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Embattled BOMU needs forensic audit

Keletso Thobega

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The legacy of Botswana Musicians Union (BOMU) is being tampered with and founding members Duncan Senyatso and Spencer Sekwabale are turning in their graves over this. Former BOMU committee member Seabelo Modibe said this in an interview with The Midweek Sun on the backdrop of scandals besieging the music body.

Modibe stated that both Sekwabale and Senyatso had formed the music body because they had a bone to chew with government and wanted a body to communicate that music is a serious career and that artistes deserved legislation to protect them to benefit from their craft. Modibedi pointed out that the challenge with some individuals who ascended to BOMU committees and leadership was that they have no work to protect.

“They are not recorded artistes and also do not understand and love music. Rather, they want to be associated with music and look at it as a form of status and personal interests that have nothing to do with elevating the local music industry. They lack knowledge on the dynamics of the music industry and are only focused on self interest.” Modibedi said it was time to give younger people a chance at leading BOMU and rope in new faces. “Why can’t a guy like ATI or a lady like Amantle Brown be in the BOMU executive committee? They must understand issues from the front – chisel administrative know-how; venture into other areas as time goes by.

“It is time for a fresh lease of life. Those who have served should go home and welcome new faces of people not tainted by scandals. Public organisations should be run in the best interests of the people. Organisations should not be personalised.” Modibedi also noted that there should also be a fair audit at BOMU. “This should not be a witch-hunt against certain individuals but an investigation into the financial transactions over the last four committees. There have been too many allegations and they should be put to bed,” he said.

He added that BOMU was tainted by accusations that people not in the executive are signatories, or that the Union enters into partnerships without the knowledge of members and people clinging to power for ever. Meanwhile, another former BOMU committee member Phempheretlhe Pheto, who is also a recorded gospel artist, conceded that BOMU had been left in tatters because some individuals did not genuinely have the interests of artistes at heart. Pheto also pointed out that things would work well if the constitution is followed.

“We would not be dealing with such issues if the organisation’s constitution was followed.” Pheto also said that honorary members who could intervene cannot do so because there is no binding legislation to protect them. “As things stand they can only offer advice; they cannot intervene. But running BOMU should not be about putting friends and pushing personal self-interest agendas but empowering members and boosting the local music industry as a whole.”

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BMC secures beef market in Seychelles

Dikarabo Ramadubu

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Botswana Meat Commission (BMC) will soon start to sell its beef to the Island of Seychelles. Not only will they sell frozen raw meat, but will also send corned beef for trial in the Island.

All this is thanks to last week’s visit by President Mokgweetsi Masisi who included in his delegation executive management of the BMC, led by Chief Executive Officer, Dr Akolang Tombale.
The agreement signed between BMC and two leading Seychelles companies, will see BMC exporting at least 48 tonnes of raw beef to the island possibly from October. The names of the two companies that BMC signed an agreement with are Seychelles Trading Company which is a quasi-government organisation, and Rosebelle Company which is privately owned.

Although both have agreed to trade with each other, BMC cannot start immediately, as they have to wait for the green light from Seychelles companies who still have to apply for import permits in accordance with the law of their republic.

Speaking to The Midweek Sun, Tombale expressed gratitude that they managed to get good business in Seychelles through the assistance of President Masisi. “We are ready to export any time from now. As you know Seychelles is an island surrounded by mountains and cannot produce much if not anything. “They therefore depend much on imports even from as far as Brazil and Europe. Their economy is driven by tourism and they do not differ much with the European market in terms of the demand for beef as most tourists come from Europe and United States.”

Dr. Tombale said they agreed with the two companies that since “we are not sure about the logistics we will start by selling 24tonnes to each company per month, meaning we will be supplying the Island with a total of 48 tonnes per month. The idea is to start small and grow bigger as the people get used to our beef.” BMC has also negotiated to sell small stock meat to Seychelles and successfully negotiated for local chicken farmers to start selling their range chicken to Seychelles as well.

According to Tombale, he negotiated the deal after being approached by local chicken farmers amongst them Kgosi Mosadi Seboko of Balete, who requested that “we should try to find a market for chicken farmers as we go around the world searching for the beef market.” Tombale revealed that for a start both range chickens and small stock will not be supplied in tonnes or large quantities as they will be sold on a trial basis.

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G-west community reunion-walk a resounding success

Keletso Thobega

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Multitudes turned up for the Mosengwaketsi community walk and braai session this past Saturday in Gaborone West. The walk was held in the morning and was preceded by football games and a braai session that went on until late in the evening.

According to the event director Tshenolo Palai, the aim of the community day event was to revive community spirit and address crime and social ills. “The Mosengwaketsi community reunion will be held not only to create a platform to build unity but also address the social ill of passion killings,” he said.

Palai said that they had also invited health stakeholders for a wellness segment because they had realised that there are many health related conditions that affect the quality of people’s lives hence they had joined forces with religious organisations, the business community, neighbourhood outreach policing and other stakeholders in the area to encourage a culture of unity and create dialogue between all the parties.

He noted that they had wanted to create a relaxed environment conducive for different people to engage and strengthen their networks. He said they were also concerned with the high rate of crimes of passion in Botswana and also wanted to create a platform for both men and women to open up on issues that affect them because most people tend to be more relaxed in a social setting.

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