The Vintage Air Rally, a flying rally across Africa, from Crete to Cape Town has acceded to President Khama’s request to include Botswana in the race and will land at the Sir Seretse Khama International Airport on 11 December 2016.
The Vintage Air Rally is an extraordinary and well – coordinated event that will see twelve vintage biplanes all manufactured before 31st December1939 embark on a journey from the Greek island of Crete bound for Cape Town in South Africa. With 20 international teams representing 17 countries, the Crete2Cape recreates the pioneering days of flight from the 1920s. The Rally tests the pilots’ skills and aircraft to the limit while raising funds for charity. The 12, 800 km race is expected to take 35 days and will raise funds for international charities, UNICEF, Bird Life International and Seed Bombing.
The teams are attempting the crossing of 10 countries in 37 stops and 35 days, The countries include among others, Canada; Ireland; New Zealand; Russia; South Africa; United States; Britain and Botswana. It began on 12 November in Sitia, Greece and is scheduled to end on December 17 as the rally touches down in Cape Town, South Africa.
“The teams will be travelling in a loose formation, meaning up to fifty miles between lead and tail-end Charlie in order to enhance both safety and enjoyment. Additionally, modern aeroplanes and helicopters will be functioning as support crew for the older machines,” the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (FAI) website says.
Two helicopters and six modern aircraft, carrying spares and equipment, are flying alongside the vintage planes. Special fuel has been flown in to various points along the route, online sources have revealed. Further, the website states that the top team will win the VintageAirRally Trophy and the team showing "the most exemplary behaviour" will be rewarded with the Spirit of the Rally Trophy. This latter trophy will be awarded on the basis of a vote amongst all the teams, according to the site.
Puma Energy is the official fuel partner and the sole fuel provider for the ‘Crete to Cape’ Vintage Air Rally. “It is also quite a privilege for us to be able to say that the fuel, oil and lubricants we produce today are able to sufficiently maintain these masterpieces,” said Mahube Mpugwa, Puma Energy General Manager.
While here, the team will enjoy a tour at Mashatu Game Reserve as well an in Gaborone, courtesy of Brand Botswana and Botswana Tourism Organisation. Consequently, the country will also enjoy free exposure to the rest of the world, as its features will be televises, potentially boosting tourism activity in the country.
The event will help Bird Life Botswana increase awareness to help save Botswana’s Vultures from extinction. As the most efficient and natural incinerator of dead animal remains, vultures play a vital role in the ecosystem services, according to Bird Life Botswana. Their scavenging behaviour has a monetary benefit to the country estimated at over P150, 000/year/ vulture- and they are providing their services for free.
Botswana is a home to seven of the eleven African vultures. All the seven species in Botswana remain critically endangered or endangered as a result of poisoning activities done by poachers and farmers in Botswana.
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.