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Lawyer warns Police Chief on abuse cases

Lawyer urges Makgophe to call officers to order

A Gaborone based attorney has threatened to take legal action against Police Commissioner Keabetswe Makgophe if he does not call to order some of his police battalions who allegedly abuse office.

In particular, the said police officers (names withheld), who are stationed at Broadhurst police station, are accused of engaging in an ‘unexplainable search’ for suspects of a cyber-criminal offence.

The suspects, Federick Mathibe and Temo Tau who are co-owners of Noroc technologies made the waves earlier this year when they were accused of cybercrime, after their former business associate Monty Chiepe confiscated their computers.

The suspects have allegedly since suffered harassment handed to them by police officials based at the Broadhurst station. On one instance, Tau was detained for two consecutive nights at the police station where his lawyer was informed, upon enquiry that one of the accused officers was the only one who had information on the case.

Lawyer representing the two business men, Joram Matomela of J.J Matomela Attorneys has written to the Police Boss in two different occasions, notifying him of his officers’ behaviours, consequently asking him to bring the two officers to order.

The suspects, following their release from custody, where no charge was brought issued a statutory notice on the 18th June 2015 to institute legal proceedings against the state for unlawful arrest and detention.

“To date, no charge sheet has been served on the clients as required by the law, and as such that it is manifestly clear that the said police officer is abusing his police authority to interfere with client’s rights to live freely without fear or intimidation,” Counsel Matomela warned Makgophe through a communication dated 7 July.

He stated: “we wish, yet again, to convey our disappointment with the conduct of Broadhurst Police Station officers, in particular 2 officers in the manner they are treating clients. On the day appointed for clients to appear in court, no case was registered with the court and all prosecutors from the Broadhurst Police station and Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) were ignorant of the case,” he pointed out.

When reached for comment Broadhurst Police Station Commander Bonoso Molapisi was said to be engaged outside of the office and his phone repeatedly rang unanswered.

According to the lawyer, Police Commissioner Makgophe should call the said officers to order, otherwise he, representing clients, shall undertake legal proceedings to interdict any planned prosecution on the basis that it is malicious.

 “We wish to bring to your attention that if the officer and his workmate are not called to order, their conduct will be exposed in court and tarnish the otherwise good name of your organization,” the attorney warned Police Commissioner through the letter.

Meanwhile Botswana Police Service's Senior Superintendent Dipheko Motube said they rarely receive such cases of abuse of office levelled against some police officers. In fact he said at times when they investigate on such matters they rarely find any wrong doing by such police officers.

“It’s very rare to hear such cases but we often hear them from either people talking or the media. When we investigate such incidents we never find anything out of the ordinary,” he highlighted. He was however quick to point out that: “but am not denying that it (abuse of police authority) could have happened on the matter.” 

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Masisi to dump Tsogwane?

28th November 2022

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and some senior government officials are abuzz with reports that President Mokgweetsi Masisi has requested his Vice President, Slumber Tsogwane not to contest the next general elections in 2024.

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African DFIs gear to combat climate change

25th November 2022

The impacts of climate change are increasing in frequency and intensity every year and this is forecast to continue for the foreseeable future. African CEOs in the Global South are finally coming to the party on how to tackle the crisis.

Following the completion of COP27 in Egypt recently, CEOs of Africa DFIs converged in Botswana for the CEO Forum of the Association of African Development Finance Institutions. One of the key themes was on green financing and building partnerships for resource mobilization in financing SDGs in Africa

A report; “Weathering the storm; African Development Banks response to Covid-19” presented shocking findings during the seminar. Among them; African DFI’s have proven to be financially resilient, and they are fast shifting to a green transition and it’s financing.

COO, CEDA, James Moribame highlighted that; “Everyone needs food, shelter and all basic needs in general, but climate change is putting the achievement of this at bay. “It is expensive for businesses to do business, for instance; it is much challenging for the agricultural sector due to climate change, and the risks have gone up. If a famer plants crops, they should be ready for any potential natural disaster which will cost them their hard work.”

According to Moribame, Start-up businesses will forever require help if there is no change.

“There is no doubt that the Russia- Ukraine war disrupted supply chains. SMMEs have felt the most impact as some start-up businesses acquire their materials internationally, therefore as inflation peaks, this means the exchange rate rises which makes commodities expensive and challenging for SMMEs to progress. Basically, the cost of doing business has gone up. Governments are no longer able to support DFI’s.”

Moribame shared remedies to the situation, noting that; “What we need is leadership that will be able to address this. CEOs should ensure companies operate within a framework of responsible lending. They also ought to scout for opportunities that would be attractive to investors, this include investors who are willing to put money into green financing. Botswana is a prime spot for green financing due to the great opportunity that lies in solar projects. ”

Technology has been hailed as the economy of the future and thus needs to be embraced to drive operational efficiency both internally and externally.

Executive Director, bank of Industry Nigeria, Simon Aranou mentioned that for investors to pump money to climate financing in Africa, African states need to be in alignment with global standards.

“Do what meets world standards if you want money from international investors. Have a strong risk management system. Also be a good borrower, if you have a loan, honour the obligation of paying it back because this will ensure countries have a clean financial record which will then pave way for easier lending of money in the future. African states cannot just be demanding for mitigation from rich countries. Financing needs infrastructure to complement it, you cannot be seating on billions of dollars without the necessary support systems to make it work for you. Domestic resource mobilisation is key. Use public money to mobilise private money.” He said.

For his part, the Minster of Minister of Entrepreneurship, Karabo Gare enunciated that, over the past three years, governments across the world have had to readjust their priorities as the world dealt with the effects and impact of the COVID 19 pandemic both to human life and economic prosperity.

“The role of DFIs, during this tough period, which is to support governments through countercyclical measures, including funding of COVID-19 related development projects, has become more important than ever before. However, with the increasingly limited resources from governments, DFIs are now expected to mobilise resources to meet the fiscal gaps and continue to meet their developmental mandates across the various affected sectors of their economies.” Said Gare.

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TotalEnergies Botswana launches Road safety campaign in Letlhakeng

22nd November 2022

Letlhakeng:TotalEnergies Botswana today launched a Road Safety Campaign as part of their annual Stakeholder Relationship Management (SRM), in partnership with Unitrans, MVA Fund, TotalEnergies Letlhakeng Filling Station and the Letlhakeng Sub District Road Safety Committee during an event held in Letlhakeng under the theme, #IamTrafficToo.

The Supplier Relationship Management initiative is an undertaking by TotalEnergies through which TotalEnergie annually explores and implements social responsibility activities in communities within which we operate, by engaging key stakeholders who are aligned with the organization’s objectives. Speaking during the launch event, TotalEnergies’ Operations and HSSEQ,   Patrick Thedi said,  “We at TotalEnergies pride ourselves in being an industrial operator with a strategy centered on respect, listening, dialogue and stakeholder involvement, and a partner in the sustainable social and economic development of its host communities and countries. We are also very fortunate to have stakeholders who are in alignment with our organizational objectives. We assess relationships with our key stakeholders to understand their concerns and expectations as well as identify priority areas for improvement to strengthen the integration of Total Energies in the community. As our organization transitions from Total to Total Energies, we are committed to exploring sustainable initiatives that will be equally indicative of our growth and this Campaign is a step in the right direction. ”

As part of this campaign roll out, stakeholders  will be refurbishing and upgrading and installing road signs around schools in the area, and generally where required. One of the objectives of the Campaign is to bring awareness and training on how to manage and share the road/parking with bulk vehicles, as the number of bulk vehicles using the Letlhakeng road to bypass Trans Kalahari increases. When welcoming guests to Letlhakeng, Kgosi Balepi said he welcomed the initiative as it will reduce the number of road incidents in the area.

Also present was District Traffic Officer ASP, Reuben Moleele,  who gave a statistical overview of accidents in the region, as well as the rest of the country. Moleele applauded TotalEnergies and partners on the Campaign, especially ahead of the festive season, a time he pointed out is always one with high road statistics. The campaign name #IamTrafficToo, is a reminder to all road users, including pedestrians that they too need to be vigilant and play their part in ensuring a reduction in road incidents.

The official proceedings of the day included a handover of reflectors and stop/Go signs to the Letlhakeng Cluster from TotalEnerigies, injury prevention from tips from MVA’s Onkabetse Petlwana, as  well as  bulk vehicle safety tips delivered from Adolf Namate of Unitrans.

TotalEnergies, which is committed to having zero carbon emissions by 2050,  has committed to rolling out the Road safety Campaign to the rest of the country in the future.

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