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Govt rejected British army anti-poaching unit

In the wake of rising rhino poaching in Botswana, despite government crackdowns, WeekendPost has it in good authority that President Mokgweetsi Masisi’s administration rejected the British army anti-poaching assistance program which was coming free of charge.

At the moment it looks like Masisi led administration is now fighting a losing battle against rhino poaching with a record 36 rhinos having been killed in the past twelve months. When he took to power, President Mokgweetsi Masisi took a repressive decision to disarm the Anti-Poaching Unit of the Department of Wildlife leaving the Botswana Defence Force (BDF) with the leading role of safeguarding the endangered species. Currently the country is home to just under 400 rhinos, according to Rhino Conservation Botswana, most of them roam the grassy plains of the northern Okavango Delta.

Former Minister of Wildlife and Tourism Tshekedi Khama, in an interview with this publication this week, said in 2018 towards former President Ian Khama’s end of office, they unanimously agreed with the British army deployed in the anti-poaching exercise in Zimbabwe, to liaise with Botswana government in assisting anti- poaching in the country. According to Tshekedi, the move was necessitated by their constant differences with the British government because of Botswana’s ‘shoot to kill’ policy.

Tshekedi said they met the visiting British crew from Zimbabwe through their Ambassador and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at the time. He said they then solicited assistance from the British army to help with the anti- poaching. “They were even taken on tour of the concerned areas”. According to Tshekedi Khama, they also met with members of Wildlife and BDF anti- poaching units before they went back to put together a strategy on how they can go about.

The former Minister of Tourism said he was however surprised last year when he received a call from Vice President Slumber Tsogwane at a time when President Masisi was outside the country. “He told me that we are now engaging the British army and charging them with the responsibility of our animals. I told him that we are only soliciting their assistance but he told me to wait for President Masisi who outside the country”, said TK.

However another call from Permanent Secretary to the President at the time, Carter Morupisi put an end to Tshekedi’s ambitions when he told him that what he is trying to do is not allowed and it should be stopped. “Look this was after they disarmed the anti- poaching unit. This was never about the weapons, they had wanted to train our people on bush tactics, GPS training and logistics as well as radio communications and operations. They have also offered to donate tents to support the cause and there were no conditions whatsoever attached,” he said.

Tshekedi said during his stay at the ministry, poachers knew that when they enter Botswana they will be killed. He said the policy was very effective and they had a very operational intelligent unit in place. He recalled an incident in Makalamabedi, where two men were arrested for the possession of an elephant trunk. “President Masisi’s recent conspiracy about the rising number of poached rhinos is a fallacy. He is always shifting the blame. He should just admit it was a mistake and re- equip the anti- poaching unit, get over it and move on. BDF Commander is even quiet, what are they doing about the situation?” asked TK.  

Also called for comment; former President, Dr Ian Khama said the current administration has taken their eye off the ball. Khama said there was poaching under both former President Ketumile Masire and Festus Mogae, whilst he was still BDF Commander.
“We ensured that we tackled it, under Masire I was in charge and Masire took particular interest in what was happening. Same thing happened under Mogae. I had weekly meetings with anti- poaching teams and made demands because I was on the ground. Masisi should stop making excuses,” said Khama.

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BAD WEEK FOR MANCHESTER CITY

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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