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Of 11 cattle heads and a speeding Honda Fit

Irene Shone

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Kgotla Gotcha of Lentsweletau village lost 11 cattle recently, and he suspects this to be the work of professional thieves who sell meat to butcheries. Gotcha’s 11 cattle were killed in three different places. Suspicions were raised when a blue Honda Fit was spotted invading the farms at a high speed only to disappear into thin air.

“At first we missed four cattle then the next day one of the cattle came running to the kraal without its bell. We could not make anything out of this until a ‘blue Honda Fit’ sped away in the direction of Gaborone with the last four cattle of the 11 killed,” he explained.

He says that someone saw this car carrying loads of meat and decided to follow the car tracks until it led them to all the three spots where the cattle were slaughtered. “This was within a short radius of our home and surprisingly we found paths that had been opened in the bushes, suggesting that the thieves had all the time to prepare for this heinous act. “We found all the heads and hooves of our cattle there,” said Gotcha. They observed that the culprits were using two cars as they found different car tracks at one of the crime scenes. One of the cars even had a puncture, he said.

They also found the bell that belonged to the cow that had escaped. “We found four heads in the first spot, six in the other and the last one we found with three other live cattle tied to tree trunks,” he explained.

Gotcha said this was well planned and that the culprits used sophisticated equipment considering the cleared roads and the kraal structures that were erected for this purpose. What shocks them is that there is a prominent farm around them which was suddenly closed, yet it has been open for sale all the time. “Everything here just doesn’t add up and it happened so fast,” he said adding that only private security personnel can get to the bottom of the matter.

Lentsweletau Police Station Commander Assistant Superintendent Motshwari Mokamogo confirmed the incident and said that investigations are still ongoing. He said that they have not yet caught any suspect. He said theft of cattle was rife in the area.

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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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