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BCW leaves Miss Botswana suppliers drowning in debt

Botswana Council for Women (BCW) has failed to pay companies it engaged during the Miss Botswana 2017/18 pageant, in the process causing some to shut down operations and leaving others entangled in bitter court wars, WeekendLife has established.

When Ministry of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Cultural Development (MYSCD) partnered with BCW for the pageant, it was envisaged the partnership would change lives and empower home grown businesses, but it has instead left a trail of debt and distress for the contracted companies. A total of 26 suppliers have yet to be paid and the balance owed amounts to P625 026.

In an interview, the Founder of Pulse Advertising, Masego Manyaapelo revealed that her partnership with Miss Botswana to provide them with choreography, stage props and show production left her in serious debt. “As for me and my partner we are swimming in debt. We had subcontracted about 16 other youth and had subcontracted two other companies. We spent our money to mobilize. We had asked for 50% deposit upfront but never got it. I paid one supplier from my pocket and had to take [my] kids out of school last year third term because I had used their school fees money to pay some of these things,” she said.

It has been five months since the pageant was staged, and to this day, the suppliers are being tossed to and fro, with no clear indication as to when their payments will be made. In the meantime, the business owners wait in anguish as they sink deeper in debt. Manyaapelo further highlighted: “The lady who provided hair services lost employees. Employees quit because of non-payment. She is still struggling to even go to work. The guy who did Photography and videos closed down because he couldn't keep up rent payments.”

Manyaapelo contended that they were engaged with the understanding that the pageant was a joint project between the two parties (MYSCD and BCW) and were made to believe MYSC would be paying them. She said that now it appears the relationship between the two parties has soured and they are left caught in between. “We are being tossed between the two and running from pillar to post to get our payments,” she lamented. According to Manyaapelo, when she contacted BCW to enquire about payments, BCW reported that it was awaiting their third batch of payment from MYSCD.

“Weeks have gone by since we enquired about our payments, and still nothing! In November the Ministry released two batches of payments, P192 000 and 1 million respectively to BCW. To our surprise BCW communicated that the Ministry was sending email lists of who should be paid in the first two batches and that those not included in the first two batches would go into the 3rd batch as promised by MYSCD. The 3rd batch of payments was never made,” she said.

She said that the current position by BCW is that they are waiting for the third batch of payments as promised by MYSC. All these owed suppliers are youth businesses operating under Small Medium Enterprises and start-ups. As for Founder and Managing Partner of Agneau African Tours & Safaris, Mosenodi Makacana, he regrets ever doing business with the Miss Botswana organisers as now, it has landed him and his company in insurmountable debt.

“This project messed up my cash flow, relations and other things. From the start in August, we were never paid any deposit or mobilization fee. We exhausted all the monies we had and at the end we were not to be paid, it takes money to make money. Our business is currently struggling,” Mosenodi revealed. Sources have also indicated that the reigning Queen and her princesses have not yet received their prizes.

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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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