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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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Protect yourself from Spear phishing and Smishing

19th July 2024

 

You may have heard of the term Phishing which is a form of social engineering and a scam where attackers deceive people into revealing sensitive information or installing malware such as viruses, worms, adware, or ransomware. There are however other forms of  phishing which are just as deceitful such as Spear phishing and Smishing.

Spear phishing emails have a more targeted, personal feel to them. It is addressed to the recipient specifically and seems to come from legitimate sources, such as your bank, your insurance company or a legal firm. This is where information attained from social media platforms come into play. A sense of urgency and pending doom (a potential fine for inaction, account lockouts, increased interest rates etc) could entice users to action emails. Often, a request for card or account login information is worked into the theme of the email. 

In much the same way, social engineers will call you, and armed with a few well-chosen names or phrases they pretend to be from your bank, eager to help you with a potential account problem you did not even know existed. Vishing is the term assigned to this form of ‘voice phishing’. These guys will often speak your language and are exceptionally friendly and helpful. It is their aim to gain your trust. 

Another form of phishing attack is via text messages, and has been annotated the term Smishing (SMS Phishing). It is imperative that you do not entertain unsolicited emails, texts or conversations, especially where your payment card- or personal banking information is involved. 

Having said this, it is not all “doom and gloom”. As users of social media, the internet and multiple devices it requires of us to be vigilant and alert. The battle begins with each of us being knowledgeable and ensuring that we stay up to date with the latest trends in the field of cybercrime. 

To reiterate, never share any of the information typically required to do online transactions. This include the full card number, the card expiration date and the CVV number. You are encouraged to rather contact the bank via the contact centre or the branch to confirm if there really is a problem with their account. 

When receiving an email or a voice note, do not allow yourself to be drawn into emotional urgency to act on it without confirming its legitimacy.  

Due to diverse technological inventions, criminals have found more cunning ways to deceive us and access our funds. You can help prevent phishing scams by starting to be mindful of being mindful of the information that you share. Let us all be mindful of what we share on social media, think before you post.

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ILO Launches Media Toolkit on Reporting on Labour Migration

5th July 2024

Cape Town: The International Labour Organization (ILO), in collaboration with the International Organization for Migration, launched the Southern African Migration Management Project (SAMM) media toolkit on reporting on labour migration within the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region last week. This toolkit is designed to guide journalists and media professionals in balanced and factual reporting on labour migration, thereby enhancing the quality and media coverage of migration issues within the SADC region.

Furthermore, the toolkit aims to advocate for behavioural changes among migrant workers, employer organizations, trade unions, civil society organizations, governments, and policymakers to improve conditions for migrants and reduce exploitative practices.

At the official launch, Gloria Moreno Fontes, SAMM Project Manager, stated that the toolkit aims to support the United Nations’ “Together, Respect, Security, and Dignity for All Refugees and Migrants” campaign, launched in 2016 by the UN Secretary-General. According to Fontes, the UN Together campaign seeks to promote global action against non-discrimination and address the rising problem of xenophobia against migrants and refugees. TOGETHER is a growing coalition of Member States, private sector entities, civil society representatives, and individuals committed to combating hate speech, changing negative narratives on migration, and strengthening social cohesion between host communities and refugees and migrants.

“Worldwide, migrants are still too often victims of racist, discriminatory, and xenophobic attacks. The media often promotes a toxic public narrative on migration and reinforces stigmatization through the inclusion of xenophobic and discriminatory messages,” Fontes highlighted.

She further noted that the press often portrays migrants as criminals, illegals, and as “stealing jobs from national workers.” She emphasized that migrants frequently become scapegoats during economic recessions, making it essential to change negative perceptions and attitudes through evidence- or fact-based journalism that helps eliminate public misconceptions.

Discussing the importance of balanced reporting and combating hate speech, United Nations Information Center (UNIC) Director Masimba Tafirenyika remarked that journalists hold the power to shape public opinion and influence societal norms. He continued, noting that the practice not only ensures a well-informed public but also upholds the democratic values of fairness and justice.

“Alongside balanced reporting, the rise of hate speech, especially on digital platforms, presents a growing threat to social cohesion and democratic values. Hate speech undermines social harmony and can incite violence, discrimination, and prejudice,” Tafirenyika noted.

According to the UNIC Director, balanced reporting builds public trust in the media as audiences perceive journalists as fair and unbiased, thus making them more likely to trust the information presented. He added that this trust is crucial for the media to uphold democracy, as it empowers citizens to engage in informed debate and hold their leaders accountable.

However, Tafirenyika pointed out that the media landscape in Southern Africa, with a few exceptions, is often marred by political interference, economic pressures, and, in some cases, self-censorship. “These factors can lead to biased reporting, where certain voices are amplified while others are marginalized. When media outlets become mouthpieces for political agendas, the public’s trust in journalism is eroded, and the democratic process is undermined. Therefore, it is essential for journalists and media organizations to adhere to ethical standards of fairness, accuracy, and impartiality,” the UNIC Director noted.

He further highlighted that hate speech poses a significant threat to social cohesion and stability, especially in Southern Africa. “The digital age has amplified the reach and impact of hate speech. Social media platforms, while offering opportunities for free expression and civic engagement, also provide a breeding ground for hate speech,” Tafirenyika concluded.

 

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CEO Africa Roundtable: Mnangagwa advocates for technological embrace

17th June 2024

The CEO Africa Roundtable has emerged as a pivotal platform for shaping national, regional, and international development dialogues through public-private engagements. At the annual CEO Africa Roundtable event held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, President Emmerson Mnangagwa exhorted business leaders to embrace technology and leverage indigenous solutions to stimulate Africa’s economic growth.

Mnangagwa highlighted that the presence of delegates from across the continent signifies the business community’s confidence in Zimbabwe’s trade and investment environment, as well as in the broader regional (SADC) and continental markets.

Addressing the theme, “The Future of Africa: Modernize, Reshape, and Grow,” President Mnangagwa asserted that this theme aligns with Africa’s developmental aspirations, emphasizing the need “to innovate in order to increase production and productivity, as espoused in the African Union’s Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want.”

He remarked that the Roundtable provides its members with a valuable platform for networking, gaining expert insights, sharing experiences regarding the local business environment, and proposing policy recommendations aimed at enhancing the business operating environment.

The President lauded the CEO Africa Roundtable and its partners for organizing focused discussions, dialogue sessions, and innovative platforms tailored to various key economic sectors as part of the event.

“Innovation and the use of information communication technology are critical enablers as we traverse the journey towards modernizing and reshaping the African continent’s economic landscape,” Mnangagwa stated.

According to Mnangagwa, the world is on the cusp of a technological revolution that is transforming how “we work and relate to one another.” He noted that this shift involves a fusion of technologies that blur the lines between the physical, digital, and biological spheres.

This technological disruption is affecting every industry, hence Mnangagwa urged business leaders and policymakers to capitalize on the fourth industrial revolution, which holds the potential to elevate global income levels and enhance the quality of life for populations worldwide.

President Mnangagwa challenged African business leaders to be innovative, embrace their identities, and devise homegrown solutions. He asserted that Africans possess the platform and intelligence to elevate the continent’s economy to greater heights.

Earlier, CEO Africa Roundtable Chairman Oswell Binha indicated that the platform is expanding across Africa. He welcomed the addition of three new chapters in Botswana, Malawi, and Zambia. He further noted that more chapters will be introduced as part of efforts to foster collaboration among African businesses, harnessing the principles of the Africa Free Trade Area and regional integration. Over 300 delegates from across Africa attended the CEO Roundtable event in Victoria Falls.

 

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