President Mokgweetsi Masisi has promised a new lease of life for the creative and entertainment industry by way of revamping and making it more commercial and attractive.
Masisi made the pronouncement this at this week’s press briefing on Wednesdayâ€•59 days into his reign. For a long time Batswana have believed that during the former President, Lt Gen Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama administration, night life in Botswana died following the reduction of liquor trading hours and shortage of venues to host big events.
In a shocking move, some few months ago government took the decision to ban all music festivals in stadia, a decision which has since been reversed by the new president. The liquor licenses are issued under Liquor Act, 2003 Act no 9 of 2004 and regulated by Liquor Regulations, 2008, Statutory Instrument No. 26 of 2008. During his address on Wednesday, President Masisi promised that he will promote the creative industry. Various artists have channelled their frustrations through the Ministry of Sport, Youth Empowerment and Culture Development where they engaged Minister Thapelo Olopeng.
They vented out that Botswana is the only country that does not see the creative industry as economically viable. The general perception has been that Batswana have massive talent in the creative industry yet they get very little support from the government. This is a concern that spurns from across the music industry, fashion design, theatre, film and others. President Masisi said the industry has a potential to diversify the economy, albeit warning that they will exercise caution in liberalising the industry. But he stressed that they want to create more jobs.
“We will stick to what the law dictates, we commit to play by the rules of the game. We will not be reckless,” he said. He promised that in the next three months they will have completed the review of liquor trading hours; however they are aware of the population dynamics around them. Something that has been of concern across entertainment industry is lack of venues or entertainment centres that can accommodate a considerable number of people. When responding to the concern President Masisi promised that they will push for the development and acquisition of entertainment centres across the country.
“We are working on growing this industry and it is an evolving process. This will be enthused into the entertainment plan,” concluded Masisi. BIHL believes that the creative arts industry is a viable sector for driving economic developments. As part of the President’s Day Celebration BIHL for the past two years sponsored the annual National Art, Basket and Craft Exhibition a platform that aims to recognize and grow local talent across a myriad of disciplines.
It believes Botswana’s fine arts industry possesses significant potential to further local economic diversification. In this vein, BIHL Trust joined the nation in the President's Day Celebrations, through the sponsorship of 6 award categories at the National Art, Basket and Craft Exhibition, held at the GICC in 2017.
“We firmly believe in Botswana’s fine arts industry’s ability to significantly contribute towards the development of the economy because of its spill- off benefits, which include the promotion of local manufacturing and tourism,” said BIHL Trust Chairman, Major General Bakwena Oitsile.
Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.
According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.
“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.
The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.
Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.
“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’
They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.
In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.
Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.
UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.
The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.
The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.