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Fed up Safari outfit threatens to invade tourism concession

Fedup Nakwa Safaris has threatened to invade a portion of the Okavango Delta by force citing the special favoritism given for utilization of the land by a company owned by internationally renowned filmmaker, Derek Joubert.

Joubert recently made international headlines when he likened Botswana’s plan to lift trophy hunting to a ‘blood law.’  However, a company owned by two Okavango natives, Maitapiso Mosiiwa and Cameroon Diwa of Beetsha village, have accused Joubert and former President Ian Khama of colluding to deny them a chance to utilize a portion of the Okavango Delta commonly referred as NG23A.

One of Nakwa Safaris Director, Diwa criticized the Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation, and Tourism for refusing to grant his company a lease to utilize the portion of  prime land. Giving the background of the issue,  Dina said the unoccupied NG23A is part of the community concession leased to Okavango Community Trust. Diwa said in 2017, after establishing the land was unoccupied, they applied to the ministry requesting a permit to utilize the land.

Diwa said the ministry responded and informed them that four companies have applied to use the land. He explained that the ministry further said they could only be granted land with the approval of the Okavango Community Trust (OCT).  He said they then approached the community which gave them a green light that they could utilize the land.

Diwa said the village development committees (VDCs) of Seronga, Beetsha, Gunotsoga and Gudigwa, and the tribal leadership gave them approval letters which they submitted to the ministry with the application. He explained that the ministry then demanded that they should prepare a management plan – which they did and submitted. However, despite numerous telephonic follow-ups and numerous physical attendances by Nakwa at the ministry enquiring about the outcome of its application, they were failed, neglected or deliberately refused for a period of more than 16 months.

Diwa explained that they later learned that  Great Plains, owned by wildlife filmmaker,  Joubert who is known to be close to former president Ian Khama had an interest in the area and was operating a camp there. Diwa said they then wrote a letter querying this with the ministry but got surprised that  instead of responding to their queries, the tourism ministry issued a press release.

In the press release, the Ministry indicated that NG23A concession area has not been allocated to any investor contrary to the reports and it is a vacant concession. The release said the Ministry has received a request from Nakwa Safari’s to be directly allocated the NG23A concession. The Press Release issued sometime in 2018 stated that the request has not been acceded to as the concession area is to be put to open tender by Botswana Tourism Organisation (BTO).

Diwa explained that to prove that the concession is not vacant, through their lawyers, Kebonyemodisa Attorneys, they called for a site visit of the disputed concession conducted by Attorney General Chambers. Dina said it became clear that Joubert camp is located within NG23A saying however no action had been taken since.

“We have explored all avenues at no avail. We have so far incurred close to million Pula preparing management plan demanded by the ministry and in legal costs. It appears there is nothing we could do. We are going to invade the land as Jourbert has done with impunity. This is our forefathers land so why should we be denied a chance to benefit from it.”

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BAD WEEK FOR MANCHESTER CITY

6th February 2023

After falling to close the gap on Arsenal by losing to a record breaking goal by Kane at the Tottenham stadium.Manchester City now find themselves being charged by the Premier League with more than 100 breaches of its financial rules following a four-year investigation.

According to BBC , it has referred the club to an independent commission over alleged rule breaches between 2009 and 2018 , and also that Man-city has not been co-operating since the investigation which started in 2018 .

BBC further states that The commission can impose punishment including a fine , points deduction and expelling the club from the Premier league.

The alleged breaches include ,  breaching rules for requiring full details of manager remuneration,from 2009-2010, to 2012-2013 seasons when Roberto Mancini was in charge . Also player remuneration between 2010-2011 and 2015-2016.

The Premier league stated that City breached rules related to UEFA regulations , including Financial Fair Play , from 2013-2014 to 2017-2018 ,as well as Premier League rules on profitability and sustainability from 2014-2016 to 2017-2018

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South Korean Embassy aids students living with disabilities

6th February 2023

South Korean Ambassador in South Africa has donated e-learning equipment through Botswana Red Cross Society (BRCS) to Tlamelong Rehabilitation Centre in Tlokweng recently, in a bid to fine tune the student’s textile skills.  

When talking at the handing over ceremony, Chull-Joo Park, said they agreed with BRCS to give out e-learning equipment to better the training skills of students living with disabilities.

“With the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment and job training skills, we will be able to help the students living with disabilities to do e-learning and to better their education and job training,” said Chull-Joo Park.

It was revealed that the South Korean Embassy approached BRCS with the intent to donate equipment and educational material that includes an embroidery machine, photo copier machine, tablets and interactive boards to be utilized by the trainees.

The industrial printer is a machine that works with embroidery machine to print designs for clothing and it will enable the learners to have more material available to them to facilitate learning.

Through this embroidery machine, students will be exposed to better technologies which ultimately improve the quality of materials they produce. It will also allow students to learn business skills and run profitable ventures.

Smart board gadgets will provide the students with an elevated learning process to be fostered by e-learning. The gadgets provide a more visual element to the learning process, which in turn improves learner mental retention.

Tlamelong Rehabilitation serves the marginalized and underserved less privileged persons living with disability in Botswana. The center offers boarding services, vocational training, social services, physiotherapy and rehabilitation services for young people living disabilities aged 18-35 from across the country over a period of two (2) years per cohort which has a maximum intake capacity of 35. BRCS through International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have managed to create great working synergy with the South Korean Embassy in Pretoria based in South Africa to support or augment the National Society’s Rehabilitation Centre’s learning challenges.

For his part, BRSC Secretary General Kutlwano Mokokomani said they are delighted to convey their gratitude as BRSC to the South Korean Embassy for donation and they look forward to an enduring partnership for such worthy causes.

“South Korean Embassy’s great gesture will enable trainees to thrive, to fulfil their dreams to become a reality as this equipments will go a long way in creating great impact in the lives of trainees and their families. We wish to convey our sincere gratitude to the South Korean Embassy for their noble gesture of donating the E-learning equipments.”

BRCS offers rehabilitation services spread across three (3) areas in Botswana being Sefhare Stimulation center in Sefhare, Tshimologo stimulation center in Francistown and Tlamelong rehabilitation center in Tlokweng.

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DIS alleges plot to kill Masisi hatched in South Africa

6th February 2023

A dispute is brewing between Botswana and South Africa intelligence agencies over alleged mercenary training camps discovered in South Africa by the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS). 

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