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Forty people perish in road accidents


A total of forty people have died in different road accidents throughout the country since the beginning of December this year, the police have revealed.



Several people are still battling for their lives at Princess Marina hospital in Gaborone following two different accidents that took place along the Gaborone-Lobatse and the Gaborone-Thamaga roads early this week.


In one of the accidents, six people were confirmed dead following a horrific crash near Boatle village that involved a combi and a truck. A full loaded combi is said to have been transporting passengers from Mafikeng, South Africa to Gaborone when the accident happened.


In yet another accident two lives were lost after a car overturned near the Mankgodi turn off, along the Thamaga road. According to the Police statement, the motor vehicle which was carrying five passengers overturned and killed the 33 year old driver and a 28 year old passenger.


“The driver apparently failed to stop at a police roadblock at Sengaparile and the vehicle went out of his control and overturned. One passenger is still admitted at Princess Marina Hospital,” reads the report in part.


The Police Director of Traffic Katlholo Mosimanegape has raised concern over the increasing number of deaths which could have been otherwise avoided.


According to Mosimanegape, negligence, over speeding, drunken driving and reckless driving are the common cause of some of the fatal accidents if not all.


As a result the police have assured the public that it would continue to intensify operations to maximise protection of people’s lives and property during the festive season.


Meanwhile a Zimbabwean national has been admitted at Princess Marina hospital after being shot and wounded by the Police.


The Botswana Police Public Relations Officer, Christopher Mbulawa has confirmed that the injured Zimbabwean and a South African man tried to rob a filling station at the Gaborone industrial site but the attempt was foiled by the police. Allegedly the Zimbabwean tried to flee the scene and was shot.


According to Mbulawa a handgun and ammunition were found in their possession and the South African is in Police custody while his alleged partner in crime is in hospital under the police watch.


AN ACCOUNT FOR DECEMBER 20-23
Thirteen fatalities have been recorded in three separate road accidents since December 20. In one of the accidents, Superintendent Mothusi Phadi of Ramotswa Police Station stated that six people were certified dead at Bamalete Lutheran Hospital on Monday (December 22) evening following a head on collision between a mini bus and a truck.


The accident happened near GaMarete just a few kilometres away from Boatle junction along Gaborone-Lobatse road. He said the minibus was going to Mafikeng in South Africa while the truck was going to Gaborone. He explained that five of the deceased were Batswana while one was a South African citizen, adding that the mini bus plied the Gaborone-Mafikeng route.

However, two of the six deceased have not yet been identified. Although police investigations are ongoing, he said the truck, which collided with the mini bus was being towed by another truck.


Superintendent Phadi said the chain that was used to tow was accidentally cut and subsequently, the truck veered into the opposite lane and collided with the mini bus. He added that the two trucks were government vehicles and added that none of truck drivers was injured.


In another incident on Sunday morning (December 21) a Toyota Hilux travelling from South Africa to Zimbabwe over-turned on the A1 road near Dikabeya. The vehicle, which was carrying six people including the driver, had four of its passengers critically injured and admitted at Palapye and Nyangabwe Referral hospital in Francistown. The only woman passenger in the vehicle died on the scene while one passenger sustained minor injuries.


In Kasane, station commander, Superintendent Kgotlaetsile Oodira reported that six people died when a mini bus they were travelling in overturned between Kazungula and Nata on December 20. He explained that 15 people including the driver were travelling in the combi heading to Nata. He said nine people were admitted at Kasane Primary Hospital and were in a stable condition. Police investigations continue.

(Additional reporting from BOPA)

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Opposition Will Never Achieve Anything- Nkaigwa

8th April 2021
Haskins Nkaigwa

Former Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Member of Parliament for Gaborone North, Haskins Nkaigwa has confirmed his departure from opposition fold to re-join the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP).

Nkaigwa said opposition is extremely divided and the leadership not in talking terms.  “They are planning evil against each other. Nothing much will be achieved,” Nkaigwa told WeekendPost.

“I believe my time in the opposition has come to an end. It’s time to be of value to rebuilding our nation and economy of the country. Remember the BDP is where I started my political journey. It is home,” he said.

“Despite all challenges currently facing the world, President Masisi will be far with his promises to Batswana. A leader always have the interest of the people at heart despite how some decisions may look to be unpopular with the people.

“I have faith and full confidence in President Dr Masisi leadership. We shall overcome as party and nation the current challenges bedevilling nations. BDP will emerge stronger. President Masisi will always have my backing.”

Nkaigwa served as opposition legislator between 2014-2019 representing Botswana Movement for Democracy (BMD) under UDC banner.  He joined BMD in 2011 at the height public servant strike whilst Gaborone City Deputy Mayor. He eventually rose to become the mayor same year, after BDP lost majority in the GCC.

Nkaigwa had been a member of Botswana National Front (BNF), having joined from Alliance for Progressives (AP) in 2019.

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Botswana benefits over P100 million in grants from Japan

7th April 2021
Ambassador HOSHIYAMA

Botswana has received assistance worth over P100 million from Japanese government since 2019, making the latter of the largest donors to Botswana in recent years.

The assistance include relatively large-scale grant aid programmes such as the COVID-19 programme (to provide medical equipment; P34 million), the digital terrestrial television programme (to distribute receivers to the underprivileged, P17 million), the agriculture promotion programme (to provide agricultural machinery and equipment, P53million).

“As 2020 was a particularly difficult year, where COVID-19 hit Botswana’s economy and society hard, Japan felt the need to assist Botswana as our friend,” said Japan’s new Ambassador to Botswana, Hoshiyama Takashi.

“It is for this reason that grants of over P100 million were awarded to Botswana for the above mentioned projects.”

Japan is now the world’s fourth highest ranking donor country in terms of Official Development Assistance (ODA).

From 1991 to 2000, Japan continued as the top donor country in the world and contributed to Asia’s miracle economic development.

From 1993 onwards, the TICAD process commenced through Japan’s initiative as stated earlier. Japan’s main contribution has been in the form of Yen Loans, which are at a concessional rate, to suit large scale infrastructure construction.

“In Botswana, only a few projects have been implemented using the Yen Loan such as the Morupule “A” Power Station Rehabilitation and Pollution Abatement in 1986, the Railway Rolling Stock Increase Project in 1987, the Trans-Kalahari Road Construction Project in 1991, the North-South Carrier Water Project in 1995 and the Kazungula Bridge Construction Project in 2012,” said Ambassador Hoshiyama.

“In terms of grant aid and technical assistance, Japan has various aid schemes including development survey and master planning, expert dispatch to recipient countries, expert training in Japan, scholarships, small scale grass-roots program, culture-related assistance, aid through international organizations and so on.”

In 1993, Japan launched Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) to promote Africa’s development, peace and security, through the strengthening of relations in multilateral cooperation and partnership.

TICAD discuss development issues across Africa and, at the same time, present “aid menus” to African countries provided by Japan and the main aid-related international organizations, United Nations (UN), United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank.

“As TICAD provides vision and guidance, it is up to each African country to take ownership and to implement her own development following TICAD polices and make use of the programmes shown in the aid menus,” Ambassordor Hoshiyama noted.

“This would include using ODA loans for quality infrastructure, suited to the country’s own nation-building needs. It is my fervent hope that Botswana will take full advantage of the TICAD process.”

Since then, seven conferences where held, the latest, TICAD 7 being in 2019 at Yokohama. TICAD 7’s agenda on African development focused on three pillars, among them the first pillar being “Accelerating economic transformation and improving business environment through innovation and private sector engagement”.

“Yes, private investment is very important, while public investment through ODA (Official Development Assistance) still plays an indispensable role in development,” the Japanese Ambassador said.

“For further economic development in Africa, Japan recognizes that strengthening regional connectivity and integration through investment in quality infrastructure is key.”

Japan has emphasized the following; effective implementation of economic corridors such as the East Africa Northern Corridor, Nacala Corridor and West Africa Growth Ring; Quality infrastructure investment in line with the G20 Principles for Quality Infrastructure Investment should be promoted by co-financing or cooperation through the African Development Bank (AfDB) and Japan.

Japan also emphasized the establishment of mechanisms to encourage private investment and to improve the business environment.

According to the statistics issued by Japan’s Finance Ministry, Japan invested approximately 10 billion US dollars in Africa after TICAD 7 (2019) to year end 2020, but Japanese investment through third countries are not included in this figure.

“With the other points factored in, the figure isn’t established yet,” Ambassador Hoshiyama said.

The next conference, TICAD 8 will be held in Tunisia in 2022. This will be the second TICAD summit to be held on the African continent after TICAD 6 which was held in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2016.

According to Ambassador Hoshiyama, in preparation for TICAD 8, the TICAD ministerial meeting will be held in Tokyo this year. The agenda to be discussed during TICAD 8 has not yet been fully deliberated on amongst TICAD Co-organizers (Japan, UN, UNDP, the World Bank and AU).

“Though not officially concluded, given the world situation caused by COVID-19, I believe that TICAD 8 will highlight health and medical issues including the promotion of a Universal Health Coverage (UHC),” said Hoshiyama.

“As the African economy has seriously taken a knock by COVID-19, economic issues, including debt, could be an item for serious discussion.”

The promotion of business is expected to be one of the most important topics. Japan and its partners, together with the business sector, will work closely to help revitalize private investment in Africa.

 

“All in all, the follow-up of the various programs that were committed by the Co-Organizers during the Yokohama Plan of Actions 2019 will also be reviewed as an important item of the agenda,” Ambassador Hoshiyama said.

“I believe that this TICAD follow-up mechanism has secured transparency and accountability as well as effective implementation of agreed actions by all parties. The guiding principle of TICAD is African ownership and international partnership.”

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Magosi pushes for Cabinet reshuffle

6th April 2021
President Masisi

Directorate on Intelligence Services (DIS) Director General, Brigadier Peter Magosi is said to be hell-bent and pushing President Mokgweetsi Masisi to reshuffle his cabinet as a matter of urgency since a number of his ministers are conflicted.

The request by Magosi comes at a time when time is ticking on his contract which is awaiting renewal from Masisi.

This publication learns that Magosi is unshaken by the development and continues to wield power despite uncertainty hovering around his contractual renewal.

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