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DCEC probes awarding of P4 million Youth Fund

The Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crime (DCEC) has launched an investigation into the awarding of P4 million worth of projects approved by the Youth Development Fund (YDF) in Maun constituencies following allegations of rampant corruption in the awarding process.

According to a reliable source, the DCEC instigated the investigations following an alert by the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture that the youth offices in Maun had gone beyond the usual practice in approval of projects for the youth programme. MYSC’s Permanent Secretary, Kago Ramokate is said to have halted the funding of projects following emergence of reports relating to malpractice and un-procedural approval of business proposals in the Maun YDF offices.

According to one of the applicants, whose proposal got the nod, the application process closed in July 2015, and the successful proposals were approved in February this year.  However, it emerged that those who presided over the approval of projects had allegedly erred by approving proposals worth more than the P4 million available budget.

The said constituencies consist of Maun West and Maun East, and are awarded P2 million each every financial year to fund viable youth projects. 

This publication is also informed that, consequent to the malpractice, the funding was delayed because the YDF did not have sufficient money to fund the approved projects.

Ramokate ordered for a probing, with preliminary findings revealing that various malpractices and corrupt activities happened. These include; overfunding of projects which would ordinarily have been funded with less money, funding of ghost companies, and funding of undeserving projects owned by relatives.

Despite MYSC having promised to disburse funds for the projects which were successful and deserved funding, applicants are being moved from pillar to post, with no signs of progress in the matter.

“On the 21st of July this year, the Ministry promised that the assessment will be done by the 31st of August and then the funds will be disbursed to beneficiaries,” said the source.

“But on 1st of September, we were informed that someone will be sent to do the auditing, and that our funds will only be available after the process which is about to begin is completed.”

The development further means that, the funding of projects for the current financial year will also not go through, putting another P4 million worth of projects in abeyance. 

The delay in the matter has lead to the applicants writing a letter, to the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Thapelo Olopeng requesting his audience. The action is likely to delay funding of youth projects at least for two financial years, totalling P8 million.

Olopeng has reportedly declined to meet the concerned youth but instead referred them to the PS, Ramokate who had been handling the issue.

The affected group since resolved to seek the intervention of Office of the President after losing patience with Olopeng over the possibility of him resolving the matter. The youth wants President Lt Gen Ian Khama to hasten the process, and direct for those who were deservedly approved to be given their funds.

The source has revealed to this publication that the desperation from applicants is brought by the fact that they have, prior to applying and getting approval for youth fund, entered into several agreements with various players for services such as office rentals, banks and other suppliers.

“Further delay may affect the viability of some projects; property owners may lease the office to somebody else, and some applicants are already paying for rentals even before their projects commence just to secure the office,” said the source.

The source further suggested that the whole process had been marred by deceit and corruption which has brought desperation on other applicants who were successfully approved.

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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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