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Gov’t gets tough on Security companies

Routine inspection of private security services is a must

Parliament has repealed the Control of Security Guard Services Act of 2007 as it prepares to replace it with the Private Security Services Act of 2015 which was passed on Wednesday this week.

The Minister of Defence, Justice and Security, Shaw Kgathi is expected to publish the bill in the national gazette any time soon following the unanimous support of the bill by Members of the house.

“This Act may be cited as the Private Security Services Act, 2015 and shall come into operation on such a date as the Minister may by Order published into the Gazette appoint,” the Minister told the house.

The new Act would regulate all trades related to security services including, security guards, manufacturing, importing, distributing or advertising of monitoring devices or surveillance equipment, private investigators, locksmiths, use of security equipment, installation, servicing and repairing of security equipment, monitoring signals or transmissions from electronic security equipment amongst others.

The new law will force security traders to confidentiality oath and carries a fine of P5 000 or a two Months prison term for contravening this particular provision.

“A licensee or former licensee shall not divulge to anyone, either directly or indirectly any information acquired by him or her in the course of engaging in or carrying on the business in respect of which the licence is or was held except for the purpose of legal proceedings,”  the bill states is section 31.

The new law further introduced routine inspection of private security services by selected public service employees. The Inspectors would be chosen and appointed by the Minister and are empowered by the new law to access any data contained in private security company computers. Anyone who obstruct an inspector in carrying out this kind of duty commits an offence and stands to be imprisoned for two Months or fined P10 000 or to both.

A maximum fine of P50 000, three months jail term or both would be imposed to those who operate without a licence. The licence is to be issued by a licensing board following through vetting of applicants.

“When an application for licence in terms of section 17, is lodged with the Board, the Board shall consult the Commissioner of Police and may make whatever investigations it thinks fit and shall, having regard to the interests of the public, thereafter determine the application,” Kgathi told the house.

The new Act establishes a private security service licensing board which will consist of three representatives of government, two representatives of the private sector, two representatives of the security association and two additional members from the public. The Chairperson of the board would be appointed by the Minister from the existing members. The Minister would further appoint the Secretary of the Board from his choice of qualified public service employees.

The Act further gives the Minister power to limit or suspend the application of all or any of the provisions of this Act, “either generally or in respect of a particular person, class or description of persons for such period and subject to such conditions as he or she thinks.”

The former Judge of the High Court who sits in Parliament as specially elected Member of the house, Unity Dow said the broad security legislation has come at the right time as it is a show of a robust government structure.
She supported the bill because she strongly believes that laws should be changed to keep up with the ever changing international trends. The contention was that this particular bill does not only deal with one aspect of security being guards, but the broad area of the trade including document inspections, surveillance and others.

“I stand to support the passing of this bill into law. This 2015 bill recognises where we are today and could not have come at a better time,” Dow pointed out.

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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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