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Govt loses 2 million pula to a police fraudster

Botswana Police Service (BPS) Commissioner Makgope and Public Relations officer Assistant Commissioner, Christopher Mbulawa

As the story of corruption unfolds, a police officer has swindled government close to 2 million pula while seconded to the Accountant General department in the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning.   

The arm and a leg amount in the tune of P1 912 582.62 to be specific, is deemed to be the value of the benefits that were reimbursed by David Loftus William from serious crime related activities “of stealing by a person employed in the public service.”

It is understood that on several occasions between 2000 and 2002, the then police officer had cashed money meant for salaries of government employees and diverted the moneys to his associates, including his wife.  

“William transferred the said amount as salary in to different accounts maintained at Standard Charted Mall Branch and Barclays Bank respectively,” a statement from DCEC confirmed.

The corruption busting agency was roped-in to detect the police officer’s alleged misdemeanor and consequently “the accused person was charged with 64 counts of stealing by a person employed in the public service contrary to Section 271 as read with Section 277 of the penal code Cap 08:01 Laws of Botswana.”

The former police officer was arraigned before the Gaborone Principal Magistrate Munashe Ndlovu who ordered him to pay back the defrauded P1 912 582.62 to government coffers.

“The huge money could have gone somewhere. This kind of corruption derails development. The funds could have been used for a good governmental project. This therefore derails the government developmental agenda,” DCEC Public Relations Officer, Nyaladzi Gambule pointed out to Weekend Post while confirming the matter.

The soft-spoken Gambule cited that such issues are worrying, especially when committed by public officers and in particular police officers who are entrusted to safeguard the law itself. “You will assume that someone working in the police service, by the virtue of his/her office will have moral consciousness and observe ethics than an ordinary person.”

According to the DCEC spokesperson, there is a societal expectation regarding how public officers and by extension police officers should behave. “If one police officer can be corrupt it means that there is a probability that many others may be doing the same thing and that hurts government.”

Subsequent to investigations by the corruption busting agency, the verdict implied: “the accused person William between the 20th March 2000 and 22 August 2002 in Gaborone, whilst employed by Botswana Government as a Police Office and seconded at the Accountant General Department in the Ministry of Finance stole the sum of P1 912 582.62 (One Million Nine Hundred and Twelve Thousand Five Hundred and Eighty Two Pula Sixty Two Thebe.”

This publication has gathered that the accused has since been suspended has been on bail.  It is understood that some of his automobiles such as buses have been confiscated by DCEC pending finalization of the criminal matter which still stands with regard to the case. The accused is facing a civil and criminal suit. The civil suit has been dealt with and he has been ordered by court to pay back the money while the criminal one is pending.

Meanwhile the Botswana Police Service (BPS) Public Relations officer Assistant Commissioner, Christopher Mbulawa was playing his cards close to his chest when asked to confirm if he is aware of such incident. “I will not want to be drawn into discussing it,” he said referring this publication to the DCEC.

However, he said the organization has internal affairs branch which investigates any possible misbehaving by a police officer. “We launched anti-corruption policy and toll free number and this shows we don’t tolerate corruption by our officers.”

The calm and collected spokesperson pointed out to Weekend Post that as a police service, they have demonstrated a policy on zero tolerance to acts of corruption. Mbulawa said “that’s why even at our offices we have posters, monthly magazines to educate staff on corruption.”

According to the Assistant Commissioner, corruption in the police service can damage the image of not only their organization but the nation.

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Fighting vulture poisoning in KAZA region.

3rd February 2023
As a response to avert vulture poisoning currently going on in Botswana and KAZA region, Birdlife Botswana has collaborated with three other partners (BirdWatch Zambia, BirdLife International & Birdlife Zimbabwe) to tackle wildlife poisoning which by extension negatively affect vulture populations.

The Director of Birdlife Botswana, Motshereganyi Virat Kootshositse has revealed in an interview that the project which is funded by European Union’s main goal is to reduce poisoning related vultures’ death and consequently other wildlife species death within the KAZA region.

He highlighted that Chobe district in Botswana has been selected as a pilot site as it has experienced rampant incidents of vulture poisoning for the past few months. In August this year at least 50 endangered white backed vultures were reported dead at Chobe National Park, Botswana after feeding on a buffalo carcass laced with poison.  In November this year again 43 white backed vultures were found dead and two alive after feeding on a zebra suspected to have poisoned.  Other selected pilots’ sites are Kafue in Zambia and Hwange in Zimbabwe.

Kootshositse further explained they have established a national and regional Wildlife Poisoning Committee. He added that as for the national committee they have engaged various departments such as Crop Productions, Agro Chemicals, Department of Veterinary Services, Department of Wildlife and National Parks and other NGOs such as Raptors Botswana to come together and find a long-lasting solution to address wildlife poisoning in Botswana. ‘Let’s have a strategy or a plan together to tackle wildlife poisoning,’ he stated

He also decried that there is gap in the availability of data about vulture poisoning or wildlife in general. ‘If we have a central point for data, it will help in terms of reporting and advocacy’, he stated

He added that the regional committee comprises of law enforcement officers such as BDF and Botswana police, village leadership such as Village Development Committee and Kgosi. ‘We need to join hand together and protect the wildlife we have as this will increase our profile for conservation and this alone enhances our visitation and boost our local economy,’ he noted

Kootshositse noted that Birdlife together with DWNP also addressed series of meeting in some villages in the Chobe region recently. The purpose of kgotla meetings was to raise awareness on the conservation and protection of vultures in Chobe West communities.

‘After realizing that vulture poisoning in the Chobe areas become frequent, we realise that we need to do something about it.  ‘We did a public awareness by addressing several kgotla meetings in some villages in the Chobe west,’ he stated

He noted that next year they are going to have another round of consultations around the Chobe areas and the approach is to engage the community into planning process. ‘Residents should be part of the plan of actions and we are working with farmers committee in the areas to address vulture poisoning in the area, ‘he added

He added that they have found out that some common reasons for poisoning wildlife are farmers targeting predators such as lions in retaliation to killing of their livestock. Another common incident cross border poaching in the Chobe area as poachers will kills an elephant and poison its carcass targeting vultures because of their aerial circling alerting authorities about poaching activities.

Kootshositse noted that in the last cases it was disheartening the incidents occurred three months apart. He added that for the first time they found that some of the body parts of some vultures were missing. He added harvesting of body parts of vultures is not a common practice in Botswana, although it is used in some parts of Africa. ‘We suspect that someone took advantage of the availability of carcasses and started harvesting their body parts,’

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Giant in the making: Everton Mlalazi

3rd February 2023

The music industry is at a point where artists are jostling for space because there are so many aspirants trying to get their big break, thus creating stiff competition.

In the music business it’s about talent and positioning. You need to be at the right place at the right time with the right people around you to propel you forward.
Against all odds, Everton Mlalazi has managed to takeover the gospel scene effortlessly.
To him, it’s more than just a breakthrough to stardom, but a passion as well as mission directly appointed by the Lord.

Within a short space of 2 years after having decided to persue a solo career, Mlalazi has already made it into international music scene, with his music receiving considerable play on several gospel television and radio stations in Botswana including other regional stations like Trace Africa, One Gospel, Metro FM in South Africa, Hope FM in Kenya and literally all broadcast stations in Zimbabwe.

It doesn’t only stop there, as the musician has already been nominated 2 times and 2 awards which are Bulawayo Arts Awards (BAA) best Male artists 2022, StarFM listerners Choice Award, Best Newcomer 2021 and ZIMA Best Contemporary Gospel 2022, MLA awards Best Male artist & Best Gospel Artist 2022.

Everton’s inspiration stems from his ultimate passion and desire to lead people into Godly ways and it seems it’s only getting started.
The man is a gospel artist to put on your radar.

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African countries call on WHO to increase funding

2nd February 2023

Minister of Health Dr Edwin Dikoloti says Africa member states call on World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure equitable resource allocation for 2024-2025. Dr Dikoloti was speaking this week at the WHO Executive Board Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

He said countries agreed that there is need to address the budget and funding imbalances by increasing the programme budget share of countries and regions to 75% for the next year.

“The proposed budget for 2024-2025 marks an important milestone as it is the first in Programme Budget in which country offices will be allocated more than half of the total budget for the biennium. We highly welcome this approach which will enable the organization to deliver on its mandate while fulfilling the expectations for transparency, efficiency and accountability.”

The Botswana Health Minister commended member states on the extension of the General Programme of Work (GPD 13) and the Secretariat work to monitor the progress towards the triple billion targets, and the health-related SDGs.

“We welcome the Director’s general proposed five priorities which have crystalized into the “five Ps” that are aligned with the GPW 13 extension. Impact can only be achieved through close coordination with, and support to national health authorities. As such, the strengthening of country offices is instrumental, with particular focus on strengthening national health systems and on promoting more equitable access to health services.”

According to Dr Dikoloti, the majority of countries with UHC index that is below the global median are in the WHO Africa region. “For that, we call on the WHO to enhance capacity at the regional and national levels in order to accelerate progress. Currently, the regional office needs both technical and financial support in order to effectively address and support country needs.”

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