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BOMU descends into full-scale war

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KICKED OUT: BOMU President Pagson Ntsie

A storm is brewing at Botswana Musicians Union (BOMU) following a ruling that Pagson Ntsie is not a legitimate chairperson for the music body. The Registrar of Societies passed the ruling this week.

Arbitration award documents between Phemelo Lesokwane and others as applicants and BOMU as the respondents indicate that the 2017 AGM was not properly constituted as per Article 8.4.1: that the said AGM did not form a quorum and that the election of the current Executive Committee is declared invalid and therefore set aside.The council ruled that an interim committee be set up, chaired by the Patron (Taolo Moshaga) and assisted by three members from the respondents’ side and three members from the applicants’ side, to facilitate preparation for the next elections; and that the interim committee should work on the amendment of the constitution in consultation with BOMU membership for submission at the next AGM.

The award also stipulates that the interim committee is charged with the responsibility of arranging for a properly constituted AGM to be held by the second week of July or second week of August 2019, to elect the new Executive Committee which shall take over from the interim committee. It further states that the interim committee shall, subsequent to the elections, prepare a detailed report and submit it to the Council before end of September 2019, adding that going forward, BOMU should comply with Societies Act and follow its constitution.

Lastly, the council assumed the advisory and arbitration role in order to ensure that both parties are heard. The respondents were given 30 days in which to appeal to the High Court. The arbitration council included chairperson Festina Bakwena as well as Joseph Orebotse, Ogomoditse Matsila, Mosweu Simane, Joseph Dikgomo, Master Matlhaope, Mavis Itseng, Kebonye Moepeng and Felistus Motimedi.

Lesokwane came to The Midweek Sun offices this week and claimed that some executive members of BOMU did not want him because he always questioned the manner in which affairs were conducted. “There were instances where the Constitution was not abided by and there were no meetings from district chapters, among other issues.” Lesokwane further claimed that Ntsie took money from individuals and companies under the BOMU name. “He has brought BOMU into disrepute,” he said. He produced a letter addressed to Ntsie in February 2016, from BOMU, which among others says that Ntsie should recuse himself. Part of the letter reads:

“In view of the significant contributions by yourself towards the association’s activities, we have received unclassified excuses from yourself; the bulk of it came immediately after the just ended 7th annual BOMU awards.” The letter further states: “Already, one lawsuit is pending relating to refund from one supplier and monthly rental cheque awaiting your signature, with more likely to follow as we are busy looking for potential sponsors.”

Lesokwane said that in 2013 he was part of the executive committee but in a previous conversation, Ntsie had told this reporter that Lesokwane was suspended from BOMU for five years, which meant his suspension is set to lapse in 2021. Lesokwane conceded that while he had once been suspended, the BOMU constitution indicated that a member could be suspended for not more than 18 months.

He said in 2015, the then chairperson Phempheretlhe Pheto had written him a letter informing him that his suspension had been lifted. Lesokwane said he was loathed because he often questioned financial management in the organisation. “There was once an incident where Ntsie had travelled to Francistown for presidential awards competitions when he had P20, 000 per diem.” He said he was surprised when workers who had helped were paid with cheques. “I raised this matter with then chairperson Alfredo Mos but instead of calling a meeting I was kicked out. I was surprised to learn that I had been suspended.” Lesokwane said he queried the way BOMU was managed with Registrar of Societies and was advised to write to the arbitration council, which he did.

The case was first heard last December and then early this year, while judgment was handed down yesterday. He said that when legally perusing information on BOMU, he had established that the organisation did not file returns among other shocking revelations. Lesokwane said that all he wanted was for BOMU to be legitimate and that all affairs should be done by the book. “Pagson has a day job at GTC as a lecturer or something like that. He should focus on that and leave BOMU for people who have experience in the music industry,” he said. He added: “I am happy that I have liberated BOMU and the music industry from capture. Most artists did not take BOMU seriously because of the type of management in place.” While he had previously spoken to this reporter about sexual harassment claims levelled against Lesokwane, when contacted for comment regarding the BOMU scandal two hours later, Ntsie suddenly did not pick calls and blue-ticked Whatsapp messages.

He later sent the number of Keotshepile Motseoanageng, also known as Berry Heart, and wrote via Whatsapp: “She is now my publicist on such matters.” Motseoanageng said she would convene a meeting today (Wednesday morning) to share certain documents. When asked what the documents contained she responded: “You will see.” She would not be drawn into commenting further saying: “I will call a meeting tomorrow. I hope you don’t have a cut off time,” she said. Continued efforts to get Ntsie to comment failed as he did not answer calls nor respond to SMSes.

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Church distances itself from Pastor who livestreamed his suicide

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Head Pastor at Metsimotlhabe Holiness Union Church France Koosimile has distanced his church from Phenyo Godfrey who committed suicide live on social media a week ago. Speaking to this publication this week, Koosimile said Godfrey was never a Pastor at Holiness church as assumed by many.

Godfrey, who goes by the name Bishop P Godfrey on social media, allegedly shot a video of himself committing suicide on Sunday evening. According to a few friends and those close to Godfrey, the deceased was from Molepolole and has been identified as a pastor at Holiness Union Church in Metsimotlhabe.

On the evening  of Sunday last week, he went live on Facebook and proceeded to put a rope around his neck. He was seen in the short video hanging by the neck until he took his last breath. TO READ THE FULL STORY, BUY THIS WEEK’S (11 August 2021)  PRINT EDITION OF THE MIDWEEK SUN AT A STORE NEAR YOU.

 

 

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Women challenged to step-up food production

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National Development Bank CEO, Lorato Morapedi has challenged women to take up more agribusiness ventures to cut down on the country’s food import bill.
With an annual P7 billion food import bill hanging over the country, Morapedi said women can significantly trim it down. “We need to get out of our comfort zones, let’s open our eyes and seize the opportunities,” said Morapedi, adding that women need to work in groups.
She emphasized that women should leverage on collective expertise found in clusters to grow the country’s food production sector.
“Grab the opportunities that exist with the food value chain,” she said, citing that women have been hard-hit by COVID-19 in their endeavors to put food on the table.
She further implored women not to shy away from finance development institutions (FDIs) to finance their projects. Morapedi bemoaned that a handful people are willing to go into food production despite the high import food bill that the country faces.
Very few people are doing food production; people are lazy to go into food production,” said Morapedi. She also highlighted that the country’s major supplier, South Africa is also not coping as COVID-19 challenges unravel.
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