining environmental issues further, Masisi said efforts of conservation and sustainable development might at times be hampered by the emergence and recurrence of diseases when pathogens mutate and take host of more than one species.

“Water pollution also kills aquatic life, such as fish, which is one of humanity’s much deserved sources of food. In this regard, One Health Approach imposes ecological responsibility upon all of us to care for the environment and the bio-diversity therein.”

He said the production and use of animal vaccines is an important space and tool for conservation, particularly to deal with trans-border animal diseases.

“In Botswana, our 43-year-old national premier pharmaceutical institution called Botswana Vaccine Institute has played its role well. Through its successful production of highly efficacious Foot and Mouth vaccines, the country is able to contain this disease as well as supply vaccines to other countries in the sub-region.:

He has however declared that there is need for more help, saying “We need more capacitation to deal with and contain other types of microbial that affect both animals and human health.”

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Masisi saddened by deaths of elephant attacks

24th March 2023

President Mokgweetsi Masisi has expressed a strong worry over elephants killing people in Botswana. When speaking in Virginia this week, Masisi said it is unfortunate that Batswana have paid a price with their own blood through being attacked by elephants.

“Communities also suffer unimaginable economic losses yearly when their crops are eaten by the elephants. In spite of such incidents of human-elephant conflict, our people embrace living together with the animals. They fully understand wildlife conservation and its economic benefits in tourism.”

In 2018, Nthobogang Samokwase’s father was attacked by an elephant when travelling from the fields, where he stayed during the cropping season.

It was reported that the man couldn’t run because of his age. He was found trampled by the elephant and was pronounced dead upon arrival at the hospital.

In the same year, in Maun, a 57-year-old British woman was attacked by an elephant at Boro and died upon arrival at the hospital. The woman was with her Motswana partner, and were walking dogs in the evening.

Last month, a Durban woman named Carly Marshall survived an elephant attack while on holiday in the bush in Botswana. She was stabbed by one of the elephant’s tucks through the chest and was left with bruises. Marshall also suffered several fractured ribs from the ordeal.

President Masisi Botswana has the largest population of African elephants in the world, totaling more than 130 000. “This has been possible due to progressive conservation policies, partnerships with the communities, and investment in wildlife management programmes.”

In order to benefit further from wildlife, Masisi indicated that government has re-introduced controlled hunting in 2019 after a four-year pause. “The re-introduction of hunting was done in an open, transparent and democratic way, giving the communities an opportunity to air their views. The funds from the sale of hunting quota goes towards community development and elephant conservation.”

He stressed that for conservation to succeed, the local people must be involved and derive benefits from the natural resources within their localities.

“There must be open and transparent consultations which involve all sectors of the society. It is against this backdrop that as a country, we lead the continent on merging conservation, democracy and sustainable development.”

Masisi stated that Botswana is open to collaborative opportunities, “particularly with identifiable partners such as Virginia Tech, in other essential areas such as conservation, and the study of the interplay among the ecology of diseases of wild animals and plants, and their effects on human health and socio-economic development.”

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Gov’t commit to injecting more funds in fighting HIV

24th March 2023

Minister for State President Kabo Morwaeng says government will continue to make resources available in terms of financial allocations and human capital to ensure that Botswana achieves the ideal of eradicating HIV and AIDS as a public health threat by 2030.

Morwaeng was speaking this morning in Gaborone at the High-Level Advocacy event to accelerate HIV Prevention in Botswana. He said the National AIDS and Health Promotion Agency (NAPHA), in partnership with UNAIDS, UN agencies, the Global Fund and PEPFAR, have started a process of developing transition readiness plan for sustainability of HIV prevention and treatment programmes.

“It is important for us, as a country that has had a fair share of donor support in the response to an epidemic such as HIV and AIDS, to look beyond the period when the level of assistance would have reduced, or ceased, thus calling for domestic financing for all areas which were on donor support.”

Morwaeng said this is important as the such a plan will guarantee that all the gains accrued from the response with donor support will be sustained until the end when “we reach the elimination of HIV and AIDS as a public health threat by 20230,” he said.

“I commit to continue support efforts towards strengthened HIV prevention, accentuating HIV primary prevention and treatment as prevention towards Zero New Infections, Zero Stigma, Discrimination and Zero AIDS related death, to end AIDS in Botswana.”

He reiterated that government commits to tackle legislative, policy and programming challenges that act as barriers to the achievement of the goal of ending AIDS as a public health threat.

In the financial year 2022/2023, a total of 119 Civil Society Organizations, including Faith Based Organizations, were contracted with an amount of P100 million to implement HIV and NCDs prevention activities throughout the country, and the money was drawn from the Consolidated Fund.

Through an upcoming HIV Prevention Symposium, technical stakeholders will use outcomes to develop the Botswana HIV Prevention Acceleration Road Map for 2023-2025.

Morwaeng stated that government will support and ensure that Botswana plays its part achieving the road map. He said there is need to put hands on the deck to ensure that Botswana sustains progress made so far in the fight against HIV and AIDS.

“There are tremendous achievements thus far to, reach and surpass the UNAIDS fast track targets of 95%- 95%- 95% by the year 2025. As reflected by the BAIS preliminary results of 2021, we now stand at 95- 98- 98 against the set targets.”

“These achievements challenge us to now shift our gears and strive to know who are the remaining 5% for those aware of their HIV status, 2% of enrolment on treatment by those aware of their status and 2% of viral suppression by those on treatment.”

Explaining this further, Morwaeng said shift in gears should extend to coming up with robust strategies of determining where these remaining people are as well as how they will be reached with the necessary services.

“These are just some of the many variables that are required to ensure that as a country, we are well positioned to reaching the last mile of our country’s response to the HIV and AIDS pandemic.”

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