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DIS swindled out of millions by SA fraudsters?

Information gathered by WeekendPost this week reveals that the Directorate of Intelligence and Security Services (DIS) was swindled out of undisclosed millions of Pulas by two unknown South African men who claimed to be private investigators.

It is alleged that the two men contacted the spy agency sometime last year with information that they have evidence linking former President Lt Gen Seretse Khama Ian Khama, former DIS Director General Isaac Kgosi, controversial South African businesspersons Bridgette Motsepe- Radebe and Malcom X, of corruption allegations, accusing them of embezzling 100 billion Pula (8 billion euros).

Sources within the susceptible spy agency told this publication that a deal was sealed with the two men where they were paid monies amounting to millions of Pulas for the information. Upon receiving the fabricated information, it is alleged that the directorate did not take time to investigate the contents before handing the information to the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP).

DPP Investigator Jako Hubona accused Khama, former Intelligence Chief, Isaac Kgosi and another senior intelligence officer, Wilhelminah Maswabi, of transferring some of the funds to HSBC Bank in Hong Kong and leading South African banks. “They were so excited that they did not do further investigations to cross check before going ahead with the affidavits”, said the source.

All these are contained in a bail- opposing affidavit by investigating officer, Jako Hubona. He told the court how billions were stolen from the diamond- rich country’s government from 2008 and stashed in offshore accounts by former President Khama and his associates. Hubona also alleged Maswabi and Motsepe-Radebe were co- signatories on South African bank accounts owned by two companies, Blue Flies and Fire Flies. Between them, the companies hold 17 bank accounts outside Botswana.

When realizing that they have made a blunder, the spy agency then turned their investigations onto one of their own; DIS agent Wilhelminah Maswabi, who they found to be vulnerable and working close with former DIS Director General Isaac Kgosi and demanded that she confirm the said allegations.

At the time, Hubona’s affidavit stated that the investigation was triggered by a report that Khama and Kgosi instructed Bank of Botswana to create three “special unit accounts” to which Maswabi had access. He alleged that on August 14th last year Maswabi transferred $2. 9 million to Isaac Kgosi, this information was believed to have been relayed by the fabricated evidence from unknown South African fraudsters.

An attorney from Botswana, Uyapo Ndadi, travelled to South Africa to investigate and authenticate the documents submitted to the court as exhibits to support claims that his client, Motsepe- Radebe and others, were signatories on some bank accounts. A copy of a stamped Nedbank agreement with Fire Flies as well as a business client agreement between Blue Flies and Absa, in which Motsepe-Radebe is at the top of a list of five signatories was presented. Ndadi at the time said he was, however, not convinced that the documents were authentic, saying they had not been signed.

Motsepe- Radebe, who strongly denied any links with the accounts in question, said she had not been contacted by any authorities and that she is willing for allow her bank account to be scrutinized. Till to date no charges against former President Ian Khama have been filed in the court.

It is alleged that at the moment the DIS do not know where to turn their heads since the two fraudsters have vanished into thin air leaving them with no contacts or whatsoever. “I can guarantee you these guys were sold the dummy, they were too quick with the affidavits”, said the source. Former President Khama also called a press conference in December last year where he said the allegations made were false and "deliberately and maliciously fabricated" to tarnish his name. "There is no doubt that the serious allegations by Hubona and his co- conspirators amount to criminal conduct and are extremely defamatory," Khama said.

Contacted for comment this week, former President Khama also told WeekendPost that he is aware of the incident because someone briefed him about it. “I can confirm that I am aware of it, I heard the story as well but investigations into the matter are continuing”.

Khama, who also engaged Omnia Strategy LLP, established by Cherie Blair, wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, said so far they have met twice, and have also included South African lawyers representing Motsepe- Radebe in the meeting and everything was going well. “I am hoping they will be finished with investigations at the end of February and we would finalize”. Attempts to get a comment from the DIS were not successful.

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Fighting vulture poisoning in KAZA region.

3rd February 2023
As a response to avert vulture poisoning currently going on in Botswana and KAZA region, Birdlife Botswana has collaborated with three other partners (BirdWatch Zambia, BirdLife International & Birdlife Zimbabwe) to tackle wildlife poisoning which by extension negatively affect vulture populations.

The Director of Birdlife Botswana, Motshereganyi Virat Kootshositse has revealed in an interview that the project which is funded by European Union’s main goal is to reduce poisoning related vultures’ death and consequently other wildlife species death within the KAZA region.

He highlighted that Chobe district in Botswana has been selected as a pilot site as it has experienced rampant incidents of vulture poisoning for the past few months. In August this year at least 50 endangered white backed vultures were reported dead at Chobe National Park, Botswana after feeding on a buffalo carcass laced with poison.  In November this year again 43 white backed vultures were found dead and two alive after feeding on a zebra suspected to have poisoned.  Other selected pilots’ sites are Kafue in Zambia and Hwange in Zimbabwe.

Kootshositse further explained they have established a national and regional Wildlife Poisoning Committee. He added that as for the national committee they have engaged various departments such as Crop Productions, Agro Chemicals, Department of Veterinary Services, Department of Wildlife and National Parks and other NGOs such as Raptors Botswana to come together and find a long-lasting solution to address wildlife poisoning in Botswana. ‘Let’s have a strategy or a plan together to tackle wildlife poisoning,’ he stated

He also decried that there is gap in the availability of data about vulture poisoning or wildlife in general. ‘If we have a central point for data, it will help in terms of reporting and advocacy’, he stated

He added that the regional committee comprises of law enforcement officers such as BDF and Botswana police, village leadership such as Village Development Committee and Kgosi. ‘We need to join hand together and protect the wildlife we have as this will increase our profile for conservation and this alone enhances our visitation and boost our local economy,’ he noted

Kootshositse noted that Birdlife together with DWNP also addressed series of meeting in some villages in the Chobe region recently. The purpose of kgotla meetings was to raise awareness on the conservation and protection of vultures in Chobe West communities.

‘After realizing that vulture poisoning in the Chobe areas become frequent, we realise that we need to do something about it.  ‘We did a public awareness by addressing several kgotla meetings in some villages in the Chobe west,’ he stated

He noted that next year they are going to have another round of consultations around the Chobe areas and the approach is to engage the community into planning process. ‘Residents should be part of the plan of actions and we are working with farmers committee in the areas to address vulture poisoning in the area, ‘he added

He added that they have found out that some common reasons for poisoning wildlife are farmers targeting predators such as lions in retaliation to killing of their livestock. Another common incident cross border poaching in the Chobe area as poachers will kills an elephant and poison its carcass targeting vultures because of their aerial circling alerting authorities about poaching activities.

Kootshositse noted that in the last cases it was disheartening the incidents occurred three months apart. He added that for the first time they found that some of the body parts of some vultures were missing. He added harvesting of body parts of vultures is not a common practice in Botswana, although it is used in some parts of Africa. ‘We suspect that someone took advantage of the availability of carcasses and started harvesting their body parts,’

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Giant in the making: Everton Mlalazi

3rd February 2023

The music industry is at a point where artists are jostling for space because there are so many aspirants trying to get their big break, thus creating stiff competition.

In the music business it’s about talent and positioning. You need to be at the right place at the right time with the right people around you to propel you forward.
Against all odds, Everton Mlalazi has managed to takeover the gospel scene effortlessly.
To him, it’s more than just a breakthrough to stardom, but a passion as well as mission directly appointed by the Lord.

Within a short space of 2 years after having decided to persue a solo career, Mlalazi has already made it into international music scene, with his music receiving considerable play on several gospel television and radio stations in Botswana including other regional stations like Trace Africa, One Gospel, Metro FM in South Africa, Hope FM in Kenya and literally all broadcast stations in Zimbabwe.

It doesn’t only stop there, as the musician has already been nominated 2 times and 2 awards which are Bulawayo Arts Awards (BAA) best Male artists 2022, StarFM listerners Choice Award, Best Newcomer 2021 and ZIMA Best Contemporary Gospel 2022, MLA awards Best Male artist & Best Gospel Artist 2022.

Everton’s inspiration stems from his ultimate passion and desire to lead people into Godly ways and it seems it’s only getting started.
The man is a gospel artist to put on your radar.

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African countries call on WHO to increase funding

2nd February 2023

Minister of Health Dr Edwin Dikoloti says Africa member states call on World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure equitable resource allocation for 2024-2025. Dr Dikoloti was speaking this week at the WHO Executive Board Meeting in Geneva, Switzerland.

He said countries agreed that there is need to address the budget and funding imbalances by increasing the programme budget share of countries and regions to 75% for the next year.

“The proposed budget for 2024-2025 marks an important milestone as it is the first in Programme Budget in which country offices will be allocated more than half of the total budget for the biennium. We highly welcome this approach which will enable the organization to deliver on its mandate while fulfilling the expectations for transparency, efficiency and accountability.”

The Botswana Health Minister commended member states on the extension of the General Programme of Work (GPD 13) and the Secretariat work to monitor the progress towards the triple billion targets, and the health-related SDGs.

“We welcome the Director’s general proposed five priorities which have crystalized into the “five Ps” that are aligned with the GPW 13 extension. Impact can only be achieved through close coordination with, and support to national health authorities. As such, the strengthening of country offices is instrumental, with particular focus on strengthening national health systems and on promoting more equitable access to health services.”

According to Dr Dikoloti, the majority of countries with UHC index that is below the global median are in the WHO Africa region. “For that, we call on the WHO to enhance capacity at the regional and national levels in order to accelerate progress. Currently, the regional office needs both technical and financial support in order to effectively address and support country needs.”

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