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Kgafelas radical reforms for Bakgatla

The exiled Bakgatla paramount chief, Kgosi Kgafela II has proposed some radical reforms to his tribesmen who had visited Moruleng recently.

The self-exiled chief, while endorsing Kgosi Bana Sekai as his replacement this past week told the tribal leadership to implement certain radical reforms in his absence in a bid to instill discipline and pride within the tribe. Kgafela is said to have made it clear that he wants to make the tribe the envy of other tribes, by making it sovereign and disciplined.

Kgafela ordered his regiment, Mangana at a meeting last Saturday at Kgabutle, South Africa. The purpose of the meeting was to give the regiment an opportunity to present Kgosi Bana Sekai to Kgosi Kgafela II after the government decided to reinstate him as the deputy Kgosi. He will also represent Bakgatla at Ntlo ya Dikgosi.

“We went to present Kgosi Sekai and he accepted him of which we will be having a huge ceremony this Saturday (today). We will further tomorrow (Sunday) have another ceremony in Moruleng as part of our year ending ceremony where Sekai will be presented that side,” Mangana regiment leader, Moagi Molebatsi said. The meeting was attended by the regiment from Botswana, Kgafela, Kgosi Ramphothetu, Segale Lentswe, Lekoba Lentswe as well as Kgosi Bana Sekai.

Kgafela was happy about the good work done by his peers and promised to celebrate them in future. “Mophato should do something for the tribe and this is one of the achievements which will be our legacy. In short Mokgatla is happy for what we did by pushing government to re-instate Kgosi Sekai as our representative at Ntlo ya Dikgosi,” said Molebatsi who has been very involved in the matters affecting Kgosi Kgafela and the Botswana government.

REGIMENT TO RESUME FLOGGINGS

Another controversial subject that dominate at the meeting between the maverick Kgafela II and his regiment is the issue of floggings. Kgafela ordered his regiment to begin the infamous floggings that saw him flee to South Africa in 2012. He gave some to do list which the tribal leadership still working on. “We will continue to remove delinquents from Kgatleng. Zero tolerance of drugs and other illicit behaviors,” Molebatsi said before adding. “Re tloo letsa moretlwa kgabo, but it is not like we are shining about it we want to instill law in our tribe of which after some time others will bench mark here.”

The flogging of members of the public in Kgatleng which were carried out by Kgafela’s regiments, is the main reason why he exiled to Moruleng. However, this time around the regiment is aware of government’s position on the matter and “will follow all the necessary processes”.
“This time around we will agree with government on the formula. Already we have been engaging the council through by-laws, Councillors and Members of Parliament and we are still in talks with them but soon we will be correcting Kgatleng.”

KGAFELA WANTS LAND RIGHTS

As is the aspiration of Batlokwa in Tlokweng, Bakgatla also want a land quota system in which the indigenous community should be given preferable treatment. During discussions with Kgafela last Saturday, a decision was taken to audit the Bakgatla land before confronting the government. “The land issue is a concern to us. Our land is stolen from us, we wish what Batlokwa pleaded for could happen even here, beng-gae should be considered first rather than outsiders getting the land at the expense of the locals,” Molebatsi stressed.

On land issues, the government appears to be in total control through Land Boards, however Bakgatla believe that it is time they wake up as their land is continuously being taken away from them, they argue that what compound their situation further is the fact that they are in close proximity to the capital city which is expanding in their direction.

Molebatsi was quoted cautioning government on mismanagement of land saying in future it could cause conflicts, which could plunge the country into civil unrest. He said the implementation of developments by Government should not be at the expense of Bakgatla, whose land is expropriated by the state and sold off to foreigners. Developments in Kgatleng should be done to benefit the tribe, he emphasized.

BAKGATLA TO TELL KHAMA ALL IN FEBRUARY

Kgafela was also informed his audience at the meeting that President Lieutenant General Dr Seretse Khama Ian Khama will bid his tribe farewell on the 15th of February. He indicated that the meeting will be tell-all from Bakgatla leadership to Khama who is somehow regarded as the monster who scared their Kgosi away. “We will advise the President on a number of issues he did not handle well during his reign and we will advise him accordingly on how he could have managed them,” the soft spoken Molebatsi said on Wednesday evening.

He however could not be drawn into discussing what the President did not handle well. Asked whether they are negotiating with Khama for Kgafela to return, he said; “Mokgatla and President are talking at personal level and it is not like he hates him (Khama) things will normalize,” he diplomatically said. The tensions between Bakgatla and government escalated in 2012 with a number of criminal charges laid against Kgafela and some of his tribesmen. He later fled to South Africa and government took a decision to de-recognize him as Bakgatla Kgosi.

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BTC launches the 3rd Francistown Marathon 2024 and handover proceeds to the 2nd Francistown Marathon beneficiaries

8th December 2023

Botswana Telecommunications Corporation Limited (BTC) has announced that its 3rd Francistown Marathon will be held on Saturday 20th April 2024 at Obed Itani Chilume Stadium in Francistown. The BTC Francistown Marathon is officially recognised by World Athletics and a Comrades Marathon Qualifier will offer race categories ranging from 42.2km, 21.1 km, 10km, 5km fun run, 5km peace run for children and has introduced a 5km and 10km categories for wheelchairs athletics.

BTC also used this opportunity to announce beneficiaries who received donations from proceeds made from the 2nd BTC Francistown Marathon that was held on April 23rd 203.  BTC donated a play area, plastic chairs and wooden tables for pupils worth a total of thirty eight thousand, one hundred and three pula, fifty thebe each (P38, 103.50) to Monarch Primary School, Tatitown Primary School, Mahube Primary School and Gulubane Primary School. Ditladi and Boikhutso clinics each received a donation of benches, television sets and 10, 000 litre water tanks worth thirty seven thousan, eight hundred and ninety eight pula (P 37, 898.00). Additionally, BTC also donated seventy thousand pula (P70,000.00) to their marathon technical partner, Francistown Athletics Club (FAC) which will be used for daily operations as well as to purchase equipment for the club.

The BTC Francistown Marathon aligns seamlessly with BTC’s corporate social investment programme, administered through the BTC Foundation. This programme is a testament to BTC’s dedication to community development, focusing on key areas such as health promotion. The marathon, now in its third year, not only promotes a healthy lifestyle but also channels all proceeds to carefully chosen charities as part of BTC’s commitment to impactful and sustainable projects.

Speaking at the launch, the BTC Managing Director Mr Anthony Masunga stated that the marathon underscores BTC’s commitment to community upliftment and corporate social investment. He stated that “the annual event which has been in existence since 2016, having taken a break due to the covid and other logistical issues, is instrumental to the economic upliftment of the city of Francistown”. He congratulated all the beneficiaries for having been nominated to receive the donations, adding that “the donation of proceeds from the 2023 marathon aims to highlight BTC’s commitment and heart for Batswana and our continued impact in the different industries”.

He further stated that through this marathon, “we demonstrate our steadfast commitment to having a good influence on our communities, this event is a manifestation of our dedication to promoting education and a healthier, more active society”.  He concluded by stating that “BTC looks forward to another successful marathon that will leave a lasting positive influence on the greater Francistown community and the country at large” he said.

Giving welcome remarks, the Councillor for Donga, Honourable Morulaganyi Mothowabarwa stated that “he is ecstatic that BTC is collaborating with the City of Francistown on yet another installment of the Marathon”. He continued to offer his support to BTC to enable this marathon to continue over the coming years, stating that the “CSI element is a welcome development that helps empower our communities”, he said.

The 3rd BTC Francistown Marathon is officially open for registrations and athletes may use the following platforms to register and pay; through Smega by dialling *173# and choosing opton 5, then choose Option 3 for the Francistown marathon, at any BTC store or by visiting the BTC website and clicking on the BTC Francistown Marathon and choosing the relevant options.

 

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Letsholo lauds President Masisi’s digitization in fight against corruption

8th December 2023

Thapelo Letsholo, Member of Parliament for Kanye North, delivered a moving speech at the United Nations International Anti-Corruption Day commemoration, praising President Dr. Mokgweetsi Eric Keabetswe Masisi’s digitalization initiative in the fight against corruption. Letsholo highlighted the importance of embracing digitalization in governance as a crucial step in curbing corrupt practices.

According to Letsholo, the implementation of digital systems in government services can significantly reduce direct interactions between citizens and officials, which often serve as fertile grounds for corruption. By minimizing these opportunities for illicit activities, the efficiency and transparency of public services can be enhanced. Letsholo pointed to Estonia’s success in digital governance as an example, where public services have become more transparent, accessible, and efficient.

The MP commended President Masisi’s commitment to digitalization and E-Governance, emphasizing that it aligns with global anti-corruption standards. He called for full support and active participation from all sectors to ensure the success of this initiative.

Letsholo also stressed the importance of improving detection methods and refining whistleblower laws to effectively combat corruption. He highlighted the unseen and unspoken facets of corruption as its lifelines, emphasizing the need for robust detection mechanisms and a system that encourages and protects whistleblowers.

Addressing the societal role in fighting corruption, Letsholo focused on the crucial role of everyday citizens and civil servants who often witness corrupt practices firsthand. He acknowledged the existing reluctance to report corruption due to the perceived risks of repercussions. To change this narrative, Letsholo advocated for creating an environment where staying silent is deemed more detrimental than speaking out. He called for a cultural shift where the potential benefits of exposing corruption outweigh the risks, ensuring that whistleblowers are protected and feel secure in coming forward.

Letsholo called for collective responsibility and action in creating a system that not only detects and reports corruption but also supports those who stand against it. He expressed hope that under President Masisi’s digitalization initiatives, the future of governance in Botswana will be characterized by integrity, transparency, and accountability. Letsholo’s speech resonated with the sentiments of hope and determination that permeated the commemoration, emphasizing the need for unity in the fight against corruption.

In summary, Letsholo lauded President Masisi’s digitalization initiative in the fight against corruption, highlighting its potential to curb corrupt practices, enhance efficiency and transparency in public services, and align with global anti-corruption standards. He emphasized the importance of improving detection methods, refining whistleblower laws, and creating an environment where speaking out against corruption is encouraged and protected. Letsholo called for collective responsibility and action in creating a future characterized by integrity, transparency, and accountability in governance.

 

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FaR property assets value clock P1.47 billion

6th December 2023

FaR Property Company (FPC) Limited, a property investment company listed on the Botswana Stock Exchange, has recently announced its exceptional financial results for the year 2023. The company’s property asset value has risen to P1.47 billion, up from P1.42 billion in the previous year.

FPC has a diverse portfolio of properties, including retail, commercial, industrial, and residential properties in Botswana, South Africa, and Zambia. The company owns a total of 186 properties, generating rental revenues from various sectors. In 2023, the company recorded rental revenues of P11 million from residential properties, P62 million from industrial properties, and P89 million from commercial properties. Overall, the company’s total revenues increased by 9% to P153 million, while profit before tax increased by 22% to P136 million, and operating profit increased by 11% to P139 million.

One notable achievement for FPC is the low vacancy rate across its properties, which stands at only 6%. This is particularly impressive considering the challenging trading environment. The company attributes this success to effective lease management and the leasing of previously vacant properties in South Africa. FPC’s management expressed satisfaction with the results, highlighting the resilience of the company in the face of ongoing macroeconomic challenges.

The increase in profit before tax can be attributed to both an increase in income and effective control of operating expenses. FPC managed to achieve these results with fewer employees, demonstrating the company’s efficiency. The headline earnings per linked unit also saw an improvement, reaching 26.92 thebe, higher than the previous year.

Looking ahead, FPC remains confident in its competitiveness and growth prospects. The company possesses a substantial land bank, which it plans to develop strategically as opportunities arise. FPC aims for managed growth, focusing on consumer-driven developments and ensuring the presence of supportive tenants. By maintaining this approach, the company believes it can sustainably grow its property portfolio and remain competitive in the market.

In terms of the macroeconomic environment, FPC noted that inflation rates are decreasing towards the 3% to 6% range approved by the Bank of Botswana. This is positive news for the company, as it hopes for further decreases in interest rates. However, the fluctuating fuel prices, influenced by global events such as the war in Ukraine and oil output reductions by Russia and other Middle Eastern countries, continue to impact businesses, including some of FPC’s tenants.

FPC’s property portfolio includes notable assets such as a shopping mall in Francistown with Choppies Hyper as the anchor tenant, Borogo Mall located on the A33 main road near the Kazungula ferry crossing, and various industrial and commercial properties in Gaborone leased to Choppies, Senn Foods, and Clover Botswana. The company also owns a shopping mall in Mafikeng and Rustenburg in South Africa.

The majority of FPC’s properties, 85%, are located in Botswana, followed by 12% in South Africa and 3% in Zambia. With its strong financial performance, competitive position, and strategic land bank, FPC is well-positioned for continued growth and success in the property market.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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