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Tombale may leave BMC

Encumbered with a P93million setback due from government for the losses incurred by the perennial loss making Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) coupled by the meat processing entity’s uncertain future, the organization’s CEO Dr. Akolang Tombale is contemplating quitting.

Tombale, who retired from his post as the board chairperson of another cash strapped and troubled BCL Mine in June this year, told WeekendPost in an interview that he might consider jumping the sinking ship if the government does not implement some of the measures to save the parastatal.

“I was hired to save BMC from sinking further into serious financial doldrums,” said the soft-spoken Tombale in an interview with this publication on the sidelines of a recent 2nd BMC Baruakgomo Pitso in Francistown.

Tombale added: “If the measures I would like to implement are not taken into consideration, I am left without an option but to throw in the towel. This is so because there are two things involved thus being fired if I fail to resuscitate the commission or resigning.”

In order to give BMC the kiss of life, Tombale has recommended that Francistown and Maun abattoirs should be separated from the BMC Group and operated solely under government funding.

This is so because Francistown and Maun abattoirs now depend solely on BMC Lobatse for financial support, according to Tombale. And running BMC commercially, the commission cannot operate the two abattoirs since they are making losses, he said.

According to Tombale, the current business environment does not support intended reforms, as losses are weighing heavily on the enterprise or plant’s cash flow. Tombale further lamented that climatic conditions also pose even greater challenges to sustaining cattle supply to BMC – including the quality of cattle supplied to the meat processing firm.

“Cab Memo of 2006, which discouraged closure of BMC Francistown and reimbursement on operational losses (now amounting to P93million) is not being fully implemented as instructed,” lamented Tombale.

In 2006, BMC submitted a proposal to the government to mothball the plant, as it was making losses and draining the cash flow. However, the government through the presidential directive cab 13 (a) of 2006 advised that BMC continue to operate the plant and be reimbursed for the losses year of year.

“But the BMC’s recent and current performance does not reflect does not reflect a dynamic and responsive approach and it does not have competitive advantage is most facets of its operations,” said Tombale.

BMC was established in the late ’80s with the objective to increase throughput every year in accordance with the corporate plan and reach optimum capacity utilization by the year 2008.

Eight years later, throughput however remains volatile for BMC and the long term trend is downwards with the meat processing company now slaughtering less than 50percent of the annual kill in Botswana.

Endless efforts to get a comment on the government’s position drew a blank, as the Minister of Agriculture Patrick Ralotsia was not answering his mobile phone until press time.

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Gov’t shy to shame failing ministers

22nd February 2021

Minister of Presidential Affairs, Governance and Public Administration, Kabo Morwaeng together with Permanent Secretary to the President (PSP) Elias Magosi, this week refused to name and shame the worst performing Ministries and to disclose the best performing Ministries since beginning of 12th parliament including the main reasons for underperformance.

Of late there have been a litany of complaints from both ends of the aisle with cabinet members accused of providing parliament with unsatisfactory responses to the questions posed. In fact for some Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) backbenchers a meeting with the ministers and party leadership is overdue to address their complaints. Jwaneng-Mabutsane MP, Mephato Reatile is also not happy with ministers’ performance.

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Bokamoso, Gov’t in P10M womb removal suit

22nd February 2021

Bokamoso Private Hospital is battling a P10 million legal suit for a botched fibroids operation which resulted in a woman losing an entire womb and her prospects of bearing children left at zero.

The same suit has also befallen the Attorney General of Botswana who is representing the Ministry of Health and Wellness for their contributory negligence of having the unlawful removal of a patient, Goitsemang Magetse’s womb.

According to the court papers, Magetse says that sometimes in November 2019, she was diagnosed with fibroids at Marina Hospital where upon she was referred to Bokamoso Private Hospital to schedule an appointment for an operation to remove the fibroids, which she did.

Magetse continues that at the instance of one Dr Li Wang, the surgeon who performed the operation, and unknown to her, an operation to remove her whole womb was conducted instead.
According to Magetse, it was only through a Marina Hospital regular check-up that she got to learn that her whole womb has been removed.

“At the while she was under the belief that only her fibroids have been removed. By doing so, the hospital has subjected itself to some serious delictual liability in that it performed a serious and life changing operation on patient who was under the belief that she was doing a completely different operation altogether. It thus came as a shock when our client learnt that her womb had been removed, without her consent,” said Magetse’s legal representatives, Kanjabanga and Associates in their summons.

The letter further says, “this is an infringement of our client‘s rights and this infringement has dire consequences on her to the extent that she can never bear children again”. ‘It is our instruction therefore, to claim as we hereby do, damages in the sum of BWP 10,000,000 (ten million Pula) for unlawful removal of client’s womb,” reads Kanjabanga Attorneys’ papers. The defendants are yet to respond to the plaintiff’s papers.

What are fibroids?

Fibroids are tumors made of smooth muscle cells and fibrous connective tissue. They develop in the uterus. It is estimated that 70 to 80 percent of women will develop fibroids in their lifetime — however, not everyone will develop symptoms or require treatment.

The most important characteristic of fibroids is that they’re almost always benign, or noncancerous. That said, some fibroids begin as cancer — but benign fibroids can’t become cancer. Cancerous fibroids are very rare. Because of this fact, it’s reasonable for women without symptoms to opt for observation rather than treatment.

Studies show that fibroids grow at different rates, even when a woman has more than one. They can range from the size of a pea to (occasionally) the size of a watermelon. Even if fibroids grow that large, we offer timely and effective treatment to provide relief.

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Masisi warned against a sinking Botswana

22nd February 2021
Ndaba GAolatlhe

The Alliance for Progressives (AP) President Ndaba Gaolathe has said that despite major accolades that Botswana continues to receive internationally with regard to the state of economy, the prospects for the future are imperilled.

Delivering his party Annual Policy Statement on Thursday, Gaolathe indicated that Botswana is in a state of do or die, and that the country’s economy is on a sick bed. With a major concern for poverty, Gaolathe pointed out that almost half of Botswana’s people are ravaged by or are about to sink into poverty.  “Our young people have lost the fire to dream about what they could become,” he said.

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