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Saturday, 02 December 2023

Minister Mokgethi’s final report on dead man’s estate rejected

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The Minister of Immigration and Gender Affairs, Anna Mokgethi, has seen her final report to comply with court orders rejected amid her reports maintaining that she has complied with the court order.

Lawyers representing the late Abdul Joseph’s granddaughter, Dawn Masenya, have written to the Master of the High Court voicing their rejection of Mokgethi’s final report aimed at accounting for the dead man’s estate.This publication understands that Mokgethi’s lawyers Rahim Khan and Company had written to both the Master and Masenya’s lawyers, Armstrongs Attorneys indicating that she had complied with the court orders and submitted her final report.

But the ink was barely dry on Mokgethi’s letter when Masenya’s lawyers informed the Master that “We are in receipt of Rahim Khan and Company’s letter of 8th October 2021 addressed to the Master’s office,” adding that “The former Executrix has not complied with the Court Orders. The two sets of information (first and second report) provided have been passed to the appointed accountant who is to analyse the same and revert.”

According to Armstrongs, “In the meantime, and without wishing to pre-empt her findings, the following have not been provided (the list is not exhaustive): BBS account no. 2003013985018 statements for December 2015 to May 2016 and details of credit and debit transactions on this account, and other accounts, between date deceased (7th July 2012) and 30th September 2012.”

They argued that call account at Standard Chartered Bank, an account numbered 1500958, the details of the bank account closed by Shereen Pandor in July/August 2012 adding that “We await the ABSA statements, copies of the signatory mandates on the BBS Specials Savings Account and the Barclays/ABSA accounts from the date of deceased to date.”

The letter says the lawyers also await the Department of Veterinary Services’ BATES certificates from 2012 to the expiry date of Mr Joseph’s brand, which expired and was undeclared after his death.The lawyers are also arguing that the financial statements provided for the year ending December 2021, read with preceding financial statements, show that the livestock in the estate has been unchanged for seven years.

“The statement on the livestock does not tally with the most recent or proceeding financial statements. This requires explanation,” adding that they also demand explanation on “accounting on the rentals received in respect of the Mosi farm from cattle Carriers Botswana at P120 00 per a year” as well as the information on “who resides at plot 608 Lobatse which has been substantially renovated from estate funds as well as the status of ownership of plot 3118 Lobatse and the status of ownership of portion 37, Knockduff.”

Armstrongs also demand information on a “certificate for the land within the Mmathethe Sub Land Board area. The destination of the approximately 81 unaccounted for redemption from Black thread’s Stanbic trading account and the Master’s authorities for these redemptions. The mandate and mandates to Black Thread Capital, including its mandate and the Master’s authority for it take over the BBS PUPS and then convert these to equity.”

It also emerges in the letter that copies of the authorities from the Master for payment of legal fees, copies of the invoices and receipts supporting claims by Shereen Pandor and reconciliation of claims of payments to her are missing.

They argue further that information on the persons working as farmworkers, i.e. salaries, periods of service and confirmation of employment, copies of the authorities from the Master for distribution of funds to Shereen Pandor, copies of the authorities from the Master for early executor fees payment to the executrix is also missing.

They also demand evidence of the Capital Bank Corporate Board and the African Alliance Liquidity Fund together with an analysis of the dividends and accrued interest thereon. The lawyers noted that “The incomplete inventory provided is undated thus it cannot be known if it relates to the estate at the time of decease or at the time of accounting. No reconciliation of the transactions conducted on the estate between the date of deceased and the date of accounting has been provided.”

The lawyers also seek explanation from Mokgethi on the “The stated non-registration of the deceased with BURS (Botswana Unified Revenue Services) should have been remedied by the executrix 9 years ago.”

They said the deceased had farming and commercial operations, rental and other incomes and would not have been exempt from tax.Armstrongs attorneys argued that there was no indication of authority from the Master for Shereen Pandor to administrate any portion of the estate.

The lawyers concluded that “the raw and largely unsubstantiated data provided (are) far from meeting obligations under the High Court Order. We have waited since 17th September 2021 for compliance with the Court Order, but it has not been forthcoming.”

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19 Bokamoso Private Hospital nurses graduate at Lenmed Nursing College

28th November 2023

The graduation of 19 nurses from Bokamoso Private Hospital at Lenmed Nursing College marks a significant milestone in their careers. These nurses have successfully completed various short learning programs, including Adult Intensive Care Unit, Emergency Nursing Care, Anaesthetic & Recovery Room Nursing, Anaesthetic Nursing, and Recovery Room Nursing. The ceremony, held in Gaborone, was a testament to their hard work and dedication.

Lenmed Nursing College, a renowned healthcare group with a presence in South Africa, Botswana, Mozambique, and Ghana, has been instrumental in providing quality education and training to healthcare professionals. The Group Head of Operations, Jayesh Parshotam, emphasized the importance of upskilling nurses, who are at the forefront of healthcare systems. He also expressed his appreciation for the partnerships with Bokamoso Private Hospital, the Ministry of Health, and various health training institutes in Botswana.

Dr. Morrison Sinvula, a consultant from the Ministry of Health, commended Lenmed Health and Lenmed Nursing College for their commitment to the education and training of these exceptional nurses. He acknowledged their guidance, mentorship, and support in shaping the nurses’ careers and ensuring their success. Dr. Sinvula also reminded the graduates that education does not end here, as the field of healthcare is constantly evolving. He encouraged them to remain committed to lifelong learning and professional development, embracing new technologies and staying updated with the latest medical advancements.

Dr. Gontle Moleele, the Superintendent of Bokamoso Private Hospital, expressed her excitement and pride in the graduating class of 2023. She acknowledged the sacrifices made by these individuals, who have families and responsibilities, to ensure their graduation. Dr. Moleele also thanked Lenmed Nursing College for providing this opportunity to the hospital’s nurses, as it will contribute to the growth of the hospital.

The certificate recipients from Bokamoso Private Hospital were recognized for their outstanding achievements in their respective programs. Those who received the Cum Laude distinction in the Adult Intensive Care Unit program were Elton Keatlholwetse, Lebogang Kgokgonyane, Galaletsang Melamu, Pinkie Mokgosi, Ofentse Seboletswe, Gorata Basupi, Bareng Mosala, and Justice Senyarelo. In the Emergency Nursing Care program, Atlanang Moilwa, Bakwena Moilwa, Nathan Nhiwathiwa, Mogakolodi Lesarwe, Modisaotsile Thomas, and Lorato Matenje received the Cum Laude distinction. Kelebogile Dubula and Gaolatlhe Sentshwaraganye achieved Cum Laude in the Anaesthetic & Recovery Room Nursing program, while Keletso Basele excelled in the Anaesthetic Nursing program. Mompoloki Mokwaledi received recognition for completing the Recovery Room Nursing program.

In conclusion, the graduation of these 19 nurses from Bokamoso Private Hospital at Lenmed Nursing College is a testament to their dedication and commitment to their profession. They have successfully completed various short learning programs, equipping them with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in their respective fields. The collaboration between Lenmed Nursing College, Bokamoso Private Hospital, and the Ministry of Health has played a crucial role in their success. As they embark on their careers, these nurses are encouraged to continue their professional development and embrace new advancements in healthcare.

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BNF secures 15 constituencies in UDC coalition, wants more

28th November 2023

The Botswana National Front (BNF) has recently announced that they have already secured 15 constituencies in the Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) coalition, despite ongoing negotiations. This revelation comes as the BNF expresses its dissatisfaction with the current government and its leadership.

The UDC, which is comprised of the BNF, Botswana Peoples Party (BPP), Alliance for Progressives (AP), and Botswana Patriotic Front (BPF), is preparing for the upcoming General Elections. However, the negotiations to allocate constituencies among the involved parties are still underway. Despite this, the BNF Chairman, Patrick Molotsi, confidently stated that they have already acquired 15 constituencies and are expecting to add more to their tally.

Molotsi’s statement reflects the BNF’s long-standing presence in many constituencies across Botswana. With a strong foothold in these areas, it is only natural for the BNF to seek an increase in the number of constituencies they represent. This move not only strengthens their position within the UDC coalition but also demonstrates their commitment to serving the interests of the people.

In a press conference, BNF Secretary General, Ketlhafile Motshegwa, expressed his discontent with the current government leadership. He criticized the ruling Botswana Democratic Party (BDP) for what he perceives as a disregard for the well-being of the Batswana people. Motshegwa highlighted issues such as high unemployment rates and shortages of essential medicines as evidence of the government’s failure to address the needs of its citizens.

The BNF’s dissatisfaction with the current government is a reflection of the growing discontent among the population. The Batswana people are increasingly frustrated with the lack of progress and the failure to address pressing issues. The BNF’s assertion that the government is playing with the lives of its citizens resonates with many who feel neglected and unheard.

The BNF’s acquisition of 15 constituencies, even before the negotiations have concluded, is a testament to their popularity and support among the people. It is a clear indication that the Batswana people are ready for change and are looking to the BNF to provide the leadership they desire.

As the negotiations continue, it is crucial for all parties involved to prioritize the interests of the people. The allocation of constituencies should be done in a fair and transparent manner, ensuring that the voices of all citizens are represented. The BNF’s success in securing constituencies should serve as a reminder to the other parties of the need to listen to the concerns and aspirations of the people they aim to represent.

In conclusion, the BNF’s acquisition of 15 constituencies, despite ongoing negotiations, highlights their strong presence and support among the Batswana people. Their dissatisfaction with the current government leadership reflects the growing discontent in the country. As the UDC coalition prepares for the upcoming General Elections, it is crucial for all parties to prioritize the needs and aspirations of the people. The BNF’s success should serve as a reminder of the importance of listening to the voices of the citizens and working towards a better future for Botswana.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Children’s summit to discuss funding of NGOS

21st November 2023

One of the key issues that will be discussed by the Childrens’ Summit, which will be hosted by Childline Botswana Trust on 28th – 30th November in Gaborone, will be the topical issue of financing and strengthening of civil society organizations.

A statement from Childline Botswana indicates that the summit will adopt a road map for resourcing the children’s agenda by funding organizations. It will also cover issues relating to child welfare and protection; aimed at mobilizing governments to further strengthen Child Helplines; as well as sharing of emerging technologies to enhance the protection of Children and promotion of their rights.

According to Gaone Chepete, Communications Officer at Childline Botswana, the overall objective of the summit is to provide a platform for dialogue and engagement towards promoting practices and policies that fulfil children’s rights and welfare.

“Child Helplines in the region meet on a bi-annual basis to reflect on the state of children; evaluate their contribution and share experiences and best practice in the provision of services for children,” said Chepete.

The financing of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) by the state or its functionaries has generated mixed reactions from within the civil society space, with many arguing that it threatened NGOs activism and operational independence.

In February 2019, University of Botswana academic Kenneth Dipholo released a paper titled “State philanthropy: The demise of charitable organizations in Botswana,” in which he faulted then President Lieutenant General Seretse Khama Ian Khama for using charity for political convenience and annexing the operational space of NGOs.

“Civil society is the domain in which individuals can exercise their rights as citizens and set limits to the power of the state. The state should be developing capable voluntary organizations rather than emaciating or colonizing them by usurping their space,” argued Dipholo.

He further argued that direct involvement of the state or state president in charity breeds unhealthy competition between the state itself and other organizations involved in charity. Under these circumstances, he added, the state will use charity work to remain relevant to the ordinary people and enhance its visibility at the expense of NGOs.

“A consequence of this arrangement is that charitable organizations will become affiliates of the state. This stifles innovation in the sense that it narrows the ability of charitable organizations to think outside the box. It also promotes mono-culturalism, as the state could support only charitable organizations that abide by its wishes,” said Dipholo.

In conclusion, Dipholo urged the state to focus on supporting NGOs so that they operate in a system that combines philanthropic work and state welfare programs.

He added that state philanthropy threatens to relegate and render charitable organizations virtually irrelevant and redundant unless they re-engineer themselves.

Another University of Botswana (UB) academic, Professor Zibani Maundeni, opined that politics vitally shape civil society interaction; as seen in the interactions between the two, where there is mutual criticism in each other’s presence.

Over the years, NGOs have found themselves grappling with dwindling financial resources as donors ran out of money in the face of increased competition for financing. Many NGOs have also been faulted for poorly managing their finances because of limited strategic planning and financial management expertise. This drove NGOs to look to government for funding; which fundamentally altered the relationships between the two. The end result was a complete change in the operational culture of NGOs, which diminished their social impact and made them even more fragile. Increased government control through contract clauses also reduced NGOs activism and autonomy.

However, others believe that NGOs and government need each other, especially in the provision of essential services like child welfare and protection. Speaking at the Civil Society Child Rights Convention in 2020, Assistant Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Setlhabelo Modukanele said government considers NGOs as critical partners in development.

“We recognize the role that NGOs play a critical role in the country’s development agenda,” said Modukanele.

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