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‘My life is a living hell’

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A Zimbabwean double amputee, Gift Ncube who received a lot of public sympathy after a farmer, Keitumetse Khunou shot him in 2013 over a payment dispute thereafter losing both arms, says that his life is a living hell.

This is because his former employer, Khonuo has not honoured terms of agreement to compensate him for his lost arms. As of September 2017, the two through their lawyers agreed on an out of court settlement in which Khonou undertook to give him 20 goats and eight heads of cattle to start a new life. Khunou, through his lawyers K. Sekgabo Attorneys further proposed to transfer his rights and title in respect of his only residential house consisting of a two-bedroom house, main house with two rooms, toilet bath and a kitchen situated at Radisele.

They also agreed that they were going to pay, Ncube a sum of P100 000, which was proposed to be paid on or before the end of May 2018. However, Ncube through his lawyers, Chibanda Makgelemele & Co said May was far and proposed end of February 2018, which was accepted.

At one point, the parties agreed to pay P125 000 from the initial P130 000 demanded by Ncube, but Khunou’s lawyers said he could pay him P22 000 per month commencing December 1, 2017.
Narrating his story, Ncube cut a frustrated figure. “I now knock on people’s doors, asking for money to buy food. This is not who I am and who I had thought I’d be at any point in my life. This man has destroyed my life and I’m finding it hard to accept that I don’t have my hands,” he said.

He stated that Khunou’s lawyers had told him that their client was not cooperative. “They even told me to seek the assistance of the media,” he said, adding that life is hard as he has a three year old daughter to look after.

As of May 7, 2018, the parties went to the High Court where there was also another settlement made regarding compensation. Khunou signed to give Ncube his plot in Radisele, with its two houses. The agreement was that should he fail to procure transfer of the property to Ncube through the Landboard, then he shall within six months of failure to procure transfer cause it to be sold at a price to be agreed by both parties and the proceeds shall be paid to Ncube.

The agreement also entailed eight cows and 20 goats, and P130 000 payment in installments of P5 470 per month commencing March 31, 2018 until May 1, 2020. The court papers have the certificate of Customary Court Grant, which is yet to be given to Ncube.

The shooting incident happened at Khunou’s ploughing field at Diphateng lands near Radisele where he had temporarily engaged Ncube to de-bush his field.Meanwhile, Ncube said he has opened an account with a local bank where he wanted to save money for Myo-electric prosthesis. Quotations from Gaborone Private Hospital show that he needs P172 500 to get it done. The system consists of wrist insert, wrist/elbow unit, functional hand, prosthetic glove, cable above elbow, harness above elbow and prosthetic sheath.

Khunou’s lawyer Kgololesego Segabo confirmed that there was a settlement agreed that was signed between his client and Ncube. “What is left is for my client to act on the agreement. He is in the process of mobilising resources to honour the agreement,” he said.

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Basarwa’s indigenous knowledge could be used in fire fights

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Two hundred delegates from countries that include Zambia, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Australia and Namibia have converged in Maun village for the 7th National Fire Management Conference.

The event taking place on May 14th-16th is held under the theme: ‘Fire Management – A key to sustainable livelihoods.’ Its objectives are to promote implementation of the fire management strategy, facilitate information sharing amongst key stakeholders, as well as promote collaborative partnerships in fire management.

One partnership that has proven to be beneficial is that of government of Botswana and the Australian government. The relationship was born following the deadly fires that claimed the lives of 13 people, and forced the government to seek help outside.

This year, Botswana, which deals with ravaging veldt fires annually, is now looking into exploring knowledge from indigenous tribes when it comes to dealing with fire. Head of Technical Support Services at Department of Forestry and Range Resources, Gabagomotse Mafoko told a media conference that indigenous rangers from Kimberly and Australia will share stories about Traditional Fire management.

He explained that they were also looking into tapping into the knowledge of local tribes. Mafoko shared that the climatic conditions of Botswana and Australia are almost the same, hence this knowledge is vital.

“Indigenous tribes have been fighting fires for years with less emissions. Take for example, the Aborigines of Australia have been doing it, and we want to tap into their knowledge. Locally, the San have been using fire for decades with little damage to the environment,” he explained.

The Botswana and Australian government have a longstanding relationship in the fire management areas. The relationship dates back to 2008. And through it, over 5000 people have been trained in Fire Management Strategy, as well donations of used and refurbished fire equipment units.

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KBL returns Kickstart funding initiative

Koobonye Ramokopelwa

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Kgalagadi Breweries Limited will start inviting applications for its revamped Kickstart initiative which funds youth aged between 18 and 30 years, The Midweek Sun has learnt.

Today, the company which produces soft drinks and clear beer was expected to take the media on a tour of some of kickstart beneficiaries in Gaborone. Minister of Investment, Trade and Industry, Bogolo Kenewendo is expected to officially launch the revised initiative this afternoon at the KBL’s Broadhurst offices. The program was suspended a few years ago due to lack of funds, among other reasons.

Before the program was put on ice, it had benefited over 70 small medium enterprises with funding, mentoring and market access assistance. Speaking to the press last year, KBL Managing Director, Beauchamp, said P1, 5 million has been set aside for this program on annual basis.

“We plan to invest in 15 new businesses every year,” he said at a press briefing which also announced a price reduction for its alcohol brands such as St Louis, Castel Lite and Black Label.

Successful applicants will receive about P200, 000 grants to execute their business ideas. Beauchamp stated that they have been able to reintroduce Kickstart from ‘freed capital’ as a result of the recent reduction in Alcohol Levy from 55 percent to 35 percent by the President Mokgweetsi Masisi regime.

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