Miss Plus Size Universe Botswana organisers, Fab Fast Collections have moved to drop reigning queen, Mmangaka Coreen Tumagole in favour of Natasha Tshephang Olopeng, who is the pageant’s reigning second princess. Tumagole was to represent the country in Trinidad and Tobago on March 4 this year.
Interestingly, Olopeng is said to be the youngest daughter of Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sport and Culture Development, Thapelo Olopeng. The same ministry is believed to have sponsored the event that was staged last year October in Gaborone. It is not yet clear whether it would sponsor the contestant’s trip to Trinidad and Tobago.
A statement released by Fab Fast Collections Pty (Ltd) on behalf of the event organiser, Gorata Kekgethile and Miss Plus Size Universe Botswana, the company announced that, “Due to unfortunate circumstances that we have been aware of regarding our client, we would like to apologise to all our sponsors and supports for substituting her. Botswana shall be represented by Natasha Tshepang Olopeng who was the 2nd Princess. This decision was not based on the director but the sponsors.”
When reached for comment, Kekgethegile revealed to this publication that Tumagole was dropped because of her behaviour and failing to meet some of her contractual agreements like attending gym sessions. According to Tumagole, the news came as a surprise to her. In fact, she learnt that she would not be going to Trinidad and Tobago on Monday this week, through a cellphone message from Kekgethegile.
“We were supposed to meet Orange Botswana together, who we were trying to lure as sponsors, but I got a text message from her (Kekgethegile) saying she would not be going with me,” she explained. The text message, seen by WeekendPost reads, “Morning I don’t think going to Orange together is a good idea since I want to give you termination of contract, however I still need to meet you to discuss this.”
However, the duo then met on Wednesday afternoon where Kekgethegile gave Tumagole the official termination letter which states that the reasons for termination include among others, failure to meet the specified weight of 112 kg, social media misrepresentation and communication problems.
The letter also states that she must return the crown and tiara as well as the Queen’s sash. At the same meeting, Kekgethegile, according to Tumagole said that they would still continue working together and that she would represent the country at Miss Plus Size International in Beijing on April 22nd.
Surprisingly, weight was never a problem initially. During auditions, the specifications were that contestants should be size 36 and above. After crowning, Tumagole was to attend gym sessions to ‘tone up.’ But Kekgethegile insisted that “She hasn’t lost weight so she doesn’t qualify in Trinidad and Tobago.”
She however declined to give any further information when pressed further as to when they learnt that the queen would have to lose some weight. In a pageant setup, should the reigning Queen be recalled, or be unable to continue with her duty, the immediate substitute is the 1st Princess not the second Princess. Gabby Mochudi who is 1st Princess should have taken over, however, according to Kekgethegile, Mochudi cannot take up the duty as she has lost weight and does not meet the criteria. She chose to not comment further on the issue.
Shockingly, Mochudi was clueless about the latest developments and said she was never contacted by Kekgethegile with regards to the issue. She denied having lost any weight since the crowning. “As far as I know I have not lost any weight and I still meet the criteria to compete at the international stage,” she said.
According to Tumagole, she and the organisers have always experienced problems, particularly with Kekgethegile. She alleges that all hell broke loose when she demanded to be paid the outstanding balance of her prize money. The Prize money was set at P10 000 for the overall winner but she maintains that she has only been given P7 000 which she received in instalments.
“But I have learnt that Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture who were the main sponsors have released the payout cheque,” she said. “I have done nothing wrong; my problem is my ability to voice out my opinion. This is unfair business and breach of contract that I have penned down with them,” the recalled queen stated.
According to the contract signed by the two parties it was agreed that the contract can be terminated in case “She is wearing curlers, sponge, paper, rods or any other kind of hair- setters, or whatsoever when going out in public or failing to conceal any tattoos or getting new ones.”
She further told this publication that she would not take the issue lying down as she intends to file for an urgent application for breach of contract and defamation of character. She highlighted that, while she was aware she was to attend gym sessions to tone up and keep fit, she did attend some but stopped only after a foot injury and was to commence this month (January), a fact the organisers were aware of.
“What is disheartening is the fact that I worked hard to lure in more sponsors and right now I’m not even sure how much I raised, so Olopeng will be using my monies,” she said. At press time, Natasha was reportedly in South Africa, and a WhatsApp message was sent to her but she ignored it, choosing instead to call Kekgethegile to inform her of the message. Kekgethegile in turn charged at Tumagole accusing her of giving out Natasha’s contacts.
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.