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Milk Africa assets to be auctioned

The controversial Milk Africa project which was backed by government – in particular the then Vice President Ponatshego Kedikilwe- will have some of remaining assets auctioned to the highest bidder later this month (December).

Milk Africa is a joint project between Lobatse Town Council (LTC) and a Zimbabwean with United States refugee papers who is the company’s founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Philemon Thambatshira Matibe. Weekend Post has established that the project-which literally failed to take off as expected, is drowning in debt. Prior to opening its doors for operation, the company was already facing a lawsuit of P16 000, this publication had learnt.  

Deputy Sheriff Augustine Mokalake of Rankoro Legal Practice confirmed to Weekend Post this week that indeed they are auctioning Milk Africa’s movable property. “Yes we will be auctioning their properties as they owe our client Ezze Build and are failing to pay the dues,” Mokalake pointed out to this publication.

The properties to be sold include John Deer Tractors, 2500 litres water tank, a BMW 325i car, generator, paving bricks, corrugated iron sheets, plastic chairs, gun poles, planks, water pipes, compressor, bags of cement, diamond mesh rolls, rolls of barbed wire, gauge wire and poles among others. The Deputy Sheriff also referred this publication to the “in the matter between” Gaborone Building Supplies t/a Ezze Build (plaintiff) and Milk Africa (Pty) Ltd (defendant) under case no. CVHGB-001385/16” which is the same matter currently before the High Court.

In the matter, it also confirms that “pursuant to the Judgement granted by the above Honourable Court, the following defendant (Milk Africa)’s movable property shall be sold by public auction by Deputy Sheriff Augustine Mokalake to the highest bidder at Milk Africa warehouse.” Many have since day one doubted the project while maintaining that it will never see the light of the day including the Minister of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism Tshekedi Khama and ex-Lobatse Lawmaker Nehemiah Modubule as well as some chunk of Lobatse Town Councillors.  

The Councillors also feared that the Council could have been sold a dummy on the partnership with the so-called Zimbabwean investor Matibe who is said to be in possession of refugee papers from the Unites States. It is alleged that Matibe had no financial capacity to invest on the project but rather was banking on getting loans from local banks using the leased land from the Council (LTC) as security.

However, the council is said to have refused to sign off the land into his name or that of his company, Lobatse Dairy (PTY) Ltd, thus the delay of funding and launch of production. According to records the leased land was supposed to be used solely for a dairy milking parlour, paddock and pasture establishment, milk processing, offices, staff housing and related amenities only. The lease of the land, it is also understood, was set to continue for a period of twenty five years.

Meanwhile Councillors are breathing hard on the LTC Mayor Malebogo Kruger and her team and demand that the land be taken back and distributed to members of the public for residential purposes since the project has miscarried. The project was expected to bring back life to the “ghost town” Lobatse following the transfer of High Court and Court of Appeal headquarters to Gaborone, which left the town almost abandoned. Milk Africa was estimated at the value of P100 million and “expected” to create around 500 jobs and supply the country with milk as from last year.

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Botswana approves extradition of British fugitive

20th March 2023

Raiz Ahmed Tayub, a British fugitive sought by Interpol for his involvement in human trafficking and slave trade crimes, was captured by the Botswana Police Service (BPS) earlier this year.

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BOCRA detects new cyber attacks targeted at Botswana

20th March 2023

Government owned communications regulator, Botswana Communications Regulatory Authority (BOCRA) recently detected several cyber-attacks targeted at national information and communications infrastructure, companies and home routers in this country.

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Malawi appeals for help over Cyclone Freddy at PAP

17th March 2023

As of yesterday evening, the death toll from the Cyclone in Malawi had risen from the initially reported 190 to 225 in a short period of time, over 20 000 people have been displaced, and the worst of fears are yet to come as the fatalities continue to mount. This was reported by a Malawi Member of Parliament attending the Pan African Parliament session in Midrand, South Africa, Hon Steven Mikiya.

Mikiya was giving a statement on behalf of Malawi as the ongoing Pan African Parliament in South Africa.

Mikiya said the Cyclone has wreaked the most havoc in our country’s Southern Region. “The Southern Region, has been hardest hit with widespread heavy rains and strong winds. This caused a rapid rise in water levels and subsequent flooding. Meanwhile, power supply has been disrupted, roads blocked off and rendered impassable and mudslides have also been widely reported,” he said.

He made a special appeal to the PAP:  “Where I come from, there is a parable which I would like to share with you which says, “mzako weniweni umamudziwa panthawi ya mavuto.” Simply put, a friend in need is a friend indeed or put loosely, a person who helps at a difficult time is a friend you can rely on.”

Mikiya continued: “Yes! Misfortune has knocked on our door and left in its wake a trail of death and destruction that may take years to fully recover from. However, amidst these difficulties, I have every reason to believe that sometimes when you are in a dark place and think you have been buried, you have actually been planted. My belief, Mr. President, arises out of my faith in this gathering and out of the conviction that it is not coincidental that Cyclone Freddy hit Malawi and Mozambique while the delegations of both countries are here.”

According to Mikiya, the level of destruction, the loss of life, property and the decimation of the entire fabric of established communities has been unprecedented. He noted that all this, is coming at a time when Malawi was starting to show signs of recovery from the deadly COVID-19 pandemic that also came hard on the heels of Cyclone Ana and Cyclone Gombe that left a similar trail of devastation and destruction in Malawi and neighbouring countries.

As of Sunday, this week, from the 12th of March, Malawi and Mozambique have been facing the devastating effects of Cyclone Freddy that made a landfall over Mozambique on Saturday the 11th and reached Malawi by Sunday the 12th of March.

The Malawi legislator said he has absolute faith in the Pan African Parliament, which he described as “a league of nations brought together by a shared ancestry, history, identity as well as our beloved continent which we inhabit”.

Meanwhile, Malawi President, Lazarus Chakwera, has declared a State of Disaster in the affected areas effectively appealing for local and international support for the affected families.

Mikiya appealed to the Pan African Parliament drawing “positive” inspiration from Europe which rallied around Turkey after the destructive earthquakes to bring the much-needed relief and humanitarian aid to the people of Turkey.

He said Africa should demonstrate to the world that the African Union and its Organs are not mere talk shows, but effective institutions which stand up when it matters most.

“Alone, it may take us a lifetime to fully recover, but together, in the Pan-Africanist spirit of Ubuntu, our lives and livelihoods will return to a semblance of normality in record time. This is the time to live by our operative mantra, “One Africa, One Voice.” Mikiya concluded.

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