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10 years on: Limkokwing University reflects

Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Vice President for Brand, Creativity and Talent Development, Dato Tiffanee Marie Lim who is the daughter to the university founder, has said Botswana was instrumental in the University’s success in its globalisation mission.

Limkokwing, one of the most globalised universities, opened its first campus outside Asia in Botswana in 2007. Ever since then, the university went to on to open more campuses in other countries; among them Swaziland, Lesotho, Namibia and Sierra Leone. The United Kingdom campus was opened in 2007, shortly following the opening of Botswana campus. Tiffanee Marie Lim recently visited Botswana to officiate at the lighting of Christmas tree ceremony which took place on Thursday this week at Rail Park Shopping Mall, in the presence of Vice President Slumber Tsogwane.

In an interview with WeekendPost this week, Tiffanee said they have being doing Christmas tree lighting for over six years now and she understand that this is the largest Christmas tree ever erected in Botswana. “Limkokwing is very proud to be able to contribute, because they want to embed Limkokwing Brand to Botswana,” she said.

“We want to be sensitive to the spirit of Christmas as it’s the time where one reflects on what is important and this time around the University has chosen to do some outreach programmes, as its important within the University because its goes within the university culture to engage and empower the youth.” Tiffanee said they have many corporate social responsibility initiatives lined-up this year, as they have been sending some groceries to schools, hospitals, and to disabled people, especially the kids.

 The university also offers scholarship to people with various disabilities through its special needs department. A part of its empowerment programme the university sent two young Batswana to London Fashion week which was held in September this year.  The two; who happen to be the winners of the presidential day competition were the first Batswana to participate in the show. Tiffanee said the duo had a privilege to walk or parade in such kind of prestige festival, which was an initiative by Botswana.

She further said some piece of art and skills of Batswana young designers was used a lot in the festival, notably the German print which was featured heavily in the collections. Tiffanee is passionate about fashion, something which is said is natural since she comes from a family of creatives. She admitted that being a child of Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Paduka Dr Lim Kok Wing will naturally come with pressure given the man’s stature in Malaysia and globally.

“It’s not an easy to be a daughter of Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Paduka Dr Lim Ko Wing, its comes with pressure. “All kids feels pressure to keep their parents proud of them, everybody and it doesn’t matter either they are prominent or not” said Tiffanee. Tiffanee said 10 years ago, from day one till now it has been very challenging but the rewards to the university, to his father has being incredible, emotionally.

Tiffanee said her father keeps saying Botswana as country has given him purpose in life and that he is really grateful and vows that the university is 1000 percent behind the economy, to the people, to the talents of Batswana which they possess. Tiffanee said the university brought the world attentions to the country and they invited the competition and also challenge paving a way for the people to be prosperous and therefore she hope Limkokwing will innovate and also change the game.

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Government sitting on 4 400 vacant posts

14th September 2020
(DPSM) Director Goitseone Naledi Mosalakatane

Government is currently sitting on 4 400 vacant posts that remain unfilled in the civil service. This is notwithstanding the high unemployment rate in Botswana which has been exacerbated by the recent outbreak of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic.

Just before the burst of COVID-19, official data released by Statistics Botswana in January 2020, indicate that unemployment in Botswana has increased from 17.6 percent three years ago to 20.7 percent. “Unemployment rate went up by 3.1 percentage between the two periods, from 17.6 to 20.7 percent,” statistics point out.

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FNBB projects deeper 50 basis point cut for Q4 2020

14th September 2020
Steven Bogatsu

Leading commercial bank, First National Bank Botswana (FNBB), expects the central bank to sharpen its monetary policy knife and cut the Bank Rate twice in the last quarter of 2020.

The bank expects a 25 basis point (bps) in the beginning of the last quarter, which is next month, and another shed by the same bps in December, making a total of 50 bps cut in the last quarter.  According to the bank’s researchers, the central bank is now holding on to 4.25 percent for the time being pending for more informed data on the economic climate.

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Food suppliers give Gov’t headache – report

14th September 2020
Food suppliers give Gov’t headache

An audit of the accounts and records for the supply of food rations to the institutions in the Northern Region for the financial year-ended 31 March 2019 was carried out. According to Auditor General’s report and observations, there are weaknesses and shortcomings that were somehow addressed to the Accounting Officer for comments.

Auditor General, Pulane Letebele indicated on the report that, across all depots in the region that there had been instances where food items were short for periods ranging from 1 to 7 months in the institutions for a variety of reasons, including absence of regular contracts and supplier failures. The success of this programme is dependent on regular and reliable availability of the supplies to achieve its objective, the report said.

There would be instances where food items were returned from the feeding centers to the depots for reasons of spoilage or any other cause. In these cases, instances had been noted where these returns were not supported by any documentation, which could lead to these items being lost without trace.

The report further stressed that large quantities of various food items valued at over P772 thousand from different depots were damaged by rodents, and written off.Included in the write off were 13 538 (340ml) cartons of milk valued at P75 745. In this connection, the Auditor General says it is important that the warehouses be maintained to a standard where they would not be infested by rodents and other pests.

Still in the Northern region, the report noted that there is an outstanding matter relating to the supply of stewed steak (283×3.1kg cans) to the Maun depot which was allegedly defective. The steak had been supplied by Botswana Meat Commission to the depot in November 2016.

In March 2017 part of the consignment was reported to the supplier as defective, and was to be replaced. Even as there was no agreement reached between the parties regarding replacement, in 51 October 2018 the items in question were disposed of by destruction. This disposal represented a loss as the whole consignment had been paid for, according to the report.

“In my view, the loss resulted directly from failure by the depot managers to deal with the matter immediately upon receipt of the consignment and detection of the defects. Audit inspections during visits to Selibe Phikwe, Maun, Shakawe, Ghanzi and Francistown depots had raised a number of observations on points of detail related to the maintenance of records, reconciliations of stocks and related matters, which I drew to the attention of the Accounting Officer for comments,” Letebele said in her report.

In the Southern region, a scrutiny of the records for the control of stocks of food items in the Southern Region had indicated intermittent shortages of the various items, principally Tsabana, Malutu, Sunflower Oil and Milk which was mainly due to absence of subsisting contracts for the supply of these items.

“The contract for the supply of Tsabana to all depots expired in September 2018 and was not replaced by a substantive contract. The supplier contracts for these stocks should be so managed that the expiry of one contract is immediately followed by the commencement of the next.”

Suppliers who had been contracted to supply foodstuffs had failed to do so and no timely action had been taken to redress the situation to ensure continuity of supply of the food items, the report noted.

In one case, the report highlighted that the supplier was to manufacture and supply 1 136 metric tonnes of Malutu for a 4-months period from March 2019 to June 2019, but had been unable to honour the obligation. The situation was relieved by inter-depot transfers, at additional cost in transportation and subsistence expenses.

In another case, the contract was for the supply of Sunflower Oil to Mabutsane, where the supplier had also failed to deliver. Examination of the Molepolole depot Food Issues Register had indicated a number of instances where food items consigned to the various feeding centres had been returned for a variety of reasons, including food item available; no storage space; and in other cases the whole consignments were returned, and reasons not stated.

This is an indication of lack of proper management and monitoring of the affairs of the depot, which could result in losses from frequent movements of the food items concerned.The maintenance of accounting records in the region, typically in Letlhakeng, Tsabong, and Mabutsane was less than satisfactory, according to Auditor General’s report.

In these depots a number of instances had been noted where receipts and issues had not been recorded over long periods, resulting in incorrect balances reflected in the accounting records. This is a serious weakness which could lead to or result in losses without trace or detection, and is a contravention of Supplies Regulations and Procedures, Letebele said.

Similarly, consignments of a total of 892 bags of Malutu and 3 bags of beans from Tsabong depot to different feeding centres had not been received in those centres, and are considered lost. These are also not reflected in the Statement of Losses in the Annual Statements of Accounts for the same periods.

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