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Auditor General queries P1 million pay-out to Ministers widow

Motowane’s wife paid close to a Million Pula

The Auditor General, Pulane Letebele is questioning a payout of close to a Million Pula which was paid out to the surviving widow of the late Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Maxwell Motowane by the Ministry following his death in late 2012.

In what smacks of irregularity, the Accounting Officer in the Ministry is said to have agreed with the Office of the President and someone at the National Assembly that the widow has to be paid the huge sum of money even though there was no justification for it.

Motowane’s wife was paid a compensation in the amount of P993 408 under the terms set out under Ministers, the Speaker, Assistant Ministers, Deputy Speaker and Leader of Opposition, functions, Pay and Privileges.

However, according to Letebele, the relevant section relating to the payment of compensation under those conditions provides that death or injury should have resulted from causes related to the duty or position of the members of the individual concerned. In other words, he explained that it is not sufficient to show that death of the member or individual occurred while he or she was still in the position, but there must be duty connection.

“In this particular case, despite persistent inquiries with senior officers of the Ministry, I have not been able to obtain a clear explanation of the circumstances of death of the Assistant Minister which justified the payment of compensation, save a statement that clarification had been sought from the Office of the President and the National Assembly and that they had both agreed,” Letebele revealed in his latest report on the Accounts of the Botswana Government for the last financial year.

The Accounting Officer of the Ministry is therefore expected to clarify the matter before the next Public Accounts Committee, which would commence at the end of the Parliament budget session because the Auditor general has not been able to understand why three people who are responsible to guard public funds have agreed to the transaction.

“Presumably the agreement was to his own recommendation or suggestions as the Accounting Officer who would ultimately assume full responsibility for all aspects of the payment, including justifications, authorisations and final accountability,” Letebele further pointed out and added that he was, “therefore unable to appreciate his apparent reluctance to own up responsibility for this payment which was made from Ministry funds. In the circumstances of absence of clear explanation of the cause of death as aforesaid, I am not able to certify that the payment of compensation was a proper charge to public funds.”

Motowane passed on at Bokamoso private hospital in late December, 2012 following a short illness. Prior to his demise, it was alleged that he was flown by the army helicopter to Gaborone from a poverty eradication occasion for the purpose of emergency medical attention.

The wife was then paid gratuity in the amount of P278 005 accrued up to the date of death, in line with the provisions of the Ministers and National Assembly Gratuities and Pensions Act which Letebele has no qualms with.

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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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