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SADC gets Euro 18.7 million to build capacity

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Southern African Development Community (SADC), the European Union Delegation to Botswana and the government of Germany have officially launched the SADC Integrated Institutional Capacity Building (IICB) Programme.

The European Union has committed Euro 13.2 million to the Programme, while the German government is co-funding with Euro 5.5 million; bringing the total to Euro 18.7 million. The IICB Programme that is expected to expand country coverage to at least ten Member States from the three countries of Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia, will be implemented by the SADC Secretariat supported by the GIZ.

According to SADC Executive Secretary, Dr. Stergomena Lawrence Tax, efforts are already underway to establish or revamp SADC National Committees in Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho and Tanzania. Dr Tax added that the support under the Integrated Institutional Capacity Building Programme will be more targeted at activities with impact, therefore the focus will be placed on sectoral coordinating structures in three sectors; industrialisation, agriculture and infrastructure development.

Aligned to the Revised SADC Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP), the programme is envisaged to strengthen country-level structures, especially SADC National Committees to implement the regional integration programme at the national level.It is also envisaged to enhance collaboration between National Planning Entities and SADC National Committees, to foster the integration of the regional programmes and their implementation frameworks into national plans. Dr. Tax added that the newly launched programme will develop regionally agreed performance benchmarks that Member States will adhere to in relation to SADC National Committees and programme/project management.

IICB Programme will also improve the involvement of civil society, non-governmental organisations, women and youth groups, judicial and legislative structures in the implementation of the regional integration agenda; and improve the alignment of International Cooperating Partners (ICP) technical and financial support to SADC priorities at national and regional level to the achievement of regional integration indicators and targets.

Speaking at the launch on Friday, German Ambassador, Ralf Andreas Breth said the launch of the IICB programme reflects and reinforces their belief in sharing the European experiences and providing opportunities to SADC and other regional organisations to benefit from them. “Implementation requires more than just passion and commitment; it also needs capacity. Germany is taking great pride in supporting the continuous capacity development of SADC structures at all levels and in many sectors,” Breth said. He said at the centre of the Programme’s efforts stands the realisation that with competing commitments and insufficient capacities, effective coordination of the SADC agenda at the national level is crucial.

“The Programme did not need to reinvent the wheel; it only needed to run back to the SADC Treaty. In article 16A of its Treaty, SADC has mandated National Committees to bring together national governments, the private sector, civil society and other non-state actors to work on implementing the SADC agenda in their Member States,” Breth said. For his part, European Union Ambassador, Jan Sadek said EU support addresses among others areas; peace and security, regional political cooperation and migration, contributing to the implementation of the Strategic Indicative Plan for the Organ on Politics, Defense and Security in the region (SIPO).

“I am proud to announce that in the next four years, the EU support to SADC will reach a total of more than Euro150 million, of which around Euro 80 million will be managed directly by SADC in four years,” Sadek said, adding that SADC has to ensure a stable, consistent and competent structure capable of managing, implementing and monitoring the programmes that are benefitting SADC.

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Boko has failed his constituency – Mokgethi

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THROWING SALVO: Anna Mokgethi vows to turn around the fortunes of Gaborone Bonnington North

Botswana Democratic Party Parliamentary hopeful for Gaborone Bonnington North Annah Mokgethi says area Member of Parliament failed to utilise the P10million constituency Development Fund to develop the constituency.

Every year government allocates P10 million to each of the 57 constituencies for developments under the ministry of local government and rural development and councils coordinate the projects. Mokgethi told the media in Gaborone on Tuesday that UDC president who is also area MP, Duma Boko was supposed to have pushed for projects to be done in the constituency.“As we speak there is nothing but the constituency has been having an MP and councillors in the past five years. “Crime is high in the area because there are no streetlights in most of our roads. Our people are attacked under the cover of darkness. Our roads are still dusty but you take our neighbouring constituencies they have paved the roads using these funds.

“We are behind because our MP has neglected the constituency ever since he was voted into office. There is nothing that he can show as a development he advocated for under the fund,” she said.
Mokgethi, a lawyer by profession, will be launched this coming Sunday by President Mokgweetsi Masisi.

Since its inception in 2017 the fund has been marred by controversy as MPs argued that they are not being taken on board in the projects.Vice President Slumber Tsogwane who at the time was local government minister, said it was wrong for council secretaries to snub MPs when councils consult residents on developments to do with the fund.

Mokgethi told the media that representation is about service. She said she is willing to represent the people of Bonnington North. “The people of this constituency are yearning for representation. They need a representative who will have enough time on his/her hands to attend to their needs and interests. Someone who will have an ear inclined to their needs,” she stated.

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BEAUTY WITH STAINS

Keletso Thobega

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BEAUTIFUL BETRAYAL: Many did not believe Mhotsha could commit such a heinous crime

Broadhurst Magistrate Court came to a near standstill this past Friday when Lebogang Mhotsha appeared for mention on a conspiracy to robbery case.

Sporting a spiral braided hairstyle, the 30-year-old, who looked exhausted and agitated, turned heads with her pretty face with many in the crowd peering at her and commenting on how unfortunate it was for such a beautiful young woman to be implicated in a crime of such magnitude, where blood had been spilled.

There was a heavy presence of police officers, soldiers, DIS and members from Interpol in the court that was so packed that one had to take gulps of breath to avoid suffocating. All eyes were on Mhotsi, who unflinchingly stared ahead as the brief court proceedings got underway. Details presented before court are that Mhotsha of Mogoditshane is implicated in a conspiracy to robbery following the death of three Batswana men in South Africa on the 26 July 2019.

It is said that the victims were robbed of P350, 000, ten thousand US dollars and a Samsung J72 cell phone. The deceased men were part of a team of seven Batswana headed to Durban to purchase vehicles. They were attacked along the Swartruggens road in the North West area between Mafikeng and Rustenburg by six men who robbed them at gunpoint and made off with the money. The prosecutor in the case asked the court to give them an opportunity to complete their investigations, adding that they also want to engage Interpol to assist them.

Magistrate Tshepo Thedi remanded the accused in jail pending further investigation. Mhotsha will appear in court again on 22 August 2019 together with two other accused. Botswana and South African police jointly launched investigations into the matter to establish the circumstances that led to the incident. So far, preliminary investigations have revealed that the robbery was an act of conspiracy between the suspect, Mhotsha as well as local and South African associates.

The case gets more interesting as more accused come out of hiding. This past weekend a confession was extracted from two other suspects, Poloko Seduke and Kefilwe Ramoitoi both aged 38. The duo subsequently appeared before court on Monday facing the same charge of conspiracy to robbery. Although investigations are still ongoing to piece together the puzzles in this case, it is widely believed that the three accused are part of a bigger crime syndicate operating between Botswana and South Africa that targets Batswana who travel to Durban to buy cars.

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