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Gaborone North water power struggle reach CoA

Some Executive members of Moshawa Community Development in Gaborone North have this week filed to appeal the April High Court verdict which ruled that they be interdicted and restrained from performing their respective roles.

The appellants are former Botswana television (BTV) Executive producer and commissioning Editor, Linet Habana together with Siphiwe Mathendele and Khotso Lebatha. Habana was the Trust’s Secretary while Siphiwe was its Treasurer. Moshawa Community Development Committee is the respondent.

The prior High Court judgement by Justice Michael Leburu ordered the duo’s removal from the Executive committee which is responsible for overseeing the Gaborone North based Moshawa Community Development Trust water standpipe.

It is understood that at the centre of the dispute is the ownership and management of a water standpipe that provides portable water to the Gaborone North and Moshawa community.

The case has aligned public figures in opposing camps including law maker for Gaborone North Haskins Nkaigwa, former cabinet minister Tebelelo Seretse, ex-Botswana Police Service spokesperson Christopher Mbulawa, Village Chief Magistrate Linah Mokibe-Oahile and other Attorneys living in the area.

Seretse and Mokibe (trustee) are with appellants while Nkaigwa and Mbulawa are with the respondent (Trust).    

Gaborone North currently bank on the standpipe for water supply. So far, the Trust has accrued over P1.5 million through use of the standpipe as there are domestic water connection or reticulation deficiencies in the area.

Speaking on behalf of Minister of Minerals, Water and Energy resources Kitso Mokaila, Minister of Infrastructure, Science and Technology Nonofo Molefhi, told parliament in November last year that there were currently no plans from the ministry to assist the residents of Gaborone North other than what the government had already done which was providing primary infrastructure.

He said benefits by the residents of Gaborone North can only take place if the developers design and construct tertiary reticulation to utilize the existing infrastructure.

WeekendPost has established that the millions raised through the standpipe created problems for the Gaborone North residents as it fuelled ‘divisions’ in the Moshawa Community Development Trust Executive Committee which was established to represent the Gaborone North dwellers.

This publication has further gathered that emanating from the overarching issues, is the operation of the account, where the proceeds derived from the sale of portable water from the said standpipe are kept.

It is understood that, owing to the warring factions in the Trust Executive Committee, residents sometimes had to go for a sometime without water.  

According to the appellants’ grounds of appeal filed recently, the High Court erred and misdirected itself in failing to consider all the evidence placed in the affidavits before coming up with the judgement.

Habana, Mathendele and Lebatha state that the court also erred in coming to the conclusion that the respondents were the owners of the standpipe and the Barclays bank account number 1049942(30) in issue.

In his verdict, Leburu had ruled that the trio be barred from acting as bank signatories to the said account held at Barclays bank under account number 1049942(30) in the name of GNorth/Moshawa Community Development Committee.

“Consequently the 4th respondents (Barclays) shall effect the decision to stop the 1st (Habana) and 2nd respondent (Mathendele) from transacting in the account referred to,” he ruled.

According to the appellants, the court a quo also erred and misdirected itself in failing to hold that the respondent has no locus standi in judicio owing to the lack of validly elected trustees, and also owing to the failure of the holding of a proper annual general meeting as envisaged by the Trust deed.

They further argue that the court made a blunder in holding that the flaws in the locus standi of respondents could only be challenged on review proceedings, and could not be raised in defense to an application they had brought before the above court.

“Court a quo erred and misdirected itself in failing to find that the standpipe and the money generated therefrom were for the Moshawa community, and it was for the Moshawa community and not Gaborone North as a whole which had the right to determine whether or not a Trust was to be formed to deal with the standpipe and funds generated from it,” the appellants maintained.

Habana and company in Leburu judgement, was also interdicted from instructing or causing persons who purchase water from the standpipe run by the applicant then to pay through the account.

The appellants insist that:“the court a quo also erred and misdirected itself in holding that the respondents was entitled to the management of the standpipe and the funds generated therefrom notwithstanding the fact that the respondents is composed of persons who are not entitled to make such a decision on behalf of the Moshawa community.”

In the matter which will be heard soon, the appellants are represented by Akheel Jinabhai & Associates while the respondents are represented by Ndadi Law firm.

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Local tennis team upbeat ahead of Billie Jean King cup

29th May 2023

With almost two weeks until the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup, which will be staged in Kenya from June 12-17, 2023, the Botswana Tennis Association (BTA) ladies’ team coach, Ernest Seleke, is optimistic about reaching greater heights.

Billie Jean King Cup, or the BJK Cup, is a premier international team competition in women’s tennis, launched as the Federation Cup to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the International Tennis Federation (ITF). The BJK Cup is the world’s largest annual women’s international team sports competition in terms of the number of nations that compete.

The finals will feature 12 teams (Botswana, Burundi, Ghana, Kenya, Seychelles, Morocco, Namibia, Nigeria, Tunisia, Mauritius, Zimbabwe, and the Democratic Republic of Congo) competing in the four round-robin groups of three. The four group winners will qualify for the semifinals, and the 2023 Billie Jean King Cup will be crowned after the completion of the knockout phase.

Closer to home, the BW Tennis team is comprised of Thato Madikwe, Leungo Monnayoo, Chelsea Chakanyuka, and Kelebogile Monnayoo. However, according to Seleke, they have not assembled the team yet as some of the players are still engaged.

“At the moment, we are depending on the players and their respective coaches in terms of training. However, I will meet up with Botswana-based players in the coming week, while the United States of America (USA) based player Madikwe will probably meet us in Kenya. Furthermore, Ekua Youri and Naledi Raguin, who are based in Spain and France respectively, will not be joining us as they will be writing their examinations,” said Seleke.

Seleke further highlighted the significance of this competition and how competitive it is. “It is a massive platform for our players to showcase their talent in tennis, and it is very competitive as countries target to get promoted to the world categories where they get to face big nations such as Spain, France, USA, and Italy. Though we are going to this tournament as underdogs because it is our second time participating, I’m confident that the girls will put in a good showing and emerge with results despite the odds,” highlighted Seleke.

Quizzed about their debut performance at the BJK Cup, he said, “I think our performance was fair considering the fact that we were newbies. We came third in our group after losing to North Macedonia and South Africa. We went on to beat Uganda, then Kenya in the playoffs. Unfortunately, we couldn’t play Burundi due to heavy rainfall and settled for the position 9/10,” he said.

For her part, team representative Leungo Monnayoo said they are working hard as they aim to do well at the tourney. “The preparations for the tourney have long begun because we practice each and every day. We want to do well, hence we need to be motivated. Furthermore, I believe in my team as we have set ourselves a big target of coming home with the trophy,” she said.

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Pep Stores donates sanitary towels to Popagano JSS

26th May 2023

The Guidance and Counseling unit at Popagano Junior Secondary School received a donation of 790 sanitary towels from Pep stores on Thursday.

When presenting the donation, Mareledi Thebeng, the Dinokaneng Area Manager, highlighted their belief in giving back to the community, as their existence depends on the communities they serve. Thebeng pointed out that research indicates one in four girls miss school every day due to the lack of basic necessities like sanitary towels. Therefore, as a company, they strive to assist in alleviating this situation. She expressed hope that this donation would help ensure uninterrupted learning for girls.

Upon receiving the donation on behalf of the students, Charity Sambire, the President of the Student Representative Council, expressed her gratitude. Sambire specifically thanked Pep Store for their generous gift, speaking on behalf of the students, especially the girl child.

She conveyed their sincere appreciation for Pep Store’s compassion and quoted the adage, “Blessed is the hand that gives.” Sambire expressed the students’ hope for Pep Stores’ prosperity, enabling them to continue supporting the students. As a gesture of gratitude, the students pledged to excel academically.

During her speech, Motlalepula Madome, the Senior Teacher in Guidance and Counseling, highlighted that many students at the school come from disadvantaged backgrounds where parents struggle to provide basic necessities. Consequently, some students miss school when they experience menstruation due to this lack.
Madome emphasized the significance of the donation in preventing the girl child from missing lessons and its potential to improve the school’s overall results. She expressed the school’s gratitude and expressed a desire for continued support from Pep Stores.

Popagano Junior Secondary School, situated in the Okavango District, holds the second position academically in the North West region. Despite its location, the school has been dedicated to achieving excellence since 2017

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Botswana misses out critical PAP committee meeting

23rd May 2023

The Pan African Parliament (PAP) committee on gender, family, youth and people with disability in its sitting considered, adopted and recommended to the plenary session the preliminary report on the framework for the model law on gender equality.

According to the last week’s media release from PAP which is sitting with its various committees until June 2nd,  the committee is following up the PAP initiative to draw up a model law on gender equality to enable national governments to harmonize, modernize and standardize their legislations to address local needs is set to be discussed in Plenary.

However, what is concerning is the fact that Botswana which is a member state missed the deliberations. Kgosi Mosadi Seboko who sat in the committee representing Botswana has since been ejected by parliament and this is a huge blow for a nation that is still battling equity and gender balance.

“Although PAP has no legislative powers it makes model laws for member states to adopt. PAP also develops protocols to be ratified by countries. The input of countries at Committee state is extremely critical. It now means the voice of Botswana is missing the discussions leading up to development of protocols or model laws,” said one of Botswana’s representative at PAP Dr. Kesitegile Gobotswang who is attending the current session.

While Botswana is missing, the committee meeting took place on the sidelines of the Sixth PAP second ordinary Session being held under the African Union Theme of the Year for 2023, “The Year of AfCFTA: Accelerating the Implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area” in Midrand, South Africa and will run up to 2 June 2023. Chairperson of the Committee, Hon Mariam Dao-Gabala expressed satisfaction with preliminary processes undertaken so far towards the formulation of the Model Law,” a release from the PAP website reads.

“The law should be suitable to all countries whatever the predominant culture or religion is. The aim is to give an opportunity to women to participate in the economic, political and social development of the continent. Women are not well positioned and face a lot of obstacles. We are introducing the idea of equity in the Law because we cannot talk about equality without equity,” said Hon Mariam Dao-Gabala in the press statement.

The release has stated that among issues to be covered by the Model Law is the migratory movements of women. The Committee proffered that this has to be addressed at the continental level to ensure that migrant women enjoy all their rights and live with dignity in their destination country. The members of the Gender Committee undertook consultations to consolidate the contributions of the various stakeholders that will be the logical framework format for the Model Law.




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