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Botswana becomes Japans second-hand car scrap heap

Statistics Botswana, a parastatal organisation charged with responsibilities of collecting and disseminating all official figures in the country, has presented Transport and Infrastructure Statistics Brief for Quarter 3, 2019.

The Brief covers statistics relating to air transport, motor vehicle registrations, railway transport and water transport. The motor vehicle registration deals with licensing of motor vehicles with respect to those registered for the first time and the renewal of pre-existing ones. First registrations are done at the Department of Road Transport and Safety DRTS only, while renewals are done at DRTS offices, Post Offices country wide and some stores like Sefalana.

According to these statistics, a total of 18 000 vehicles were registered for the first time during the quarter under review, Q3 2019. Out of this total 77.1 percent were passenger cars. Vans made up 7.4 percent of the total while motor cycles constituted only 0.3 percent of the total first registrations. First registrations increased by 4.9 percent compared to the previous quarter, Q2 2019. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, Q3 2018, vehicles registered for the first time increased by 27.7 percent.

For the past five years first registrations have been increasing at a decreasing rate; in 2015 they increased by 11.2. Most of the first registrations in Q3 2019 were used vehicles, constituting 84.9 percent of total first registrations. In this brief, it was shared that most of the first registrations in Q3 2019 were used vehicles, constituting 84.9 percent of total first registrations. Brand new and rebuilt vehicles accounted for 15.0 percent and 0.1 percent of the total respectively.

Furthermore, the brief indicated that the highest number of first registered vehicles were imported from Japan which made up 77.7 percent of the total first registrations. Out of these, 99.6 percent were used vehicles and only 0.4 percent were new. The neighbouring South Africa followed Japan with 15.0 percent of total imported vehicles, out of which 82.8 percent were new. Singapore was the third in line of countries from which Botswana imports vehicles, it accounted for 1.7 percent of total first registrations.

Most of the new vehicles were imported from South Africa which accounted for 82.5 percent of total brand new vehicles. Vehicles bought in Botswana followed with 7.4 percent. Brand new vehicles from Pakistan and Japan accounted for 2.8 and 2.0 percent respectively.
Rebuilt vehicles originated from only three countries namely; Botswana (41.7 percent), Japan (50.0 percent) and South Africa (8.3 percent).

In Q3 2019, Gaborone accounted for a high number of first registrations with 64.8 percent of the total first registrations, the brief noted. This was an increase of 2.3 percent compared to vehicles registered for the first time in Q2 2019. The country’s second city, Francistown followed with 9.3 percent of total vehicles registered for the first time. The ailing town of Lobatse recorded 6.7 percent, while Molepolole 5.2 percent. Bobonong and Mogoditshane had the least number of first registrations with just one vehicle each.

There were no first registrations recorded at Charleshill, Hukuntsi, Middlepits, Moshupa and Rakops. In the period under review, Toyota proved to be the most popular motor vehicle make, registering 38.3 percent of total first registrations. Honda recorded the second highest number of first registrations with 12 .3 percent. Volkswagen recorded 10.9 percent while Mazda and Nissan registered 8.4 and 6.2 percent respectively.

Yamaha was the favourite motorcycle as it accounted for 70.2 percent of the total motorcycles recorded this quarter. The report stressed that all the homemade vehicles were trailers. As for registration by month, most of the registrations were done in the month of July which accounted for 34.8 percent of total first registrations. The months of August and September constituted 34.0 and 31.2 percent respectively. Compared to the same months of the previous year, Q3 2018, July increased by 41.1 percent, while August and September registrations increased by 20.2 and 23.1 percent respectively.

Compared to the same months of the previous year, renewals increased for the months of July and August by 19.1 percent and 4.6 percent respectively and declined for the month of September by 1.4 percent. Statistics Botswana further indicated that Motor Vehicle Renewals by Quarter & Body Type A total of 137,348 vehicles had their licenses renewed during this quarter.This was an increase of 6.5 percent compared to the 128,972 vehicles renewed in Q2 2019. The most renewed body type of vehicle was the passenger car accounting for 64.2 percent of total renewals.

Vans accounted for 19.1 percent of total renewals recorded under this quarter. Motor cycles had the least number of renewals with 0.3 percent. Almost all the vehicle body types recorded an increase compared to the previous quarter, except the category of “others” which registered a decrease of 4.4 percent. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, Q3 2018, renewals increased by 7.2 percent.During the quarter under review, Q3 2019, Cities and Towns accounted for the highest number of renewals with 55.4 percent of the total renewals.

Of these renewals, 67.3 percent were recorded in Gaborone. Central District accounted for the second highest number of renewals with 13.5 percent, with Palapye having the highest number of renewals for that district with 23.3 percent. The southern district constituted 3.7 percent of total renewals, with 62.0 percent of those recorded in Kanye. The other district where a high number of renewals were recorded was Kweneng, which was accounting for 9.8 percent of total renewals. The district with the least number of renewals was North East with 0.8 percent.

Meanwhile, a total of 276, 762 net tons of goods were transported using rail in Q3 2019, which showed 6.0 percent decrease from goods transported in Q2 2019. Total imports decreased by 11.0 percent and total exports decreased by 18.0 percent, while local traffic increased by 45.5 percent and Botswana total declined by 7.4 percent. Botswana Origin decreased by 5.1 percent while transit traffic increased by 22.2 percent. Compared to the same quarter of the previous year, goods transported by rail in Q3 2018 decreased by 31.9 percent.

Most of the goods, 36.9 percent were transported during the month of September. July and August accounted for 34.1 and 29.0 percent respectively. Compared to the same months of the previous year, all the months registered a decrease on the goods transported. July and August registered a decrease of 32.0 and 41.4 percent respectively, while September registered a decrease of 21.7 percent in goods transported. Revenue generated from rail transport amounted to P57.2 million in Q3 2019, which was a decrease of 5.3 percent compared to what was generated in the previous quarter, Q2 2019.

In comparison to the same quarter of the previous year, there was a 27.8 percent decrease. For rail transport revenue, Botswana total accounted for 93.6 percent of total revenue while transit traffic accounted for 6.4 percent. During the month of September, revenue generated constituted 38.1 percent of total revenue. The months of July and August accounted for 34.7 and 27.2 percent respectively. Compared to the same months of the previous year, revenue collected in July and August decreased by 26.2 and 41.4 percent respectively. Revenue collected in September decreased by 15.1 percent

In Q3 2019, 84,789 passengers used the passenger train, giving an increase of 48.0 percent compared to Q2 2019. The increase is attributed to the introduction of the commuter train between Lobatse and Gaborone. A high number of passengers used standard class (83.6 percent).

Sleeper class and business class accounted for 6.7 and 9.7 percent respectively. A high number of passengers travelled by rail in the month of July recording 36.5 percent. The months of August and September registered 33.4 and 30.1 percent of total rail passengers. Total passenger revenue generated during Q3 2019 was P6, 021,000.

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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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Botswana still weighing in on Maseko’s assassination

27th January 2023

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr. Lemogang Kwape says Botswana has not taken any position regarding the killing of a renowned human rights lawyer, Thulani Maseko, who was gunned down at his house in Mbabane, Eswatini.

In a brief interview with WeekendPost, Dr Kwape said Botswana has not yet taken any position regarding his death. He said the purported incident should be thoroughly probed before Botswana can form an opinion based on the findings of the inquiries.

“Botswana generally condemns any killing of human life by all means,” says Dr. Kwape. He wouldn’t want to be dragged on whether Botswana will support the suspension of Eswatini from SADC.

“We will be guided by SADC organ Troika if they can be an emergency meeting. I am not sure when the meeting will be called by Namibian president,“ he said.

However, the Namibian president Hage Geingob notes with deep concern reports coming out of Eswatini about the killing of Mr. Maseko. In a statement, he called upon the “Government of the Kingdom of Eswatini to ensure that the killing of Maseko is swiftly, transparently and comprehensively investigated, and that any or all persons suspected of committing this heinous crime are brought to justice.”

Maseko was chairperson of the Multi-Stakeholder Forum which was established as a coalition of non-State actors to advocate for a process of national political dialogue aimed at resolving the security and political challenges confronting the Kingdom.

“SADC expresses its deepest and heartfelt condolences to the family of Mr. Maseko, his friends, colleagues, and to the people of the Kingdom of Eswatini for the loss of Mr. Maseko. In this context, SADC further calls upon the people of the Kingdom of Eswatini to remain calm, exercise due care and consideration whilst the appropriate structures conduct the investigations and bring the matter to completion,” the statement says.

Geingob reiterated the need for peaceful resolution of the political and security challenges affecting the country.

Meanwhile political activists are calling on SADC to suspend Eswatini from the block including the African Union as well.

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Kopong Murder: Accused interferes with witnesses again!

27th January 2023

State prosecutor, Seeletso Ookeditse revealed before the Broadhurst Magistrate Jobbie Moilatshimo that the third accused involved in the murder of Barulaganye Aston, has interfered with the State witnesses again.

The second and third accused (Lefty Kosie and Outlwile Aston) were previously accused of interference when they were caught in possession of cellphones in prison. They were further accused of planning to kill the deceased’s brother, who is currently the guardian to the children of the deceased.

Ookeditse indicated that Outlwile had earlier went to challenge the magistrate’s decision of denying him bail at the High Court before Judge Michael Motlhabi.

“The third accused approached the High Court and made a bail application, which was dismissed on the same day,” Ookeditse said.

However, even after the High Court verdict on their bail application, the duo (Kosie and Aston) has once again applied for bail this week.

Ookeditse plead with the court to stop the accused from abusing the court process.

“Yesterday, Directorate of Public Prosecutions (DPP) received papers of his bail application filed before the Broadhurst Magistrates Court. However, the papers do not speak to changed circumstances, therefore this back and forth about bail must be put to a stop,” said the State prosecutor.

While giving evidence before court, the Investigations Officer, Detective Inspector Quite Zhalamonto, said his investigations have proved that there is interference continuing regarding the accused trio.

He told the court that on the 12th of January 2023, he received a report from Thato Aston, who is the son of the accused and the deceased. The son had alleged to the Investigation Officer that he received a call from one Phillip Molwantwa.

According to Zhalamonto, Thato revealed that Molwatwa indicated that he was from prison on a visit to the Outlwile Aston and went on to ask where he was staying and where his siblings (Aston’s children) are staying.

“Thato revealed that Phillip went on to ask if he or his siblings saw their father murdering their mother, and he was referring to the crime scene. Thato told me that he, however, refused to answer the questions as he was afraid especially because he was asked about where him and his siblings stay,” said Zhalamonto.

Zhalamonto alluded to the court that he then went to Orange to confirm the communication between Thato and Molwantwa where he found the case.

“I have arrested Philip yesterday and when I interviewed him, he did not deny that he knows Aston and that he has indeed called Thato and asked questions as to where him and his siblings resides even though he failed to give reasons for asking such questions,” Zhalamonto told the court.

He further revealed that Molwantwa indicated that he had received a call from an unknown man who refused to reveal himself.

“Phillip told me that the unknown man said he was sent by the accused (Aston), and that Aston had instructed him to tell me to check if there was still some money in his bank accounts, and he also wanted to know where the kids were residing, the unknown man even asked him to meet at Main Mall” the Investigation Officer told the court.

He further informed the court that he is working tirelessly to identify the “unknown caller” and the route of the cell number.

Furthermore, the fourth accused, Kebaleboge Ntsebe, has revealed to the court through a letter that she was abused and tortured by the Botswana Police Services. She wrote in her letter that she suffered miscarriage as a result of being beaten by the police.

Ntsebe is on bail, while a bail ruling for Aston and Kosie will be delivered on the 6th of next month

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