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Mmutle-Phadi’s partners fight for WUC P500M windfall

Even before the ground breaking ceremony for the over P500 million Water Utilities Corporation (WUC) Goodhope water supply tender could take place, the many hands surrounding the tender are already fighting for the cake and even threatening to dissolve the winning company-G & M Building Services- if needs be for them to get their well-deserved share of the windfall.

The President’s sister, Boitumelo Phadi-Mmutle recently acquired shares in the company before it won the P549 699 654.79 Water Utilities Corporation tender amid fierce contestation. Phadi has not uttered a single word since the break of controversy surrounding the company. Following the dismissal of an appeal by one for the bidders, Landmark Projects by authorities, another crisis seems to have befallen the company, in what seems like another development likely to spoil the celebration party.

In a letter written through his lawyers, MK Moesi & Company Joseph Olebile Pilane, says at all material times until today, he has been a 40% Shareholder in the Company and was until sometimes last year a Director of the Company. “Client instructs that there is an apparent dispute which led to him being forced to resign as a Director of the Company in or around May 2021 after which the Company stopped paying him the monthly Director’s fee of P45 000.00 (Forty Five Thousand Pula) and other attendant benefits. That since May 2021 client has been barred by the Managing Director from attending to the business of the Company and further no divided has been paid to him,” reads the demand letter dated May 03 2022 to the company.

The letter continues: “Client is aware that at the time he was relieved of his duties as a Director of the Company, he has been involved in executing several tenders including the one for the Construction of Goodhope Sub-District Water Supply Scheme Phase 2.2 Contract to the total cost of P549 699 654.79 (Five Hundred and Forty Nine Million Six Hundred and Ninety Nine Thousand Six Hundred and Fifty Four Pula Seventy Nine Thebe). We are instructed that as a 40% Shareholder, client has a substantial interest in the business dealings and transactions of the company.”

Pilane’s lawyers say they are instructed to demand that G & M Building Services should within ten (10) days from the date of this letter, make a proposal regarding two being- the dealing of client’s shares in the company and unpaid Director’s fees amounting to over P500 000 in total. The lawyers say they hold instruction that failure to consider the demands, the company should be liquidated.

“If we do not hear from you within the aforesaid period, client shall take whatever steps available to him in terms of the Company Act including placing the Company under liquidation and or notifying the Company’s Stakeholders of the current situation of the Company,” further reads the letter.

In interview with this publication on Thursday, the Chief Executive Officer of WUC, Gaselemogwe Senai confirmed that several complaints were received against the tender, all of which were investigated but found to be without substance. “We investigated the complaints and all were dismissed. There was no enough evidence to proof the claims. We understand that some had registered their complaints to PPADB but their appeals were also dismissed. What we can say for now is that the company has been cleared from all accusations and have been offered the tender. We might start operations anytime if they have already accepted the offer,” said Senai.

It is not yet known what the fresh challenges or dispute mean to WUC and the tender’s undertaking, but sources say a legal challenge could disrupt the smooth running of the project. Both Phadi and business partner, have expressed no interest on talking to the media relating to this project.

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People with Disabilities Face Barriers to Political Participation in Botswana

23rd February 2024

Individuals challenged by disabilities encounter formidable obstacles when endeavoring to partake in political processes within the context of Botswana. Political involvement, a cornerstone of democratic governance, empowers citizens to shape the legislative landscape that impacts their daily existence. Despite Botswana’s reputation for upholding democratic ideals, recent insights unveil a troubling reality – those with disabilities find themselves marginalized in the realm of politics, contending with substantial barriers obstructing the exercise of their democratic liberties.

A recent inquiry in Botswana unveiled a panorama where individuals with disabilities confront hurdles in navigating the political arena, their involvement often restricted to the basic act of voting. Voices emerged from the study, underscoring the critical necessity of fostering environments that are accessible and welcoming, affording individuals with disabilities the active engagement they rightfully deserve in political processes. Noteworthy was the account of a participant grappling with physical impairments, shedding light on the glaring absence of ramps at polling stations and the urgent call for enhanced support mechanisms to ensure an equitable electoral participation.

The echoes reverberating from these narratives serve as poignant reminders of the entrenched obstacles impeding the full integration of individuals with disabilities into the democratic tapestry. The inaccessibility of polling stations and the glaring absence of provisions tailored to the needs of persons with disabilities loom large as formidable barricades to their political engagement. Particularly pronounced is the plight of those grappling with severe impairments and intellectual challenges, who face even steeper hurdles in seizing political participation opportunities, often grappling with feelings of isolation and exclusion from the political discourse.

Calls for decisive action cascade forth, urging the establishment of more inclusive and accessible political ecosystems that embrace individuals with disabilities in Botswana. Government bodies and concerned stakeholders are urged to prioritize the enactment of laws and policies designed to safeguard the political rights of individuals with disabilities. Furthermore, initiatives geared towards enhancing awareness and education on political processes and rights for this segment of society must be spearheaded, alongside the adoption of inclusive measures within political institutions and party structures.

By dismantling these barriers and nurturing a political landscape that is truly inclusive, Botswana can earnestly uphold its democratic ethos and afford every citizen, including those with disabilities, a substantive opportunity to partake in the political fabric of the nation.

 

 

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Neo Kirchway- Defying the odds

23rd February 2024

In the heartwarming tale of Neo Kirchway, a beacon of inspiration emerges, shining brightly amid life’s adversities.

Defying the constraints of destiny, Neo Kirchway, a resilient Motswana soul now thriving in the United States, stands tall despite the absence of her lower limbs. With unwavering determination, she tends to her cherished family – a loving husband and four children – engaging in the daily symphony of household tasks with remarkable grace.

Neo’s indomitable spirit traces back to the fateful year of 1994, a time when medical intervention called for the amputation of her curled legs. Embracing this pivotal juncture with unwavering courage and the blessing of her mother, she ventured forth into a world adorned with prosthetic legs, eager to script a tale of triumph.

Venturing beyond borders, Neo’s journey led her to the embrace of the United States, where serendipity intertwined her fate with that of her soulmate, Garrett Kirchway. Together, this harmonious duo navigates the ebbs and flows of life, their bond fortified by unwavering love and unyielding support.

In a bid to illuminate paths and embolden hearts, Neo leverages the digital realm, crafting a sanctuary of empowerment on her YouTube channel. Brimming with authenticity and raw emotion, her videos chronicle the tapestry of her daily life, serving as a testament to resilience and the unwavering human spirit.

Amidst the digital cosmos, Neo, affectionately known as “KirchBaby,” reigns supreme, a luminary in the hearts of 658,000 enraptured subscribers. Through her captivating content, she not only navigates the mundane tasks of cooking, cleaning, and childcare but also dances with celestial grace, a testament to her boundless spirit and unyielding zest for life.

In the cathedral of Neo Kirchway’s narrative, resilience reigns supreme, echoing a universal truth – that amidst life’s gales, the human spirit, when kindled by hope and fortitude, emerges as a beacon of light, illuminating even the darkest of paths.

 

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Inequalities Faced by Individuals with Disabilities

22nd February 2024

The government’s efforts to integrate individuals with disabilities in Botswana society are being hampered by budgetary constraints. Those with disabilities face inequalities in budgetary allocations in the health and education sectors. For instance, it is reported that the government allocates higher budgetary funds to the general health sector, while marginal allocations are proposed for the development and implementation of the National Primary Health Care guidelines and Standards for those with Disabilities. This shows that in terms of budgetary solutions, the government’s proposed initiatives in improving the health and well-being of those with disabilities remain futile as there is not enough money going towards disability-specific health programs. On the other hand, limited budgetary allocations to the Special Education Unit also are a primary contributor to the inequalities faced by children with disabilities. The government only provides for the employment of 15 teachers with qualifications in special education despite the large numbers of children with intellectual disabilities that are in need of special education throughout Botswana. Such disproportional allocation of resources inhibits the capacity to provide affordable and accessible assisted technology and residential support services for those with disabilities. Given the fact that a different amount of resources have been availed to the education and health sectors, the general understanding is that the government is not doing enough to ensure that adequate resources are distributed to disability-specific programs and facilities such as barrier-free environments, residential homes, and special education schools for children with disabilities.

 

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