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OP fails to account for Masisi, Tsogwane travel costs

The Office of the President (OP) has failed to account for travel expenses incurred by President Mokgweetsi Masisi and his Vice Slumber Tsogwane on political, private and official trips since ascending to the top offices in 2018.

Both Masisi and Tsogwane are allowed by law, in particular the Green Book, to travel anywhere in any capacity while tax payers foot the bill. When we looked at the books in our account, we realised that its not really possible that we clearly unbundle the costs. It was really difficult and therefore we really believe that maybe we leave it as it is, OP newly appointed Permanent Secretary, Thatoyaone Raphaka, revealed this week to parliaments Public Accounts Committee (PAC) during their re-submission.

This comes after the Committee had recently requested OP to unbundle the cost or the financial resources attached to the travels on private, political and official matters by President Masisi and VP Tsogwane.

Raphaka continued: one of the things that we felt makes things difficult is that, when we go to the Green Book which is the one that indicates how the two can use the official resources allocated to them, you will find that its just open and not specific and limiting. Thats why its difficult to unbundle that.

Following the OP PSs provocative answer, PAC Committee member and Francistown West lawmaker, Wynter Mmolotsi expressed worry that the answer is in contrast to what the previous PS Thuso Ramodimoosi has promised PAC which he stressed it was possible that the amounts be unbundled.

I am worried because we have asked this question not once, not twice, but more than three times. If we had asked once only we could be understanding. We have been consistently told before, that it can be done, Mmolotsi fumed.

He further explained that the question is not about whether the President and the VP are entitled to the travels. It is not about that while stressing that it is only about the costs incurred on their political, official and private issues. According to the PAC member, he thinks it is also a question to inform on other things moving forward. If we cannot unbundle then there is a problem, he cautioned.

Mmolotsi wondered: does that mean the Accounts personnel who appeared on PAC last time were not aware of this because last time they promised to bring them to the committee?
The AP leader emphasized that, clearly, from the tone set by the political principals, they do not wish this information to be availed, this was said when the very same question was asked in parliament.

No time-line for Freedom of Information law

The OP PS was also at pains to reveal when the crucial Bill will come to parliament, stating that the Bill is already there but we are still consulting on it. Raphaka highlighted that in terms of the ratification of open democracy, when there are conventions that Botswana agree with, there is a way of ratifying them and domesticating them.

Right now we have the Freedom of Information Bill that we believe is part of those that are in line with the open democracy laws. So we are currently in the process of developing modalities or closing loose ends with respect to allowing the law to be passed by parliament. Such laws also need to conform to the constitution, he said, without giving specific time lines.



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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