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Poverty Eradication: Minister wants change of tact

Makgalemele believes NGO’s should be involved

Assistant Minister in the Office of the President Phillip Makgalemele has said the government considers enlisting with critical players like Non Governmental Organisations (NGO’s) in the Poverty Eradication Programme.

According to the Shoshong Member of Parliament, poverty, given its broadness needs many players to get involved in its eradication, and the NGO family happens to be one those many potential players needed in the drive to eradicate it.  

“Yes Poverty is diverse, and because of its diverse nature, challenges are equally huge. Simply put, the Poverty Eradication Programme associated challenges are diverse, complex and huge. And because of this diversity of challenges, we need diversity of responses and different players, hence NGOs kicking in as a partner is a welcome development,” he said in an exclusive interview with Weekend Post this week.

Makgalemele further said that support for NGOs has been immense, and would be improved. “We are currently considering proposals from Botswana Council of Non Governmental Organisations (BOCONGO), the Red Cross and some NGO gurus. And we remain open to working with much more closely. We will also engage the NGO Council,” he revealed.

This publication has established that due to the legislator’s stint in the NGO environment in the past, he understands their work, track record and capabilities in reduction of poverty.

There have been further calls that, instead of centralizing the Poverty Eradication programme at the Office of the President the flagship programme and its implementation should be distributed to some NGO’s who can easily assist in fighting poverty. Makgalemele however believes the programme should remain coordinated at OP, “Again given its broadness and cross cutting nature, it makes a hell lot of sense that it is coordinated from the Office of The President (OP),” he insisted.  

The programme is a brain child of President Lt. Gen. Ian Khama and therefore receives special treatment and benefits from a handsome share of the government budget. Many observers have come out to say money pumped into the programme can assist in growing the NGO sector.

The Poverty Eradication Unit is currently coordinated by former South East South Member of Parliament Olebile Gaborone at the Office of the president. The President has also appointed a Ministerial delegation on Poverty Eradication which is chaired by now Vice president Mokgweetsi Masisi.

Another Cabinet Sub-Committee chaired by Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration exists and comprises of Phillip Makgalemele, Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Botlogile Tshireletso, Trade and Industry assistant minister Sadique Kebonang, Education and Skills Development AM Kgotla Autlwetse and Hon Fidelis Molao.

According to Makgalemele, government has made great strides in reducing poverty. “The position of the current is clear, abject poverty must be eradicated and we remain committed to doing that. To further demonstrate this commitment, poverty eradication is one of the key flagship programmes,” he said.

The Assistant Minister also revealed that the government had in the pipeline a rain water harvesting strategy. “We want ISPAAD to be sensitive to helping the poor move from subsistence level to wealth levels during the 2015/16 ploughing season, we are now promoting cooperative businesses and lobbying the overall government procurement budget and expenditure to reflect poverty eradication,” he revealed.

Makgalemele also highlighted that the private sector could play a vital role in poverty eradication. “We hold a strong view the private sector can play a big role in creating jobs for the poor, as well as help us graduate the poor become rich. In addition, their corporate social responsibility (SCR) policies present huge opportunities for poverty eradication. The private sector has also responded positively to the Presidential Housing Appeal for the poor, and we remain indebted to this invaluable support,” he concluded.

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Woman swindled out of P62 000 by fake CID officers

17th June 2021

Botswana Police Service (BPS) has indicated concern about the ongoing trend where the general public falls victim to criminals purporting to be police officers.

According to BPS Assistant Commissioner, Dipheko Motube, the criminals target individuals at shopping malls and Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) where upon approaching the unsuspecting individual the criminals would pretend to have picked a substantial amount of money and they would make a proposal to the victims that the money is counted and shared in an isolated place.

“On the way, as they stop at the isolated place, they would start to count and sharing of the money, a criminal syndicate claiming to be Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officer investigating a case of stolen money will approach them,” said Motube in a statement.

The Commissioner indicated that the fake police officers would instruct the victims to hand over all the cash they have in their possession, including bank cards and Personal Identification Number (PIN), the perpetrators would then proceed to withdraw money from the victim’s bank account.

Motube also revealed that they are also investigating a case in which a 69 year old Motswana woman from Molepolole- who is a victim of the scam- lost over P62 000 last week Friday to the said perpetrators.

“The Criminal syndicate introduced themselves as CID officers investigating a case of robbery where a man accompanying the woman was the suspect.’’

They subsequently went to the woman’s place and took cash amounting to over P12 000 and further swindled amount of P50 000 from the woman’s bank account under the pretext of the further investigations.

In addition, Motube said they are currently investigating the matter and therefore warned the public to be vigilant of such characters and further reminds the public that no police officer would ask for bank cards and PINs during the investigations.

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BCP walks out of UDC meeting

15th June 2021
Boko and Saleshando

Botswana Congress Party (BCP) leadership walked out of Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting this week on account of being targeted by other cooperating partners.

UDC meet for the first time since 2020 after previous futile attempts, but the meeting turned into a circus after other members of the executive pushed for BCP to explain its role in media statements that disparate either UDC and/or contracting parties.

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Katlholo wins against DPP

15th June 2021
DCEC DIRECTOR: Tymon Katlholo

The Director General of the Directorate on Corruption and Economic Crimes (DCEC), Tymon Katlholo’s spirited fight against the contentious transfers of his management team has forced the Office of the President to rescind the controversial decision. However, some insiders suggest that the reversal of the transfers may have left some interested parties with bruised egos and nursing red wounds.

The transfers were seen by observers as a badly calculated move to emasculate the DCEC which is seen as defiant against certain objectionable objectives by certain law enforcement agencies – who are proven decisionists with very little regard for the law and principle.

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