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Lotlaamoreng heads to BDP

Umbrella for Democratic Party (UDC) Member of Parliament (MP) Good Hope Mabule and Barolong paramount Chief Lotlaamoreng Montshioa II is on his way to the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).

Weekend Post has it on good authority that Lotlaamoreng has been promised an ambassadorial position and undisclosed huge sums of cash. The Barolong Kgosi was recruited by the BDP Chairman and Vice President Slumber Tsogwane as well as BDP candidate for Good Hope Mabule and Minister of Mineral Resources, Green Technology and Energy Security, Eric Molale. Confidential phone call audios passed to Weekend Post by highly placed sources indicate that all stakes are high for “Tholo” to follow the party in the next few days.

In the clip, Lotlaamoreng confirmed having “met with Slumber Tsogwane who promised him all that as well as his former contender, Molale.” Speaking with his associates during brief consultation, Lotlaamoreng seems all set to join the ruling party. “Yes, I am joining the BDP. They say they are rewarding me with the ambassadorship position. I am telling you.” He added: “Gape ba rile ke nne ke tlhola ka fa tlase ga dustbin gore a ga ise ba beye sepe teng” loosely translated as “they (BDP) said I should keep on checking under the dustbin to see if they haven’t put something (cash) up there for me as promised.”

Some believe that possibly they want to expose him, Maele style, the same way in which legislator for Lerala/Maunatlala’s home dust bin was found last year with hard cash amounting to P50 000 by the Directorate of Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) and Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS). It is still unclear as to who put the cash there and for what purposes.

This publication can confirm that Lotlaamoreng had this week informed some of his trusted lieutenants in the constituency and also informed the Umbrella for Democratic Change top politburo including spokesperson Moeti Mohwasa about his imminent departure. It is understood that by 4pm yesterday (Friday), Lotlaamoreng was supposed to meet with some unidentified officials at the Office of the President.

According to the clip, Lotlaamoreng is also expected to fly in the same aircraft with the BDP Chairman and Vice President Tsogwane who is being launched this weekend (Sunday) at Rakops, Boteti West constituency. Indications suggest that the ex-Good Hope Mabule law maker will also be officially welcomed into the BDP fold at the event. At the time of going to press, some concerned UDC members however has told him not to join the BDP but the one time law maker sounded adamant to do go ahead, despite an opposition from some of his inner circle.

In the clip, some of his inner circle reminded him how the party dumped one Robert Molefabangwe after recruiting him into the party with loads of promises as well, most of which did not materialise. Reached for a comment, UDC Spokesperson Mohwasa claimed ignorant of his imminent departure. He however confirmed that indeed the BDP have been talking to Lotlaamoreng for a long time and therefore it would not be surprising: “there are on a desperate move,” he stated. Lotlaamoreng will not contest the 2019 general elections, having paved way for UDC’s Dr Patrick Mmulutsi to battle it out with BDP’s Eric Molale.

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Botswana economic recovery depends on successful vaccine rollout – BoB

5th May 2021

Bank of Botswana (BoB) has indicated that the rebounding of domestic economy will depended on successful vaccine roll-out which could help business activity to return to its post pandemic days.

Projections by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) suggest a rebound in economic growth for Botswana in 2021.

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Inside the UB-BDF fighter Jet tragedy report

5th May 2021

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.

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Uphill battle in Khama’s quest to charge Hubona

5th May 2021

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.

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