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Ministry of Tertiary Education, De Beers Group donate 20,000 litres of sanitisers to support COVID-19 prevention

BITRI

The Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology – through the Botswana Institute for Technology Research and Innovation (BITRI) and the Botswana International University of Science and Technology (BIUST) – and De Beers Group today donated 20,000 litres of sanitisers to Government.

Received by the Minister of Presidential Affairs and Public Administration Mr Kabo Morwaeng, the sanitisers will be distributed to those in need by the national COVID-19 Task Team.  De Beers Group and the Ministry of Tertiary Education, Research, Science and Technology, under which both BITRI and BIUST fall, each provided 500,000 Pula for the initiative, with the De Beers Group contribution forming part of its recently announced 10 million Pula in-kind donation to the COVID-19 Relief Fund. The donation from the two entities went towards procurement of raw material, including 20,000 litres of ethanol and containers for the sanitisers.

Bruce Cleaver, CEO, De Beers Group said: “We continue to explore ways in which we can support and partner with the Government of Botswana in the fight against COVID-19. Regular washing or sanitising of hands is one of the key preventative measures promoted by the World Health Organisation, and we are proud to have partnered with BITRI and BIUST to provide these supplies to those who need them. We stand side by side with Botswana during COVID-19 and are focused on supporting our partners as we progress towards recovery.”

CEO of BITRI, Professor Shedden Masupe, highlighted that both BITRI and BIUST produced equal amounts of the sanitiser in order to expedite production in light of the urgent need to dispatch the products to those who need them now.

He emphasised that for BITRI, the initiative is a once  production to assist in the pandemic as there are a number of SMMEs already participating in this space. “Both institutions prioritise institutional capacity and collaboration with other organizations and institutions.

We are therefore grateful to have collaborated as leaders in the technology space locally, but also thankful to have collaborated with De Beers Group, another leader in the field of technology, over and above its role in the diamond industry,” said Masupe.

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GPH takes Gov’t head-on over faulty Covid-19 results

3rd July 2020
Gaborone Private Hospital

Gaborone Private Hospital (GPH) has come out with guns blazing after they were accused of releasing false positive Covid-19 results which were later declared negative by the government task team force.

GPH insists that it is beyond doubt that their 8 positive Covid-19 results were indeed accurate.

This publication is in possession of a report that indicates how the government might have faulted with their results.  They narrate what might have caused the various results between laboratories.

The report indicates that one or more negative results do not rule out the possibility of Covid-19 virus infection. Furthermore a number of factors could lead to a negative result in an infected individual.

GPH is immovable in their results and believe that poor quality of the specimen containing little patient material (as a control, consider determining whether there is adequate human DNA in the sample by including a human target in the PCR testing) could be a factor in diagnosing whether the case reads positive or negative.

The hospital, in the report shared internally, also point out that another factor may be as a result of the mishandling and incorrect shipping of the specimen. The report also establishes that technical reasons inherent may be one of the reasons why results may vary.

This publication has also established that same test kits were used but with different time collection of the samples. GPH affirms that this might have also impacted why the results varied.

“We are happy with our quality and believe that reporting positives with one gene detected the right decision. With the other labs only calling positives when two genes are detected, they are possibly under reporting and releasing negative results that should be called positive based on the less stringent algorithm.”

Unconfirmed reports have indicated that the government has launched a thorough investigation into the matter as GPH faces possible retribution over the matter.

“The government knows they blundered and now want to silence GPH by indicating that they are the ones who faulted. There is a lot of mix up with how the government tests and confirms results as negative.” Botswana currently stands at 46 new cases with only 17 active cases with 28 recoveries and 1 death.

President Mokgweetsi Masisi has also gone into his fourth quarantine since Corona was discovered in Botswana. According to a press release released on Thursday, there is a new positive Covid-19 result on one of the President’s officials.

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An enquiry into BPC tenders uncovers rotting corruption

29th June 2020
BPC

A confidential report from enquiry on the award of tenders at Botswana Power Corporation (BPC) has recommended that key employees within the organisation be subjected to a Declaration of Assets exercise in a bid to find if they have been part of improper award of tenders cabal.

The confidential report seen by this publication was commissioned to give an overview on how procurement of equipment (imports) is conducted and awarded at BPC. The report titled “Enquiry into BPC tenders” which was released last month (5 May 2020), recommends that the organisation should be clear from the start whether they use selective tender or open tender process and which one will work for them.

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Court reinstates fired DIS agent

29th June 2020
Court reinstates fired DIS-agent-High-Court-Judge Godfrey Radijeng

High Court Judge Godfrey Radijeng has this week reinstated a Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) agent who was fired by the spy agency in August 2017. Justice Radijeng further ordered in the judgement that he be paid arrears from the time he was fired and for the cost of the litigation.

The reinstated DIS agent, Walter Matsoga, was in 2014 involved in a car accident and sustained injuries in the course of his clandestine job. More than a year later, on the 15th June 2015, the spy operative was subjected to a medical assessment at the instance of the DIS to determine his fitness to continue being in employment.  The assessment was carried out and he continued to be under the employ of the Directorate of Intelligence and Security.

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