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BR train gutted by fire

A Botswana Railways (BR) BD 104 freight locomotive caught fire Thursday evening at Mokgosi, between Ramotswa and Lobatse.

BR Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dominic Ntwaagae was at Taung Train station, Thursday night to assess the damage.

He explained that BD 104’s engine and train men who were railing from Mahalapye to Lobatse explained that on the way the locomotive had cut its power and flames shortly erupted from its left side.

Ntwaagae, who is also an engineer, said that preliminarily the engine seems to have sustained a considerable amount of damage. He said that it could be worth in the region of P 2 million

While the entire locomotive did not burn down, a large burn mark patch could be observed on the left side of the locomotive when this reporter arrived at Taung Train Station at 10:00 pm where it had been hauled.

Ntwaagae also said that he does not suspect any foul play as the train was in motion on the tracks: “I do not suspect any sabotage because it was moving unlike if it was stationary at some station.” Ntwaagae said.

A total of 12 BD1 locomotives of the burnt out model were procured from the United States of America in 1984 and only 4 sets remain in operation while the rest have been lost to crashes, while others have been disposed of.

Ntwaagae however denied that BR is in a crisis and pointed out that despite the recent incessant negative publicity that his company has been hogging, it maintains a good accident record.

He also said that investigations will soon start to find the cause of the fire and the locomotive will then be assessed by the Safety Review Committee (SRC) which will be comprised of several BR experts to see what to do with it and if they require external assistance they will duly make such a request.

Ntwaagae said that his locomotives move fuel in millions of litres, tonnages of soda ash, salt, cement and coal and critically propping up the c mining sector while decongesting the road network.

He said that while the locomotive will be grounded, it will scale back 1000 tons of freight that it moves on a daily basis. He said that at times the locomotive is enjoined with others and can number up to 4, drawing up to 50 wagons transporting cargo.

“It will definitely hurt us,” he said.

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BAD WEEK FOR MANCHESTER CITY

6th February 2023

After falling to close the gap on Arsenal by losing to a record breaking goal by Kane at the Tottenham stadium.Manchester City now find themselves being charged by the Premier League with more than 100 breaches of its financial rules following a four-year investigation.

According to BBC , it has referred the club to an independent commission over alleged rule breaches between 2009 and 2018 , and also that Man-city has not been co-operating since the investigation which started in 2018 .

BBC further states that The commission can impose punishment including a fine , points deduction and expelling the club from the Premier league.

The alleged breaches include ,  breaching rules for requiring full details of manager remuneration,from 2009-2010, to 2012-2013 seasons when Roberto Mancini was in charge . Also player remuneration between 2010-2011 and 2015-2016.

The Premier league stated that City breached rules related to UEFA regulations , including Financial Fair Play , from 2013-2014 to 2017-2018 ,as well as Premier League rules on profitability and sustainability from 2014-2016 to 2017-2018

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South Korean Embassy aids students living with disabilities

6th February 2023

South Korean Ambassador in South Africa has donated e-learning equipment through Botswana Red Cross Society (BRCS) to Tlamelong Rehabilitation Centre in Tlokweng recently, in a bid to fine tune the student’s textile skills.  

When talking at the handing over ceremony, Chull-Joo Park, said they agreed with BRCS to give out e-learning equipment to better the training skills of students living with disabilities.

“With the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) equipment and job training skills, we will be able to help the students living with disabilities to do e-learning and to better their education and job training,” said Chull-Joo Park.

It was revealed that the South Korean Embassy approached BRCS with the intent to donate equipment and educational material that includes an embroidery machine, photo copier machine, tablets and interactive boards to be utilized by the trainees.

The industrial printer is a machine that works with embroidery machine to print designs for clothing and it will enable the learners to have more material available to them to facilitate learning.

Through this embroidery machine, students will be exposed to better technologies which ultimately improve the quality of materials they produce. It will also allow students to learn business skills and run profitable ventures.

Smart board gadgets will provide the students with an elevated learning process to be fostered by e-learning. The gadgets provide a more visual element to the learning process, which in turn improves learner mental retention.

Tlamelong Rehabilitation serves the marginalized and underserved less privileged persons living with disability in Botswana. The center offers boarding services, vocational training, social services, physiotherapy and rehabilitation services for young people living disabilities aged 18-35 from across the country over a period of two (2) years per cohort which has a maximum intake capacity of 35. BRCS through International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) have managed to create great working synergy with the South Korean Embassy in Pretoria based in South Africa to support or augment the National Society’s Rehabilitation Centre’s learning challenges.

For his part, BRSC Secretary General Kutlwano Mokokomani said they are delighted to convey their gratitude as BRSC to the South Korean Embassy for donation and they look forward to an enduring partnership for such worthy causes.

“South Korean Embassy’s great gesture will enable trainees to thrive, to fulfil their dreams to become a reality as this equipments will go a long way in creating great impact in the lives of trainees and their families. We wish to convey our sincere gratitude to the South Korean Embassy for their noble gesture of donating the E-learning equipments.”

BRCS offers rehabilitation services spread across three (3) areas in Botswana being Sefhare Stimulation center in Sefhare, Tshimologo stimulation center in Francistown and Tlamelong rehabilitation center in Tlokweng.

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DIS alleges plot to kill Masisi hatched in South Africa

6th February 2023

A dispute is brewing between Botswana and South Africa intelligence agencies over alleged mercenary training camps discovered in South Africa by the Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS). 

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