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State appeals Kgosi’s DIS photographs case

FORMER DIS BOSS: ISAAC KGOSI

After suffering a slap from Broadhurst Chief Magistrate, Oahile Lenah-Mokibe who in January this year, ruled that there is no evidence relating to the accusations by the State that former spy chief, Isaac Kgosi allegedly took photographs of officers from Directorate of Intelligence and Security (DIS) and exposed them to the public, the state has moved an application seeking the magistrate court’s condonation to appeal the matter to the high court.

Mokibe in January delivered a ruling in which she dropped a charge against Kgosi on grounds that the State failed to provide any evidence of the photographs it accused the former DIS Boss of taking. Kgosi, was accused of contravening the DIS Act and was slapped with two counts, being prohibition of disclosure of protected identity and obstructing officers and support staff.

But Mokibe ruled that it was clear from the numerous requests by the defence team for further particulars, especially the said photographs that the State had nothing tangible to give because it failed to provide or avail the pictures. “It is clear that the prosecution was unable to provide the certified copies of the photographs which were allegedly taken by the accused. Additionally, there is no information relating to the person who disclosed the identity of the officers to Mmegi newspaper.”

Kgosi stands accused of capturing images of the agents as well as their identity between the 18th and 25th February 2019 as well as the identity cards of the officers engaged in a covert operation of the DIS and the information was published in Mmegi publication, a charge which Kgosi rubbished as nonsense. The State is still convinced that they have a case against Kgosi but the defence has laughed off the appeal application describing it as a non-starter.

The ruling by the court meant that only count two remained, which was obstructing officers and support staff, Sergeant G Nxaikhwe of Botswana Police Services and Bashi Moreba of the DIS in the execution of their duties by verbally assaulting them.

The state had suffered a big blow as the Magistrate quashed their case, even insisting that the cellular phones that were seized from the accused person for forensic examination and the results in the form of an affidavit had nothing in them as suggested by the state.

“There is no indication that they have been used to take pictures sought by the investigation and no web history or applications history of communication was recovered from both phones. On the other hand, the accused intimates that he is entitled to the photographs to make his own investigation relating to them, which he is lawfully entitled to do in preparation of his defence,” she said.

Mokibe said the state was unable to provide the accused with the certified copies of the photographs he is alleged to have taken in order for him to adequately prepare his defence, coupled with the prosecution evidence which was adverse to the State case to the effect that the cellular phones which were seized from the accused were not used to take the photographs relating to this case.

“I find that this is a proper case where the charge contained in count 1 must be quashed as it is likely to prejudice the accused in his defence and I so order,” she said. Mokibe when touching on the remaining charge against Kgosi, which is the obstruction of officers and support staff said the attestation form for Gotshajwang Nxaikhwe clearly indicated that he was a member of the Botswana Police Service and not of the DIS.

She noted that attempts by the State to link that with the statement of Boikhutso Innocent Dintwa, the Deputy Divisional Commander of the Southern Division Headquarters that they have cordial relations with other law enforcement departments which include the DIS could not be the cure because undertaking duties under the DIS was governed by the Intelligence and Security Service Act.

Margistrate Mokibe said Gotshajwang Nxaikhwe was not appointed in terms of the said Act; therefore it followed that he could not have been undertaking duties under the said Act. “It therefore follows that the allegations against the accused in so far as they relate to him having obstructed Gotshajwang Nxaikhwe cannot be allowed to stand and I accordingly quash them,” she said.

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Masisi to dump Tsogwane?

28th November 2022

Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) and some senior government officials are abuzz with reports that President Mokgweetsi Masisi has requested his Vice President, Slumber Tsogwane not to contest the next general elections in 2024.

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African DFIs gear to combat climate change

25th November 2022

The impacts of climate change are increasing in frequency and intensity every year and this is forecast to continue for the foreseeable future. African CEOs in the Global South are finally coming to the party on how to tackle the crisis.

Following the completion of COP27 in Egypt recently, CEOs of Africa DFIs converged in Botswana for the CEO Forum of the Association of African Development Finance Institutions. One of the key themes was on green financing and building partnerships for resource mobilization in financing SDGs in Africa

A report; “Weathering the storm; African Development Banks response to Covid-19” presented shocking findings during the seminar. Among them; African DFI’s have proven to be financially resilient, and they are fast shifting to a green transition and it’s financing.

COO, CEDA, James Moribame highlighted that; “Everyone needs food, shelter and all basic needs in general, but climate change is putting the achievement of this at bay. “It is expensive for businesses to do business, for instance; it is much challenging for the agricultural sector due to climate change, and the risks have gone up. If a famer plants crops, they should be ready for any potential natural disaster which will cost them their hard work.”

According to Moribame, Start-up businesses will forever require help if there is no change.

“There is no doubt that the Russia- Ukraine war disrupted supply chains. SMMEs have felt the most impact as some start-up businesses acquire their materials internationally, therefore as inflation peaks, this means the exchange rate rises which makes commodities expensive and challenging for SMMEs to progress. Basically, the cost of doing business has gone up. Governments are no longer able to support DFI’s.”

Moribame shared remedies to the situation, noting that; “What we need is leadership that will be able to address this. CEOs should ensure companies operate within a framework of responsible lending. They also ought to scout for opportunities that would be attractive to investors, this include investors who are willing to put money into green financing. Botswana is a prime spot for green financing due to the great opportunity that lies in solar projects. ”

Technology has been hailed as the economy of the future and thus needs to be embraced to drive operational efficiency both internally and externally.

Executive Director, bank of Industry Nigeria, Simon Aranou mentioned that for investors to pump money to climate financing in Africa, African states need to be in alignment with global standards.

“Do what meets world standards if you want money from international investors. Have a strong risk management system. Also be a good borrower, if you have a loan, honour the obligation of paying it back because this will ensure countries have a clean financial record which will then pave way for easier lending of money in the future. African states cannot just be demanding for mitigation from rich countries. Financing needs infrastructure to complement it, you cannot be seating on billions of dollars without the necessary support systems to make it work for you. Domestic resource mobilisation is key. Use public money to mobilise private money.” He said.

For his part, the Minster of Minister of Entrepreneurship, Karabo Gare enunciated that, over the past three years, governments across the world have had to readjust their priorities as the world dealt with the effects and impact of the COVID 19 pandemic both to human life and economic prosperity.

“The role of DFIs, during this tough period, which is to support governments through countercyclical measures, including funding of COVID-19 related development projects, has become more important than ever before. However, with the increasingly limited resources from governments, DFIs are now expected to mobilise resources to meet the fiscal gaps and continue to meet their developmental mandates across the various affected sectors of their economies.” Said Gare.

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TotalEnergies Botswana launches Road safety campaign in Letlhakeng

22nd November 2022

Letlhakeng:TotalEnergies Botswana today launched a Road Safety Campaign as part of their annual Stakeholder Relationship Management (SRM), in partnership with Unitrans, MVA Fund, TotalEnergies Letlhakeng Filling Station and the Letlhakeng Sub District Road Safety Committee during an event held in Letlhakeng under the theme, #IamTrafficToo.

The Supplier Relationship Management initiative is an undertaking by TotalEnergies through which TotalEnergie annually explores and implements social responsibility activities in communities within which we operate, by engaging key stakeholders who are aligned with the organization’s objectives. Speaking during the launch event, TotalEnergies’ Operations and HSSEQ,   Patrick Thedi said,  “We at TotalEnergies pride ourselves in being an industrial operator with a strategy centered on respect, listening, dialogue and stakeholder involvement, and a partner in the sustainable social and economic development of its host communities and countries. We are also very fortunate to have stakeholders who are in alignment with our organizational objectives. We assess relationships with our key stakeholders to understand their concerns and expectations as well as identify priority areas for improvement to strengthen the integration of Total Energies in the community. As our organization transitions from Total to Total Energies, we are committed to exploring sustainable initiatives that will be equally indicative of our growth and this Campaign is a step in the right direction. ”

As part of this campaign roll out, stakeholders  will be refurbishing and upgrading and installing road signs around schools in the area, and generally where required. One of the objectives of the Campaign is to bring awareness and training on how to manage and share the road/parking with bulk vehicles, as the number of bulk vehicles using the Letlhakeng road to bypass Trans Kalahari increases. When welcoming guests to Letlhakeng, Kgosi Balepi said he welcomed the initiative as it will reduce the number of road incidents in the area.

Also present was District Traffic Officer ASP, Reuben Moleele,  who gave a statistical overview of accidents in the region, as well as the rest of the country. Moleele applauded TotalEnergies and partners on the Campaign, especially ahead of the festive season, a time he pointed out is always one with high road statistics. The campaign name #IamTrafficToo, is a reminder to all road users, including pedestrians that they too need to be vigilant and play their part in ensuring a reduction in road incidents.

The official proceedings of the day included a handover of reflectors and stop/Go signs to the Letlhakeng Cluster from TotalEnerigies, injury prevention from tips from MVA’s Onkabetse Petlwana, as  well as  bulk vehicle safety tips delivered from Adolf Namate of Unitrans.

TotalEnergies, which is committed to having zero carbon emissions by 2050,  has committed to rolling out the Road safety Campaign to the rest of the country in the future.

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