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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.

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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Masisi to dump Tsogwane?

28th November 2022

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and some senior government officials are abuzz with reports that President Mokgweetsi Masisi has requested his Vice President, Slumber Tsogwane not to contest the next general elections in 2024.

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African DFIs gear to combat climate change

25th November 2022

The impacts of climate change are increasing in frequency and intensity every year and this is forecast to continue for the foreseeable future. African CEOs in the Global South are finally coming to the party on how to tackle the crisis.

Following the completion of COP27 in Egypt recently, CEOs of Africa DFIs converged in Botswana for the CEO Forum of the Association of African Development Finance Institutions. One of the key themes was on green financing and building partnerships for resource mobilization in financing SDGs in Africa

A report; Weathering the storm; African Development Banks response to Covid-19 presented shocking findings during the seminar. Among them; African DFIs have proven to be financially resilient, and they are fast shifting to a green transition and its financing.

COO, CEDA, James Moribame highlighted that; Everyone needs food, shelter and all basic needs in general, but climate change is putting the achievement of this at bay. It is expensive for businesses to do business, for instance; it is much challenging for the agricultural sector due to climate change, and the risks have gone up. If a famer plants crops, they should be ready for any potential natural disaster which will cost them their hard work.

According to Moribame, Start-up businesses will forever require help if there is no change.

There is no doubt that the Russia- Ukraine war disrupted supply chains. SMMEs have felt the most impact as some start-up businesses acquire their materials internationally, therefore as inflation peaks, this means the exchange rate rises which makes commodities expensive and challenging for SMMEs to progress. Basically, the cost of doing business has gone up. Governments are no longer able to support DFIs.

Moribame shared remedies to the situation, noting that; What we need is leadership that will be able to address this. CEOs should ensure companies operate within a framework of responsible lending. They also ought to scout for opportunities that would be attractive to investors, this include investors who are willing to put money into green financing. Botswana is a prime spot for green financing due to the great opportunity that lies in solar projects.

Technology has been hailed as the economy of the future and thus needs to be embraced to drive operational efficiency both internally and externally.

Executive Director, bank of Industry Nigeria, Simon Aranou mentioned that for investors to pump money to climate financing in Africa, African states need to be in alignment with global standards.

Do what meets world standards if you want money from international investors. Have a strong risk management system. Also be a good borrower, if you have a loan, honour the obligation of paying it back because this will ensure countries have a clean financial record which will then pave way for easier lending of money in the future. African states cannot just be demanding for mitigation from rich countries. Financing needs infrastructure to complement it, you cannot be seating on billions of dollars without the necessary support systems to make it work for you. Domestic resource mobilisation is key. Use public money to mobilise private money. He said.

For his part, the Minster of Minister of Entrepreneurship, Karabo Gare enunciated that, over the past three years, governments across the world have had to readjust their priorities as the world dealt with the effects and impact of the COVID 19 pandemic both to human life and economic prosperity.

The role of DFIs, during this tough period, which is to support governments through countercyclical measures, including funding of COVID-19 related development projects, has become more important than ever before. However, with the increasingly limited resources from governments, DFIs are now expected to mobilise resources to meet the fiscal gaps and continue to meet their developmental mandates across the various affected sectors of their economies. Said Gare.

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TotalEnergies Botswana launches Road safety campaign in Letlhakeng

22nd November 2022

Letlhakeng:TotalEnergies Botswana today launched a Road Safety Campaign as part of their annual Stakeholder Relationship Management (SRM), in partnership with Unitrans, MVA Fund, TotalEnergies Letlhakeng Filling Station and the Letlhakeng Sub District Road Safety Committee during an event held in Letlhakeng under the theme, #IamTrafficToo.

The Supplier Relationship Management initiative is an undertaking by TotalEnergies through which TotalEnergie annually explores and implements social responsibility activities in communities within which we operate, by engaging key stakeholders who are aligned with the organizations objectives. Speaking during the launch event, TotalEnergies Operations and HSSEQ, Patrick Thedi said, We at TotalEnergies pride ourselves in being an industrial operator with a strategy centered on respect, listening, dialogue and stakeholder involvement, and a partner in the sustainable social and economic development of its host communities and countries. We are also very fortunate to have stakeholders who are in alignment with our organizational objectives. We assess relationships with our key stakeholders to understand their concerns and expectations as well as identify priority areas for improvement to strengthen the integration of Total Energies in the community. As our organization transitions from Total to Total Energies, we are committed to exploring sustainable initiatives that will be equally indicative of our growth and this Campaign is a step in the right direction.

As part of this campaign roll out, stakeholders will be refurbishing and upgrading and installing road signs around schools in the area, and generally where required. One of the objectives of the Campaign is to bring awareness and training on how to manage and share the road/parking with bulk vehicles, as the number of bulk vehicles using the Letlhakeng road to bypass Trans Kalahari increases. When welcoming guests to Letlhakeng, Kgosi Balepi said he welcomed the initiative as it will reduce the number of road incidents in the area.

Also present was District Traffic Officer ASP, Reuben Moleele, who gave a statistical overview of accidents in the region, as well as the rest of the country. Moleele applauded TotalEnergies and partners on the Campaign, especially ahead of the festive season, a time he pointed out is always one with high road statistics. The campaign name #IamTrafficToo, is a reminder to all road users, including pedestrians that they too need to be vigilant and play their part in ensuring a reduction in road incidents.

The official proceedings of the day included a handover of reflectors and stop/Go signs to the Letlhakeng Cluster from TotalEnerigies, injury prevention from tips from MVAs Onkabetse Petlwana, as well as bulk vehicle safety tips delivered from Adolf Namate of Unitrans.

TotalEnergies, which is committed to having zero carbon emissions by 2050, has committed to rolling out the Road safety Campaign to the rest of the country in the future.

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