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MILITANT: Gaborone Bonnington South Parliamentary candidate Ketlhalefile Motshegwa

Umbrella for Democratic Change (UDC) Parliamentary candidate for Gaborone Bonnington South Ketlhalefile Motshegwa says the country should strive to be export-orientated.

He stated that the creation of 100 000 jobs in 12 months can be achieved if the country changes its way of doing things, which UDC has promised as one of its key priorities when it attains state power.

Motshegwa who was speaking during a political rally this past weekend said the UDC Manifesto explicitly states how that would be attained. The UDC will be launching its manifesto in Maun on Saturday.

According to Motshegwa, a renowned unionist, Botswana should strive to be export-orientated so that decent jobs could be created. As things stand, he said, the country is importing almost everything. He said Batswana deserve decent jobs and decent living. He explained that Batswana do not benefit from the economy of their country due to corruption.

“As a matter of urgency and moral orientation, the economy of this country must be put in the hands of the indigenous Batswana.” To address this, Motshegwa said there is need for a deliberate, radical and practical transformation of economic dynamics for the benefit of indigenous Batswana.

“Our economic policies must competently give Batswana decent living and prosperity, with focus particularly on the poor and the working class who are painfully on the margins of the economy,” Motshegwa told a weekend rally in Gaborone.

He posited that the country also needs an education-production system where graduates could be easily absorbed into the market. Currently, Motshegwa said, graduates are not market ready, which also contributes to high levels of unemployment.

“We want social security benefits such as insurance, medical aid and pension for our lowly paid cadres. This can only be realised if we have decent jobs. “We can derive such jobs in the manufacturing, mining and tourism sectors among others.

These are some of the areas where we have exported jobs instead of goods and services. The status quo calls for these classes of the poor and workers to get up and unite in calling for a share in the economy. “They must stage demonstrations and all sorts of campaigns to put their agenda and aspirations at the forefront of public policy,” he said.

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A welcome snitch

Yvonne Mooka



CELLPHONE TRACKER: Tebogo Aaron says criminals have labelled him a snitch for helping the police track people’s stolen property

Tebogo Aaron works hand-in-hand with Botswana Police Service to track down missing and stolen cellphones.

In an interview with The Midweek Sun, the 38-year-old man from Mahalapye says that on average, he traces between 25 and 50 mobile phones per day. He runs a store called Gadgets + Collectables, with two branches in Airport Junction and Phakakane’s Acacia mall.

Even though he sells a variety of gadgets, among them cellphones, Bluetooth speakers, laptops, it is the business of cellphone tracking that has given him a niche in the market. The Business Management and IT graduate says that his cellphone tracking business makes him stand out. “We are now in the era of cellphones. Almost every person has a cellphone and again, people steal them at a high rate,” he says.

Aaron provides police with leads, allowing them to do recoveries. He helps people who come with a police affidavit. “I have attracted hate from thugs thinking I’m a snitch,” he laughs.
But how long does it take for him to track down a cellphone? He says that the gadget becomes traceable the moment a sim card gets inserted inside.

His observation is that people have a tendency of buying stolen gadgets something he says is risky as one ends up charged by the police for buying a stolen item.
“Thugs steal phones with the intention to sell them, not to keep them. They want fast cash,” he says. And he says that thieves would go to an extent of creating fake Facebook pages to sell their stolen cellphones.

“Immediately after selling them, they delete the social media accounts while the buyer is left with it. People must take precaution,” he says. One of the people who have benefited from Aaron’s service, Lerato Lepang says her phone and wallet were snatched from her on June 4 in Molepolole.

“I reported with the police. A week later I heard of Gadgets + Collectables and decided to give it a shot. I went to the store on July 13 with a police affidavit as well as my phone details.“Five days later I received a call from them saying they had details of someone who had my phone,” she says. Another person Masego Mokgwatlheng says Aaron managed to recover her phone after a month in June.

She had forgotten it in a cab and traces showed that the cab driver had sold it to a Zimbabwean man. “I am now using my phone. It was made easier because I had a police affidavit,” she says. In addition to cellphone tracking, Aaron also tracks lost or stolen pets, bicycles and luggage. He has five employees.

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Mixed reactions to Masisi’s law on home-operated businesses



President Mokgweetsi Masisi intends to simplify the process of starting micro-businesses to make it less demanding. This entails retracting licenses for starting small businesses such as tuckshop, manicures and many others.

The Midweek Sun went out on the streets to hear views of the people about the new bill.A boutique owner based in Kanye Thapelo Dioka said it is a good initiative but he worries that Batswana will even set-up businesses which are not environmentally friendly.

“I have long struggled and been unable to rent out my spare bedrooms to try feed my family, due to stringent procedures of acquiring licenses,” said Dioka. Kolobetso Maswabi lamented that for a long time young people have been paying expensive rentals. The new law will help in starting and maintaining businesses as there will be no rentals to pay.

“For some of us who stay next to big malls the law will be an advantage, I am going to operate business in the backyard,” she says. However some had doubts about the new law, describing it as a campaign strategy and a desperate effort to gain political mileage. They will only believe it when it is signed into law.

“Why would he retract licenses when elections are about to take place and there is a need for them to explain more on what they mean about small scale businesses,” asked another entrepreneur.

Tiraone Basenyafela, an entrepreneur with disability who does leather works, lamented that they have long endured charges for licenses and at times failure to renew the licenses results in losing them.

“I believe that only big shops should be required to have licenses, not small businesses and struggling individuals like me,” said Basenyafela.

President Masisi explained that the new law intends to help Batswana improve their livelihoods and graduate from poverty, but added that licenses will still be required for those seeking to deal in food businesses and others that could be potentially unfriendly to the environment.

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