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GO-GETTER: Lame quit her job at Alexander Forbes to venture into catering business

It is Former President Lt. Gen Ian Khama’s humour, nobility and how he is welcoming to individuals from all walks of life that will forever be entrenched in Lame Llebako’s memory of the day he came over for lunch.

“None of us are perfect, we all have shortfalls but anyone who can see and recognise the humanity in another person, has my utmost respect. It is all that matters to me,” stated Llebako. The 39-year-old food vendor got a pleasant surprise last week Thursday when the former president and his security detail visited her spot along Independence Avenue for a meal. “I usually see him because he uses this route a lot when he goes to his house. He always smiles and waves, but even-though I have seen over the years that he is a person who likes to interact with Batswana, him eating my food, under a tree was a really special moment for me,” she said with a reflective smile.

Infact, Llebako says because of who he is and the security around him, she expected him to take the food and probably throw them in a bin when he got to his house to eat “a fancy chef prepped and inspected meal.”On that day, she woke up at 5am as she usually does to get ready for another busy day at the ‘office.’ She says she was busy prepping and cooking food for the day when she got a call from one of the gentlemen who works for Khama to find out if she (personally) will be at the spot and what would be on the menu.

“He said he had a surprise for me. I didn’t think much of it because the guys buy lunch from me sometimes. I told him yes, I will be serving today,” she revealed. “Later on as we were setting up, the guy who called me came over but didn’t sit down to eat as he would, instead he was on his phone a lot and pacing up and down. “Two black cars were also parked a short distance from us and the two men just seemed a little strange to me. Still I couldn’t figure out nor was I prepared for what would come next.” As she was busy serving her customers, Llebako says she lifted her head and came face to face with a smiling Khama. It was so abrupt and Llebako says she didn’t even hear his car pull up.

“Everyone was taken by surprise. We exchanged pleasantries and he stood in the line waiting his turn, even as people in the front offered to let him go in first, he declined. Khama ordered a P20 plate of rice, asked for a combination of both chicken and beef with butternut and coleslaw. “He specially asked me to not put too much because he doesn’t eat a lot,” Llebako chuckles. He then sat down on the chairs and table provided to eat.

He had brought his own fork and knife and a bottle of water. “It was such a great experience, not just for me but my customers as well. He was gracious and kind, made time for everyone who wanted to chat or take a selfie with him. It didn’t feel forced and was really genuine,” she said. Since the visit, Llebako says business has boomed. “We are definitely seeing more people, new faces, many of them hoping to get a glimpse of him passing through and some outrightly ask if he will be coming again,” said the catering business owner.

“All we are doing now is working hard to carry the momentum going forward. We strive to cook delicious food everyday because food sells itself and retains customers. That and talking to people nicely, taking in any negative feedback and turning it into positive improvement.” It is a formula that has seen the former Pension Benefit Consultant at Alexander Forbes’ catering business register amazing growth since October 2016 when she started. She had been doing it on the side while she was working full time. “I would wake up at 4 every morning to cook before the girl I had hired to help me serve arrived.

“At lunch time, we would set up near my office and lunch was served!” Two and a half years later, she owns Lopkel restaurant in the Main Mall and employs five people. However, she continued with Food Street vending to cater to individuals who can’t afford or have access to her restaurant.

“Working for someone, (who doesn’t even know me) just wasn’t enough for me. I could also see that being in that space, I would never be able to live the kind of life I want for my family and I. It is also about building a legacy for my children,” she stated. During school breaks, her 13-year-old son works with her in the business. “It’s a family affair and I love every minute of what I do.”

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Boko has failed his constituency – Mokgethi



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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Keletso Thobega



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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