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Balopi collides BDP with IT firm over P10 million

An Information technology firm, Noroc Technologies (Pty) Ltd has threatened to ventilates its frustrations in court over what it terms unsettled dues by the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and its Secretary General, Mpho Balopi.

Although the party treasurer, Satar Dada professes to know nothing about the company, Balopi and his former Executive Secretary, Sechele Sechele are alive to the services that were sought from the company. Balopi has also discussed the money trail between his company, Native Impressions, the BDP and Noroc Technologies.

The IT company claims the BDP owes it over P10 million for services rendered between 2014 and 2015. Noroc Technologies (Pty) Ltd wants to resuscitate a court process that was put aside a gentleman’s agreement to settle the matter out of court was not honoured by the BDP secretary general. It is understood that Noroc has been previously engaged by the ruling BDP to compile and analyse their membership databases.

The BDP did not pay for the services rendered by the company and its proprietors sued, but later decided for an out of court settlement which never materialized. Noroc claims to have worked with the BDP before – assisting with databases compilation as well as compiling and analyzing a prediction for the party towards 2014 General Elections. The company says it played a big role in the 2014 general election campaign.

It is understood that the BDP agreed to pay the IT Company P1.2 million for services and a further P8.4 million for a software that could help in analyzing data related to the 2014 General Elections – but the BDP is yet to fulfill the contract years after the elections. Highly placed sources within the party allege that Balopi, in his capacity as secretary general of the BDP and the then BDP Executive Secretary Sechele Sechele worked on this project. What is not clear is how the payments that were due to Noroc were never executed to the benefit of the IT Company. 

The IT Company is also at loss as to how Native Impressions got paid but they were never paid. Meanwhile it has emerged that a company belonging to Mpho Balopi, Native Impressions (PTY) Ltd was one of the beneficiaries in the alleged 2014 elections assignment that involved Noroc. Native Impressions was engaged to put up billboards in all the 57 constituencies to strengthen the BDP campaign prior to 2014 general elections and was paid over a million pula for the job.

Contacted for comment Mpho Balopi said his company Native group only benefited P1.5 million in the said campaign. He said in actually fact they charged 50% of the actual price for the billboards but the rest they were doing it for free. “The whole budget did not exceed P2 million but it could have been more than P4 million,” said Balopi.

While some allude to potential conflict of interest on the part of Mpho Balopi when doing business with the party when he is its BDP Secretary General, Balopi on the other hand points out that everything he did was within the confines of the law. “I don’t do business with government, I am not a tenderpreneur but I know some people are always accusing me, I don’t know why”, he said. He denies allegations that his company Native group was the biggest direct beneficiary of the BDP coffers.

For his part, the party treasurer Satar Dada said he does not know anything about the said company. Dada said the procedure is that anyone who wants money from the party should submit requisitions to the Executive Secretary who will take it to the Central Committee for approval. “These people are just accusing Balopi for nothing,” said Dada. He said Balopi has no direct access to the party finances.

Meanwhile in a recent interview with WeekendPost BDP Executive Secretary Sechele Sechele confirmed that the IT Company had wanted to do business with the BDP but the deal could not proceed due to their “high expectation of the deal.” “It’s true we have associated with the company but we could not engage them further as their expectations were too high and instead we opted for some other reasonable company,” said Sechele.

Sechele also confirmed that the Noroc had approached the court to sue the BDP on the matter. It is understood that the said Noroc dumped its lawyer along the way suspecting that he was working in cohorts with the BDP and instead engaged an alternative lawyer.
The Directors of the company are Temo Tau and Fredrick Mathiba. Noroc Technologies is a 100% citizen owned company specializing in software development.

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Fighting vulture poisoning in KAZA region.

3rd February 2023
As a response to avert vulture poisoning currently going on in Botswana and KAZA region, Birdlife Botswana has collaborated with three other partners (BirdWatch Zambia, BirdLife International & Birdlife Zimbabwe) to tackle wildlife poisoning which by extension negatively affect vulture populations.

The Director of Birdlife Botswana, Motshereganyi Virat Kootshositse has revealed in an interview that the project which is funded by European Union’s main goal is to reduce poisoning related vultures’ death and consequently other wildlife species death within the KAZA region.

He highlighted that Chobe district in Botswana has been selected as a pilot site as it has experienced rampant incidents of vulture poisoning for the past few months. In August this year at least 50 endangered white backed vultures were reported dead at Chobe National Park, Botswana after feeding on a buffalo carcass laced with poison.  In November this year again 43 white backed vultures were found dead and two alive after feeding on a zebra suspected to have poisoned.  Other selected pilots’ sites are Kafue in Zambia and Hwange in Zimbabwe.

Kootshositse further explained they have established a national and regional Wildlife Poisoning Committee. He added that as for the national committee they have engaged various departments such as Crop Productions, Agro Chemicals, Department of Veterinary Services, Department of Wildlife and National Parks and other NGOs such as Raptors Botswana to come together and find a long-lasting solution to address wildlife poisoning in Botswana. ‘Let’s have a strategy or a plan together to tackle wildlife poisoning,’ he stated

He also decried that there is gap in the availability of data about vulture poisoning or wildlife in general. ‘If we have a central point for data, it will help in terms of reporting and advocacy’, he stated

He added that the regional committee comprises of law enforcement officers such as BDF and Botswana police, village leadership such as Village Development Committee and Kgosi. ‘We need to join hand together and protect the wildlife we have as this will increase our profile for conservation and this alone enhances our visitation and boost our local economy,’ he noted

Kootshositse noted that Birdlife together with DWNP also addressed series of meeting in some villages in the Chobe region recently. The purpose of kgotla meetings was to raise awareness on the conservation and protection of vultures in Chobe West communities.

‘After realizing that vulture poisoning in the Chobe areas become frequent, we realise that we need to do something about it.  ‘We did a public awareness by addressing several kgotla meetings in some villages in the Chobe west,’ he stated

He noted that next year they are going to have another round of consultations around the Chobe areas and the approach is to engage the community into planning process. ‘Residents should be part of the plan of actions and we are working with farmers committee in the areas to address vulture poisoning in the area, ‘he added

He added that they have found out that some common reasons for poisoning wildlife are farmers targeting predators such as lions in retaliation to killing of their livestock. Another common incident cross border poaching in the Chobe area as poachers will kills an elephant and poison its carcass targeting vultures because of their aerial circling alerting authorities about poaching activities.

Kootshositse noted that in the last cases it was disheartening the incidents occurred three months apart. He added that for the first time they found that some of the body parts of some vultures were missing. He added harvesting of body parts of vultures is not a common practice in Botswana, although it is used in some parts of Africa. ‘We suspect that someone took advantage of the availability of carcasses and started harvesting their body parts,’

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Giant in the making: Everton Mlalazi

3rd February 2023

The music industry is at a point where artists are jostling for space because there are so many aspirants trying to get their big break, thus creating stiff competition.

In the music business it’s about talent and positioning. You need to be at the right place at the right time with the right people around you to propel you forward.
Against all odds, Everton Mlalazi has managed to takeover the gospel scene effortlessly.
To him, it’s more than just a breakthrough to stardom, but a passion as well as mission directly appointed by the Lord.

Within a short space of 2 years after having decided to persue a solo career, Mlalazi has already made it into international music scene, with his music receiving considerable play on several gospel television and radio stations in Botswana including other regional stations like Trace Africa, One Gospel, Metro FM in South Africa, Hope FM in Kenya and literally all broadcast stations in Zimbabwe.

It doesn’t only stop there, as the musician has already been nominated 2 times and 2 awards which are Bulawayo Arts Awards (BAA) best Male artists 2022, StarFM listerners Choice Award, Best Newcomer 2021 and ZIMA Best Contemporary Gospel 2022, MLA awards Best Male artist & Best Gospel Artist 2022.

Everton’s inspiration stems from his ultimate passion and desire to lead people into Godly ways and it seems it’s only getting started.
The man is a gospel artist to put on your radar.

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African countries call on WHO to increase funding

2nd February 2023

Minister of Health Dr Edwin Dikoloti says Africa member states call on World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure equitable resource allocation for 2024-2025. Dr Dikoloti was speaking this week at the WHO Executive Board Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

He said countries agreed that there is need to address the budget and funding imbalances by increasing the programme budget share of countries and regions to 75% for the next year.

“The proposed budget for 2024-2025 marks an important milestone as it is the first in Programme Budget in which country offices will be allocated more than half of the total budget for the biennium. We highly welcome this approach which will enable the organization to deliver on its mandate while fulfilling the expectations for transparency, efficiency and accountability.”

The Botswana Health Minister commended member states on the extension of the General Programme of Work (GPD 13) and the Secretariat work to monitor the progress towards the triple billion targets, and the health-related SDGs.

“We welcome the Director’s general proposed five priorities which have crystalized into the “five Ps” that are aligned with the GPW 13 extension. Impact can only be achieved through close coordination with, and support to national health authorities. As such, the strengthening of country offices is instrumental, with particular focus on strengthening national health systems and on promoting more equitable access to health services.”

According to Dr Dikoloti, the majority of countries with UHC index that is below the global median are in the WHO Africa region. “For that, we call on the WHO to enhance capacity at the regional and national levels in order to accelerate progress. Currently, the regional office needs both technical and financial support in order to effectively address and support country needs.”

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