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Gaelebale is Miss Botswana 2017

Nicole Gaelebale was crowned Miss Botswana 2017 on Thursday night to the disappointment of many who had hoped that Uua Murangi will walk away with the title. But the judges pronounced that the crowning was a culmination of a meticulous process of assessing the contestants.   

Gaelebale, will represent the country at Miss World grand finale which will be held on 18 November 2017. Uua proved to be a popular contestant ahead of the grand finale. Many believed she represented a true epitome of a Motswana woman. Such expectation, that Uua would be crowned queen, motivated many attendants to reject the final results. They speculated that there could have been cheating in the selection process.

As for the Queen, Nicole on the other hand, a lot of people believed that her 5 years’ experience of contesting in the Miss Botswana pageant got her the crown. Former beauty queen, Emma Wareus also made the suggestion on her Facebook page.
The judges had made it clear that the Grand Finale was to crown the winner as the selection process had long started before the crowning night. They mentioned that they do not go with what the crowd wants but with the criteria they use to select the queen.

“I advise everyone to refrain from critique, as most of the time we do not go with the crowd expectation. We should note that we first started with auditions, where the Top 30 was selected, we did Boot camps, and finalists were taught how to carry themselves, presentation skills were relayed, tests and marks were issued. A lot of things were looked at behind the scene not during grand finale,” one of the judges, Masa Thibedi explained.

The contestants were given the chance to answer the same question which was no different from any of the Top 3 finalists. The question asked was, “if Miss Botswana falls pregnant during her reign, should she be allowed to reign as queen.”
This was the same question asked during the Miss Botswana pageant in 1999 and it crowned the famous Mpule Kwelagobe who went on to win the Miss Universe title.

The Top 3 answers

“When you are crowned Miss Botswana that means you are already a mother of the nation. So she should not be allowed to reign since she is already a mother,” Gaelebale said. “The reigning queen should not be shunned but should be allowed to reign. She should have the dignity. When nature does happen, she should not be shunned the dignity of her body,” Murangi answered. “As long as the baby does not impede her responsibilities, then they should be allowed,” another contestant, Neelo Nthobatsang explained.

During an interview, when asked if she is happy she became the second Princess, after a lot of people hoped she would win, Uua expressed her appreciation. “I am happy I made it this far, she is going to make a great queen, I love her,” she emphasized. Meanwhile, Gaelebale remains the queen and finally her dreams came true after trying for five years, she is now 26 years of age. “This is a dream come true to me, I have been trying every year since 2015. I must say I had fun, because most of the time beauty pageants try too hard and they end up not making it,” she said.

Gaelebale went home P160 000 richer, with a 5 years Limkokwing scholarship, five years Liberty life cover, sunglasses and many more goodies. Miss Botswana, which is the most followed pageant, has this year failed to pull sponsors. The pageant organizers, the Botswana Council of Women (BCW) started preparations for the pageant late which led to a poorly marketed event. The turn up at Thursday’s finale was poor. Miss Botswana is usually held prior to July, a practice that gives winners ample time to prepare for Miss World pageant held every November.  

“The challenges were as a result of the fact that we started late therefore, we could not attract sponsors, as they felt it was late. So we ended up using the little we had to pull this together and I must say we managed and we achieved what we wanted, “ said Dorcas Thobega, one of the organizers.

The Thata Kenosi snub

Traditionally, it is the duty of the reigning Queen to hand over the crown. Thata however could not avail herself after she mentioned she will be in England to pursue her undergraduate degree in International Relations & Peace Studies with a minor in French. Thobega explained to WeekendLife that, they did their best to talk to her but she explained that she could not make it since it will be her early days in England. Later on, she explained, that Kenosi gave a short notice that her flight should be paid for so that she comes to hand the crown but they could not and later decided to allow her 1st Princess to hand the crown.

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Botswana economic recovery depends on successful vaccine rollout – BoB

5th May 2021
Botswana-economic-recovery-depends-on-successful-vaccine-rollout---BoB-

Bank of Botswana (BoB) has indicated that the rebounding of domestic economy will depended on successful vaccine roll-out which could help business activity to return to its post pandemic days.

Projections by the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) suggest a rebound in economic growth for Botswana in 2021.

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Inside the UB-BDF fighter Jet tragedy report

5th May 2021
Inside-the-UB-BDF-fighter-Jet-tragedy-report

Despite being hailed and still regarded as a hero who saved many lives through his decision to crash the BF5 fighter Jet around the national stadium on the eve of the 2018 BDF day, the deceased Pilot, Major Clifford Manyuni’s actions were treated as a letdown within the army, especially by his master-Commander of the Air Arm, Major General Innocent Phatshwane.

Manyuni’s master says he was utterly disappointed with his Pilot’s failure to perform “simple basics.”

Manyuni was regarded as a hero through social media for his ‘colourful exploits’, but Phatshwane who recently retired as the Air Arm Commander, revealed to WeekendPost in an exclusive interview that while he appreciated Batswana’s outpouring of emotions and love towards his departed Pilot, he strongly felt let down by the Pilot “because there was nothing wrong with that Fighter Jet and Manyuni did not report any problem either.”

The deceased Pilot, Manyuni was known within the army to be an upwardly mobile aviator and in particular an air power proponent.

“I was hurt and very disappointed because nobody knows why he decided to crash a well-functioning aircraft,” stated Phatshwane – a veteran pilot with over 40 years of experience under the Air Arm unit.

Phatshwane went on to express shock at Manyuni’s flagrant disregard for the rules of the game, “they were in a formation if you recall well and the guiding principle in that set-up is that if you have any problem, you immediately report to the formation team leader and signal a break-away from the formation.

Manyuni disregarded all these basic rules, not even to report to anybody-team members or even the barracks,” revealed Phatshwane when engaged on the much-publicised 2018 incident that took the life of a Rakops-born Pilot of BDF Class 27 of 2003/2004.

Phatshwane quickly dismisses the suggestion that perhaps the Fighter Jet could have been faulty, “the reasons why I am saying I was disappointed is that the aircraft was also in good condition and well-functioning. It was in our best interest to know what could have caused the accident and we launched a wholesale post-accident investigation which revealed that everything in the structure was working perfectly well,” he stated.

Phatshwane continued: “we thoroughly assessed the condition of the engine of the aircraft as well as the safety measures-especially the ejection seat which is the Pilot’s best safety companion under any life-threatening situation. All were perfectly functional.”

In aircrafts, an ejection seat or ejector seat is a system designed to rescue the pilot or other crew of an aircraft in an emergency. The seat is propelled out of the aircraft by an explosive charge or rocket motor, carrying the pilot with it.”

Manyuni knew about all these safety measures and had checked their functionality prior to using the Aircraft as is routine practice, according to Phatshwane. Could Manyuni have been going through emotional distress of some sort? Phatshwane says while he may never really know about that, what he can say is that there are laid out procedures in aviation guiding instances of emotional instability which Manyuni also knew about.

“We don’t allow or condone emotionally or physically unfit Pilots to take charge of an aircraft. If a Pilot feels unfit, he reports and requests to be excused. We will subsequently shift the task to another Pilot. We do this because we know the risks of leaving an unfit pilot to fly an aircraft,” says Phatshwane.

Despite having happened a day before the BDF day, Phatshwane says the BDF day mishap did not really affect the BDF day preparations, although it emotionally distracted Manyuni’s flying formation squad a bit, having seen him break away from the formation to the stone-hearted ground. The team soldiered on and immediately reported back to base for advice and way forward, according to Phatshwane.

Sharing the details of the ordeal and his Pilots’ experiences, Phatshwane said: “they (pilots) were in distress, who wouldn’t? They were especially hurt by the deceased‘s lack of communication. I immediately called a chaplain to attend to their emotional needs.

He came and offered them counselling. But soldiers don’t cry, they immediately accepted that a warrior has been called, wiped off their tears and instantly reported back for duty. I am sure you saw them performing miracles the following day at the BDF day as arranged.”

Despite the matter having attracted wide publicity, the BDF kept the crash details a distance away from the public, a move that Phatshwane felt was not in the best interest of the army and public.

“The incident attracted overwhelming public attention. Not only that, there were some misconceptions attached to the incident and I thought it was upon the BDF to come out and address those for the benefit of the public and army’s reputation,” he said.

One disturbing narrative linked to the incident was that Manyuni heroically wrestled the ‘faulty’ aircraft away from the endangered public to die alone, a narrative which Phatshwane disputes as just people’s imaginations. “Like I said the Aircraft was functioning perfectly,” he responded.

A close family member has hinted that the traumatised Manyuni family, at the time of their son’s tragedy, strongly accused the BDF ‘of killing their son’. Phatshwane admits to this development, emphasising that “Manyuni’s mother was visibly and understandably in inconsolable pain when she uttered those words”.

Phatshwane was the one who had to travel to Rakops through the Directorate of Intelligence Services (DIS) aircraft to deliver the sad news to the family but says he found the family already in the know, through social media. At the time of his death, Manyuni was survived by both parents, two brothers, a sister, fiancée and one child. He was buried in Rakops in an emotionally-charged burial. Like his remains, the BDF fighter jets have been permanently rested.

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Uphill battle in Khama’s quest to charge Hubona

5th May 2021
JAKO HUBONA

A matter in which former President Lt Gen Ian Khama had brought before Broadhurst Police Station in Gaborone, requesting the State to charge Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) lead investigator, Jako Hubona and others with perjury has been committed to Headquarters because it involves “elders.” 

Broadhurst Police Station Commander, Obusitswe Lokae, told this publication this week that the case in its nature is high profile so the matter has been allocated to his Officer Commanding No.3 District who then reported to the Divisional Commander who then sort to commit it to Police Headquarters.

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