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Tshekedi clears Khama over caves

Tshekedi assures villagers that Khama not up to mischief

The Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism, Tshekedi Khama has defended President Lt Gen Ian Khama’s direct involvement on tourism issues, including his interest in the Gcwihaba caves. The Minister told residents that the President is not intending any ‘mischief’.

Some sceptical observers are of the view that the President’s involvement at the popular Ngamiland District’s Gcwihaba caves stems for his personal interest in the area. But it is clear from Minister Tshekedi Khama’s address to Xai Xai residents that President Khama is genuine in his involvement.

Khama has been at the centre of almost every activity taking place at the caves and Weekendpost can reveal that he enjoys frequent consultations and briefings on the developments taking place at the caves, and most of the hours he donations to the area are done in personal capacity.

Tshekedi Khama urged the villagers to disregard reports that Khama may be up to some mischief. The same was echoed by the area Member of Parliament, Thato Kwerepe who also had an opportunity to speak at the event. Also present was the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture, Thapelo Olopeng.

Gcwihaba and Waduum caves are widely known as national monuments administered by the Botswana National Museum and protected by the revised Monuments and Relics Act of 2001.

This week, Khama officially opened the tourism facilities at Gcwihaba National Monument, at the invitation of the Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism. The Village councillor, Lelejwang Sokwe also announced that they had wanted President Khama to officially open the facilities because he has been key in pushing for the development.

Some observers argue that the President should be given an opportunity to develop the caves and monitor their developments for effectiveness and efficiency. They say with his a strong hand behind it; the cave may transform the lives of people around the area in a short space of time.

The facilities include a gatehouse with ablution block constructed by Xai Xai community in partnership with Ministry of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism through Ipelegeng Programme; campsites built by the Botswana Tourism Organisation; borehole provided by De Wet Drilling; and concession boreholes provided by the United Nations Development Programme – Global Environmental facility.

Recently some of the Xai Xai villagers had expressed reservations over the President’s frequent visits to some caves, such as the Waduum Cave. The same cave has not been accessible to the public but only to Khama. But given an opportunity to explain the scenario, President Khama said Waduum cave needs special skills for one to enter and has a big dangerous snake inside.

Khama explained that he has taken over the keys and the control of the Waduum cave as it is dangerous and risky. “There is a big snake there, you need to be accompanied by army officers to go inside and there are high chances of coming out from there lifeless. When we go inside we use army tactics like crawling and so forth, and when you meet the snake you should know what to do,” he said.

When asked about the keys to the Waduum caves by Batawana recently, Khama responded:

 “The only keys I have in my possession are for the Waduum Cave not Gcwihaba. Waduum is special as opposed to Gcwihaba which is now dilapidated and untidy. I first got engaged with the Waduum cave around 1995 when I was still in the army after been engaged by some whites who discovered it.”

This publication learns that a big lodge is to be built near the caves. The owners of the lodge are however not yet known. The village councillor, Sokwe said it is true that there has been such a proposal. “The authorities together with the Trust are of the view that it would provide the necessary shelter for the tourists and improve the profits,” he said. Sokwe could not share the timeframes of the project implementation.

The government says the aim of providing the facilities is to empower Xai Xai Tlhabologo Community Trust to implement tourism activities in and around Gcwihaba National Monument area as well as to enhance the diversification of tourism products in Ngamiland.

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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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